National Geographic is now trying to break into the scripted-series game after its first scripted TV movie, Killing Jesus, smashed ratings records for the network. Deadline reports that Nat Geo has greenlit its first scripted miniseries under the working title Saints And Strangers. Set to air this fall, Saints And Strangers will tell the heretofore woefully undertold tale of all those white people who came to America on the Mayflower. Yep, that’s right: It’s a miniseries about pilgrims. According to National Geographic Channels CEO Courteney Monroe, it’s “the ultimate story of adventure and exploration.”
In addition to looking at the inner struggles of the pilgrims, the series will also examine their relationship with Native Americans. But based on early descriptions of the series, it doesn’t look like Saints And Strangers will dig very deep on that front, instead focusing on the divide between the spiritual and the mercenary motivations of the pilgrims and the lasting impact of the pilgrims on America. (Like…colonialism?) Little Engine Productions’ Grant Scharbo and Gina Matthews add that the series “is about exploring human endeavor, creating powerful emotional connections, giving this historical event a little bit of heart,” indicating that some sugarcoating will definitely be going down.
The four-hour miniseries was written by Eric Overmyer and Seth Fisher. Both are from the team behind Nat Geo’s TV movie franchise based on Bill O’Reilly’s books Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy. and Killing Jesus.