History to debut ‘Texas Rising’ in theaters

DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — The History Network said Friday that it plans to premiere its miniseries “Texas Rising” in theaters before it begins on television over the Memorial Day weekend.

Details are still being worked out, but the idea is to show the first episode of the series in about 900 theaters the week before the television premiere, said the network’s general manager, Dirg Hoogstra. Theatregoers will also be able to see red carpet activity from the official premiere site, expected in San Antonio.

The historical fiction miniseries, set to run for eight hours and possibly more, is History’s attempt to echo “Hatfields & McCoys,” the miniseries that was an unexpected huge hit for the network in May 2012. Leslie Greif, executive producer of “Hatfields & McCoys,” is also behind “Texas Rising.”

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History hopes to draw further attention to the series through the theater premiere, Hoogstra said. Trailers promoting the series are already running in theaters.

“We made a film,” Greif said. “It’s just airing on television.”

The shoot-’em-up series uses the battle of the Alamo as a takeoff point for a story about the formation of the Republic of Texas. “We’ve all seen the Alamo, everyone knows the story, but not many people know what happened afterward,” Greif said.

Ray Liotta, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Olivia Martinez are among the stars. Texan Bill Paxton plays Sam Houston, and he recalled Friday how his father took him to visit the Alamo as a youngster.

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“It’s amazing to think that I would be in a saga about the birth of Texas,” he said.

The miniseries was filmed in Mexico, requiring producers to rebuild the Alamo on a television set on the soil of the country that fought Texas nearly two centuries ago.