(Beverly Hills, Ca.) – Rockefeller, Carnegie, Edison, Tesla, Hearst, and Pulitzer: their legacies live down through the ages, emblazoned on museums, universities, banks, charities, and the richest of American real estate. Ferocious drive, innovation and often sheer recklessness took these visionaries to the top of the rich-and-powerful list and ultimately made America the mightiest nation on earth. Despite their wealth and power, these titans of industry and captains of commerce were not always philanthropic, often driven by greed, ambition, jealousy and revenge. You can’t build a fortune without making a few enemies. From Edison and Tesla’s high-voltage war of the currents to Rockefeller and Scott’s row over the growth of oil, AMERICAN TITANS relies on cinematic recreations and expert commentary to reveal what it took for the founding fathers of the Fortune 500 to steer the Industrial Revolution into the Gilded Age. During this era of incredible industrial potential, there were many on the road to absolute power – these are the stories of those who out-fought, out-spent, and out-smarted their rivals to reserve their chapter in the history books and make America what it is today. AMERICAN TITANS premieres Tuesday, August 4 at 10/9c, only on American Heroes Channel.
“Without the doggedness and foresight of these visionaries, pathways would not have been cleared to usher in modern-day moguls like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and entrepreneurs on the brink,” said Kevin Bennett, EVP and general manager of American Heroes Channel. “Presented within the greater context of American history, AMERICAN TITANS can be equally enjoyed by the most fervent history buff and casual viewer.”
Each one-hour episode of AMERICAN TITANS recounts the true story behind two major American tycoons who were at odds with each other in a race to the top. Learn the details of what made these mavericks rise above the competition, from rags to incomprehensible riches, whether it was ingenuity or greed, thirst for power or trust in the cause, alliances or feuds that lasted a lifetime. Cinematic recreations bring each clash of the titans to life, focusing on the key moments of each mogul’s career from the first flush of success to major hurdles and the partnerships that either ended in glory or defeat.
- Carnegie vs. Frick
Tuesday, August 4 at 10/9c
Andrew Carnegie, the undisputed “man of steel,” and Henry Clay Frick, the king of coke, forge one of the most powerful partnerships in our nation’s history. Together they become the reigning champions of a multi-million dollar steel industry during America’s Gilded Age. From their headquarters in Pittsburgh, Carnegie and Frick outwit their adversaries, steam roll the competition, and rule their enormous workforce with an iron fist. The lawless, cutthroat labor environment of the late 1800s stirs up unrest with the country’s strongest industrial trade union, the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, culminating in a seminal showdown along the banks of the Monongahela River that causes the unwinding of Frick and Carnegie’s partnership and defines America’s labor movement for generations.
- Rockefeller vs. Scott
Tuesday, August 11 at 10/9c
John D. Rockefeller, king of Standard Oil, and Thomas A. Scott, the visionary behind the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, work with and against each other to control America’s young oil industry. Refiners need the railroads and the railroads need the refiners, but neither one trusts the other. They strike secret deals, fix prices, purchase supply lines, and eliminate the competition. When one encroaches on the other’s turf, it sparks one of the bloodiest battles in American labor history. After the dust settles, one man reigns supreme and corporate America will never be the same.
- Edison vs. Tesla
Tuesday, August 18 at 10/9c
In the emerging industry of electricity there is no bigger prize than powering the world. The two leading minds of their time, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla, go to battle over how power should be transmitted across the globe. By the very nature of their inventions—Edison’s long lasting bulb and Tesla’s alternating current motor—each stakes out an opposite position on electric current. What begins as a working relationship between the two men turns into a million-dollar “War of the Currents” in which the grand prize is the right to power the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago. Before the winning bid is read, there will be a broken promise, a powerful alliance, and a bizarre public relations campaign with deadly consequences.
- Hearst vs. Pulitzer
Tuesday, August 25 at 10/9c
In the summer of 1897, the two largest newspaper publishers in the United States go head to head in a war of yellow journalism, exploiting a gruesome murder and the growing unrest in Cuba to outdo each other. William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer’s circulation battle is like no other in the history of publishing. There is nothing they won’t do. By the end, each man will be scarred for life, America will go to war, and the road will be paved for mass-circulation newspapers that change the publishing world forever.
- Vanderbilt vs. Gould
Tuesday, September 1 at 10/9c
At the end of the Civil War, Cornelius Vanderbilt has built a formidable railroad empire centered in New York City but needs one more line to complete his portfolio: the Erie Railroad. Despite being one of the biggest companies in America, the Erie has a reputation of being unstable thanks in large part to its treasurer Daniel Drew, who shamelessly manipulated the company stock to line his pockets. This is not the first time these two titans have fought, but Drew has invariably lost out to Vanderbilt’s huge wealth and friends in high places. This time, Drew has a secret weapon in two of the smartest operators on Wall Street. They were recently elected onto the Erie’s board of directors and are hatching a cunning plan to stop Vanderbilt from his hostile takeover of the company and make a killing in the process.
- Clark vs. Daly
Tuesday, September 8 at 10/9c
The battle for copper pits two of Montana’s larger-than-life titans, Marcus Daley and William Clark, against each other in a clash over the resource that will power America’s new age of electricity. In their quest to mine “the richest hill on earth,” a bitter rivalry grows, driven by greed, riddled with scandal, and capped off by corruption so great that it fuels the passage of an amendment to the United State Constitution. Daley and Clark are responsible for developing a billion dollar industry, expanding railroads, and wiring a modern world.
AMERICAN TITANS is produced by The Studio, formerly Discovery Studios, with Rob Kerr as executive producer. For American Heroes Channel, Max Culhane is executive producer, Sara Kozak is senior vice president of production, Kevin Bennett is general manager, and Henry Schleiff is Group President.
About American Heroes Channel
American Heroes Channel (AHC) is a network from Discovery Communications that tells timeless stories in which a challenge appears – be it a situation or a villain – and a hero arises. Currently in 60 million homes, AHC provides a rare glimpse into major events that shaped our world, visionary leaders and unexpected heroes who made a difference, and the great defenders of our freedom. For more information, please visit AHCtv.com, facebook.com/AHCtelevision, or Twitter.com/AHC_TV . American Heroes Channel is part of Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the world’s #1 pay-tv programmer reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.
Please visit the Press Website at http://press.discovery.com/us/ahc for additional press materials, online screeners, and photography.