TCM makes ‘Moguls’

Docu series spotlights Hollywood's top brass

Turner Classic Movies is diving deep into Hollywood’s past in ordering a 10-hour docu series on the history of Hollywood moguls from Bill Haber’s Ostar Prods.

Moguls and Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood,” skedded to bow next year, will primarily focus on the lives and legacies of filmdom’s founders, including such enigmatic figures as Carl Laemmle, Louis B. Mayer, Darryl Zanuck, William Fox, the Warner brothers, Samuel Goldwyn and Adolph Zukor. It will also examine the pre-Hollywood era and the work of such film pioneers as Thomas Edison and the Lumiere brothers.

Jon Wilkman, a veteran docu producer and former CBS News producer, is writing and producing the segs. Haber is exec producing for Ostar and TCM.

Michael Wright, exec veep and head of programming for TNT, TBS and TCM, said the project is a natural fit for the classic pic cabler, which is marking its 15th anniversary this year.

“The story of the birth of the film industry has resonance for the changes that showbiz is undergoing today with the influx of new technologies,” Wright noted.

Haber has been trying to get a project about Hollywood’s golden-age moguls off the ground for 15 years. He initially pitched Wright on the idea of doing it as a narrative telepic, the concept quickly shifted to a docu format. Wilkman is already knee-deep in research and interviews, Haber said.

“We’re telling the story of Lumiere to Lew Wasserman,” said Haber, the former CAA chieftain whose Ostar banner produced Broadway’s “The History Boys” and “Monty Python’s Spamalot.” “For 15 years I’ve been wanting to do something about the men who made this business.”

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • THE BACHELORETTE - "The Bachelorette: Season

    'The Bachelor': ABC Reality Boss Talks Ratings Success, Diversity Backlash

    Last night, Peter Weber was unveiled, perhaps unsurprisingly, as the next Bachelor during the season finale of “Bachelor in Paradise.” Weber’s selection coincided with a season-high rating for “Paradise,” and caps a solid ratings summer for the “Bachelor” franchise. As ratings have been in decline across the board this summer, “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor in [...]

  • Raising Dion

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases 'Raising Dion' Trailer

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix releases “Raising Dion’s” trailer and announces a number of premiere dates for its original series. DATES Netflix announced the premiere dates for several of its new and returning original series: Season 2 of “Carmen Sandiego” will launch Oct. 1; Deon Cole’s standup special “Deon Cole: Cole Hearted” will launch [...]

  • Jim Parrack

    '9-1-1: Lone Star' Adds 'True Blood' Alum Jim Parrack

    Fox’s “9-1-1: Lone Star” continues to round out its main cast. Jim Parrack has joined the upcoming drama in a series regular role. He joins previously announced series leads Rob Lowe and Liv Tyler. In the series, Lowe stars as Capt. Owen Strand, a sophisticated New York fireman who, along with his adult son, re-locates [...]

  • AT&T Time Warner Merger

    AT&T Considers Selling DirecTV (Report)

    Telecom giant AT&T is considering off-loading satellite TV subsidiary DirecTV, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing sources. The company has also mulled spinning off DirecTV into a separate company, as well as merging DirecTV’s assets with satellite-TV company Dish Network, said the outlet. AT&T declined to comment. Shares of AT&T, which trade under the [...]

  • Norman LearVariety Showrunners Dinner, Inside, Los

    Norman Lear Accepts Creative Conscience Award at Variety Showrunners Dinner

    Norman Lear accepted Variety’s Creative Conscience Award Tuesday night at the publication’s annual Showrunners Dinner. The award honors Lear for his work promoting important causes both inside and outside the entertainment industry. Lear, who appears on the current cover of Variety, recently renewed his overall deal at Sony Pictures Television. Speaking at the Showrunners Dinner [...]

  • Maria Bartiromo

    Maria Bartiromo Renews Pact With Fox News Media

    Maria Bartiromo will be on Fox Business Network and Fox News Channel for a while longer, after striking a new multi-year deal with Fox News Media. “Her exceptional insights and incredible work ethic have been of tremendous value to Fox Business and Fox News and we’re thrilled to have her continue anchoring each of her [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content