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Discovery plots a new 'North and South' miniseries
John Jakes books were the basis for a smash 1985 mini and two sequels
For a whole generation of TV viewers, ABC's "North and South" remains a pinnacle of the miniseries format. With the miniseries coming back into vogue, it's no surprise that a network is bringing back the Civil War saga.
Discovery Channel announced on Thursday (August 22) that it will partner with Lionsgate on "North and South," which will once again be based on the trio of novels by John Jakes.
Jakes will serve as an executive producer on the project, which is only in development currently, meaning that the Discovery release doesn't include information on writers, directors or cast.
"North and South" will continue to focus on a pair of families starting in Antebellum America -- the Northern Hazard family and the Southern Main family. The main characters, George Hazard and Orry Main, meet at West Point and, with war looming, you can pretty much guess where things are going.
You may recall that FOX is developing the somewhat similar "Blood Brothers," focusing on the soon-to-be-divided West Point Class of 1861, as an event series from writer Bruce McKenna.
ABC's "North and South" premiered in 1985 and starred Patrick Swayze as Orry Main and James Read as George Hazard. The miniseries also featured Elizabeth Taylor, Kirstie Alley, Jonathan Frakes, Robert Mitchum, Gene Kelly, David Carradine, Hal Holbrook, Robert Guillaume, Morgan Fairchild and Johnny Cash. One of the most successful miniseries of all-time, "North and South" was followed by sequels in 1986 and 1994.