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Exclusive: Hatfields & McCoys producer preps new project, Texas Rising

The producer of Hatfields & McCoys is following up the huge success of History’s Kevin Costner-fronted miniseries with a new full-length western series.  

Leslie Greif, chief executive of Thinkfactory Media, told TBI that it is developing Texas Rising for the US cable network.

Hatfields & McCoys debuted last week on History; its first episode drew 13.9 million viewers, the second episode recorded 13.8 million and the finale averaged 14.3 million viewers, making it the most watched non-sports series ever on US cable.

The series, which is distributed internationally by Sony Pictures Television, tells the story of the feuding families from the 19th Century and stars Costner and Bill Paxton. It is History’s first ever scripted series.

“Honestly, it’s hard to process the numbers. I always believed people wanted to watch epic stories; networks around the world shouldn’t be afraid to make epic programming,” said Greif.

However, he added that there would unlikely be a full series or prequel of the ratings smash. “There’s no season two. We’re not doing the early years,” he said.

Greif, who co-created CBS’ long running series Walker, Texas Ranger with Paul Haggis, is hoping for similar success with his next project Texas Rising, which focuses on the Texas Rangers, one of the oldest enforcement agencies in the country. “We’re hoping to do a miniseries with potential to do a long-running series. We’re talking to History now,” he said. “I’ve got a closet full of ideas and I’m dusting them off now.”