History Channel Heads West With New Texas Series, Shot in Classic CinemaScope

Starring Bill Paxton, miniseries will even debut in theaters

Following the success of Hatfields & McCoys, History has another Western miniseries premiering on Memorial Day, this time focusing on the Texas Revolution and rise of the Texas Rangers.

"Everyone knows the Alamo fell, but they don't know what happened after that," Texas Rising star Bill Paxton said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. "It changed the course of American history, this battle."

Back in 2012, History had a huge hit with its Memorial Day miniseries on infamous rival clans the Hatfields & McCoys, which at the time was the No. 1 entertainment telecast of all time on ad-supported entertainment cable (its finale drew 14.3 million viewers, including 6.3 million in the 25-54 demo and 5.1 million in 18-49).

Now the network is hoping to replicate or even top that success with Texas Rising, and it's making a little history of its own in the process.

The miniseries is being filmed in CinemaScope (with its 2.35:1 shooting ratio), a first for a television program. "When you watch it at home, it will be as if you're watching one of the great classic Westerns," said executive producer Leslie Greif. "We made a film that's just airing on television."

Well actually, it won't just be airing on TV: History has made a deal with cinema distributor Fathom Events to air a sneak preview of the first night's episode in Regal, AMC and Cinemark theaters in much the same way big episodes of Doctor Who get pushed out to participating movie houses.

So, to recap: if you want to see a new movie like The Interview, turn on your TV. If you want to see the premiere of Texas Rising, go to a movie theater.