The Mesopotamians considered it mostly an issue of property rights. Ancient Egyptians regulated it to preserve the regal bloodlines. For the History Channel, it’s the subject of a five-hour docu series from MPH Entertainment chronicling “The History of Sex.”
The series, narrated by thesp Peter Coyote, is slated to run over five consecutive nights beginning Aug. 16.
“It is as much a look at the history of civilization as it is the history of sex,” said Melissa Jo Peltier, a partner in Studio City-based MPH. “We focus on how attitudes toward sex influenced history. In Western history, you really get this roller coaster ride of periods of repression followed by outbursts of decadence.”
The first seg covers the lusty history of the ancient world, culminating with the rise of Christianity in the Roman era, when views of sexual activity and morality became forever intertwined. Another seg is devoted to the evolution of Asian and Middle Eastern thinking about sex and sexuality.
Among the sexperts featured in the final seg covering the 20th century are Hugh Hefner, Helen Gurley Brown and Dr. Ruth Westheimer. “The History of Sex” is exec produced by Peltier and MPH partners Jim Milio and Mark Hufnail, who formed the indie production shop in 1996.
Other cable-bound docus in the pipeline at MPH include:
- “The Napoleon Murder Mystery.” The question of whether the Gallic tyrant was actually murdered while in exile is probed in an hourlong Learning Channel spec to run in August.
- “Sensational Cities: New York.” A two-hour historical tour of Gotham set to bow on the Learning Channel in March.
- “The Founding Fathers.” A four-hour History Channel study of the revolutionaries that agitated for American independence.