Wyatt Earp premiere features commentary from actor Kurt Russell (Tombstone); Wild Bill Hickok played by Walt Willey (All My Children) and features commentary by David Milch (creator of Deadwood)
(Silver Spring, MD) Throughout the 19th century, the territory west of the Mississippi was a rough place, crawling with outcasts, murderers, thieves and bounty hunters. Across this lawless landscape, a few brave men protected the innocent from an endless stream of gun-wielding outlaws. In the thrilling six-part historical docudrama series GUNSLINGERS, American Heroes Channel immerses viewers in the true stories behind infamous icons and legendary conflicts of the Wild West. Captivating in its cinematic storytelling, GUNSLINGERS exposes the real, often little-known adventures of the Wild West’s iconic characters, and how their fearless pursuit of freedom and profit still resonate in America today. From unlawful lawman Wyatt Earp, teenage vagabond Billy the Kid, scorned rebel Jesse James, Yankee sharpshooter Wild Bill Hickok, dangerous psychopath John Wesley Hardin and war veteran-turned-assassin Tom Horn, GUNSLINGERS tips its cowboy hat to those who became icons in a wild, wild world. Juxtaposed with vivid reenactments, expert commentary is layered throughout each episode to ensure the authenticity and historical accuracy of each story. Contributors include: David Milch, the creator of Deadwood; Bob Boze Bell, the executive editor of True West Magazine; and actor Kurt Russell, who portrayed his favorite western icon, Wyatt Earp, in the classic film Tombstone. The Wild West kicks the dust off its heels with these stories of courage, survival and good versus evil when American Heroes Channel premieres GUNSLINGERS on Sunday, July 20 at 10/9c.
“GUNSLINGERS captures all the edge-of-your-seat drama of a classic Hollywood Western, but layers in all of the true facts from these legends that echo throughout history,” said Kevin Bennett, General Manager, American Heroes Channel. “American Heroes Channel is proud to bring viewers a very different style of documentary series – told from the unique P.O.V. of the icons themselves – to bring new life to the timeless frontier sagas that continue to captivate audiences.”
Many of the names of lore sound familiar, but much of what we accept as fact is based more on legend than truth. Each episode of GUNSLINGERSoffers a thrilling, heart-pounding ride alongside an infamous lawman or outlaw as he navigates his way through a series of pivotal showdowns in a volatile place and time, when death could be lurking around any corner. GUNSLINGERS premieres on Sunday, July 20 at 10/9c with the story of Wyatt Earp. Complete episode guide, including notable commentary, for the six-part series includes:
Wyatt Earp: The Tombstone Vendetta
World Premiere: Sunday, July 20 at 10/9c
Tombstone was one of the Wild West’s most infamous settlements. The town’s powder keg of competing interests explodes, culminating in the legendary gunfight at the O.K. Corral. When the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday confront a group of cowboys demanding they surrendertheir arms, the cowboys opt to usethem instead… and three of them wind up dead. But the gunfight is just the beginning of the story. In its wake, Wyatt’s two beloved brothers are shot down, prompting him and Doc to go on a “ride of revenge.” This is the true story of Wyatt Earp: the town-taming marshal who sacrificed everything to bring his own kind of justice and order to the American West. Featured interviewee: Kurt Russell, actor, portrayed Wyatt Earp in Tombstone
Billy the Kid: The Phantom of Lincoln County
World Premiere: Sunday, July 27 at 10/9c
No other gunslinger better embodies the wild spirit of the American frontier than Billy the Kid. His legend lives on in countless books, movies, and TV shows. He’s one of the most famous heroes of the Old West, yet his real name remains unknown. But by the time of his death at the age of 21, everyone in the country had heard of “The Kid.” In a world where men on both sides of the law used violence as a means to an end, Bill the Kid learned to survive with his finger on the trigger – until the day he wound up on the wrong side of one. Featured interviewee: Kirk Ellis, screenwriter of Hell on Wheels and Into the West
Jesse James: The South’s Last Rebel
World Premiere: Sunday, August 3 at 10/9c
After the Civil War, the West was rapidly expanding-telegraphs, railroads, newspapers, factories. Life is moving too fast for lawmen to catch up, creating gaps between security and savagery. Jesse James quickly exploits these gaps, boldly robbing unprotected banks and trains across the Midwest. By the time his reign of terror is complete, he has killed an estimated 17 people in the course of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Still, the people love him for it. He is seen by many as a modern day Robin Hood – a Southern gentleman avenging the efforts of Northern businessmen. His gang is young, hungry, angry and in the wake of their own brutal war experience, which has left them with some serious scores to settle. Featured interviewee: Ron Hansen, author of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, subsequently adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt
Wild Bill Hickok: Marksman… and Marked Man
World Premiere: Sunday, August 10 at 10/9c
He’s the face of the Old West – dashing, daring and deadly. James Butler Hickok was the most famous sharpshooter of his era, always eager to tell his story, whether true or not. As his tales “went viral” in the newspapers of the day, Wild Bill played every adventurous role one could find on the frontier: Indian fighter, gambler, lawman, prospector, and scout – always spinning more tales for an America clamoring for heroes. It all proved too good to be true when ultimately, his legend became a fatal burden. Wild Bill is played by All My Children star Walt Willey. Featured interviewee: David Milch, creator of Deadwood
John Wesley Hardin: The Dark Heart of Texas
World Premiere: Sunday, August 17 at 10/9c
The Old West had no shortage of gun-toting outlaws willing to use violence to solve their problems. But when it comes to unbridled homicidal mayhem, none quite match John Wesley Hardin. Drifting along with the great cattle drives between Texas and Kansas, Hardin quickly became famous – and feared – for his readiness to settle quarrels with his gun. By his early 20s, Hardin had killed dozens of men, most with a single shot to the head or heart. When his hair-trigger temper leads to the murder of a sheriff’s deputy, Hardin is forced out of his native Texas,and left trying to stay one step ahead of the biggest manhunt the U.S. had ever seen. Featured interviewee: Bob Boze Bell, executive editor of True West Magazine
Tom Horn: Grim Reaper of the Rockies
World Premiere: Sunday, August 24 at 10/9c
When the cattle barons of the Rockies wanted to eliminate homesteaders encroaching on their grazing land, Tom Horn was their deadly solution. Trained as a scout and sharpshooter during the bloody Apache Wars with Geronimo in the 1880s, Horn was as skilled a man hunter as they came. But he was also a heartless killer who took a psychopathic pleasure in watching men die. He would leave one warning, and if it wasn’t heeded, he would shoot to kill, never leaving a trace. Horn was the most effective assassin in the business until ultimately, his twin weaknesses – pride and alcohol, put him in the crosshairs of the law. Featured interviewee: Paul Hutton, renowned Western historian, commentator and film consultant
GUNSLINGERS is produced for American Heroes Channel by Castle Pictures, Inc. For Castle Pictures,
Chris Cassel is executive producer. For American Heroes Channel, Max Culhane is executive producer, Sara Kozak is SVP of production, and Kevin Bennett is General Manager. Henry Schleiff is Group President, Investigation Discovery, Destination America, American Heroes Channel, and Discovery Fit & Health.
About American Heroes Channel
American Heroes Channel (AHC) is a network from Discovery Communications that tells the stories of people who stand as REAL HEROES: timeless stories of the bold men and women who have distinguished themselves by their actions both on and off the battlefield. Currently in 62 million homes, AHC provides a rare and intimate glimpse into how the actions of these great defenders of our freedom, visionary leaders and unexpected heroes have shaped the modern world. 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 nonfiction media company reaching more than 2 billion cumulative subscribers in 220 countries and territories.
Please visit the AHC Press Website at http://press.discovery.com/us/ahc/
for additional press materials, online screeners, and photography.