The HISTORY Channel Unpacks 'FDR' in Latest Documentary Series

The HISTORY Channel's FDR

Just in time for Memorial Day, The HISTORY Channel is set to premiere the fifth installment in its premium presidential miniseries, "FDR," which delves into the life and leadership of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The three-night documentary event comes after the network's popular documentaries last year, "Abraham Lincoln" and "Theodore Roosevelt." Like these previous documentary events, "FDR" is based on the New York Times bestseller, "Leadership in Turbulent Times," by renowned historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

A Storytelling Project About the Nation's Leaders

In 2020, The HISTORY Channel set out to make the network, "the premier destination for presidential documentary event series," as Eli Lehrer, executive vice president and head of programming, explained last year at the TV Critics Association press tour. "These are projects that tell the definitive and often complex stories of our most influential leaders through the voices of the leading experts on the subject."

In partnership with Goodwin, Bradley Cooper's Lea Pictures and RadicalMedia and in association with GroupM Motion Entertainment, "FDR" seeks to build on The HISTORY Channel's goal to explore the backstories of former American presidents, historical moments they influenced, the challenges they faced, and the inner battles they fought.

Production Techniques

"FDR" is told through dramatic narrative sequences, insightful expert interviews and contemporary scholarship, dynamic archival footage, and never-before-seen documents to explore how Roosevelt's personal battle with polio prepared him to lead the United States through the Great Depression and World War II. The miniseries also portrays his early political career and marriage to Eleanor Roosevelt and chronicles pivotal historical moments, including his partnership with UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

Why It's Important to Tell FDR's Story

"It's been a dream of mine to tell the story of Franklin and Eleanor in this way, so audiences can truly know them and understand how they inspired and improved our country with a 'new deal' that forever altered the way in which the federal government contributed to the health and wellbeing of its people," said Goodwin.

Lehrer also highlighted the significance of FDR's presidency during one of the most challenging periods for America and the world: "FDR's presidency took place during one of the most disastrous times in world history and this miniseries will chronicle every aspect of those moments from the panic that came at the height of the Great Depression to the terror on the morning of December 7, 1941–moments when our democracy was on the verge of collapse."

By showcasing Roosevelt's leadership during times of crisis, the miniseries aims to shed light on how his resilience and vision shaped the nation's history.

“FDR" premieres on The HISTORY Channel on May 29.