Categories In Development/ Pre-Production News Print Media Spy Wars

Broadcasters Sign Up for A+E’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – Oct 11, 2019

Going Global

by Joseph O’Halloran | Rapid TV News | October 11, 2019  -and-
by Peter White | Deadline | October 11, 2019

As we head into the leading global content trade show and world’s entertainment market MIPCOM 2019 next week, A+E Networks and A+E Networks UK have signed a slew of top international broadcasters for its latest factual co-production, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.

Earlier this year we reported here that Spy Wars was heading to the Smithsonian Channel for US markets, a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute. And now it seems other broadcasters will be joining Smithsonian Channel’s lead. The docu-drama currently airing on History UK and Blaze in the UK will now be available in the following markets: Blue Ant (Canada); POP TV (Slovenia); Bilibil.com (China); TVNZ (New Zealand); Historia and Atresmedia (Spain). A+E Networks says that multiple other deals are in negotiation. No word yet when television viewing audiences in other countries will see Damian hit their small screens, but rumor has it early 2020 for US customers.

In the series, award-winning actor Damian Lewis unpacks some of the most thrilling covert missions in modern-day history with the help of new declassified information, high-profile experts, and intelligence officers who were there. The program ranges from the most notorious spy exchange of recent times to the fake film production that freed Americans during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis to in-depth profiles of the world’s most skilled and lethal double agents and has been described as James Bond meets every John le Carré thriller you’ve ever read.

Damian Lewis: Spy Wars is executive produced by Alaska TV’s Chris Fouracre, Ian Lamarra, and Paul Sommers in association with Lewis’ own recently launched Rookery Productions with brother Gareth Lewis.

Read the rest of the original article at Rapid TV News
Secondary Source: Deadline

Categories Print Media Spy Wars

Boarding School Creates a Mild Sociopathy That’s Helpful to the Life of Espionage – Oct 4, 2019

Damian Makes His First Documentary Spy Wars With His Brother

by Lisa Campbell | iNews | October 4, 2019

Few British actors have set foot inside Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Virginia, but as the star of the American spy thriller, Homeland, Damian Lewis was granted unprecedented access as part of his research.

While he jokes that his meeting with the director of the CIA, John Brennan, is “classified”, the story demonstrates his ability to get under the skin of characters through keen observation of the tiniest details. He describes the “incredibly poker-faced field operatives who had revealed only the smallest increments of expression and emotion, until Brennan walked in and the temperature in the room rose instantaneously.”

It’s an experience that stood him in good stead for his latest project, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars, which also marks his first foray into factual television.

The eight-part series – the first to come out of Lewis’ newly-launched Rookery Productions – airs on History from Monday in the UK and showcases the true stories and remarkable characters behind some of the most important international spy operations of recent years.

“I’ve done a lot of research over my career for Homeland and a movie I made, Our Kind of Traitor, and have read my John le Carre like everyone else. I enjoy the genre and thought it was an opportunity to look behind these popular stories and find out something a bit more intimate and personal about the people themselves, their decisions and the ramifications on global politics,” he says.

Continue reading Boarding School Creates a Mild Sociopathy That’s Helpful to the Life of Espionage – Oct 4, 2019

Categories Interviews Print Media Spy Wars

Spy Wars: TV Real Interview – Oct 3, 2019

Spies Next Door

by Mansha Daswani | TV Real, World Screen | October 3, 2019

Damian Lewis talks to TV Real about what appealed to him about the docudrama, which is being rolled out by A+E Networks.

Lewis already knew a fair bit about espionage before signing on to executive produce and present the A+E Networks U.K.-commissioned series Spy Wars. He did, after all, play an MI6 agent in Our Kind of Traitor, based on the John le Carre novel, and a U.S. prisoner of war who returns home and is hailed as a hero as he secretly plots a terrorist attach in Showtime’s Homeland. Damian Lewis: Spy Wars sees the British actor recounting notable stories of espionage from the last four decades, spanning from the Cold War all the way through to the contemporary war on terror. The eight-part series produced by Alaska TV in association with Lewis’s own Rookery Productions sees him speaking directly to camera and features expert interviews and dramatic reenactments.

TV REAL: Tell us about the genesis of Spy Wars. How did you come to be involved in the show?

LEWIS: My brother [executive producer Gareth Lewis] was already involved, he was going  to be directing parts of it. He said, Do you want to do this? I said, I don’t really do factual, I’m not a presenter. But I got sucked into these eight spy stories. I came on as a co-producer and tried to get to the bottom of what makes a man or woman do heroic or traitorous things on behalf of their country. That was it really. It came to me by invitation and my curiosity was tickled.

TV REAL: As you got into the details of these stories, what were some of the things that surprised you?

LEWIS: To be honest, a lot of what happens in the spy world is pretty unscientific. There’s still quite a lot of buccaneering and derring-do, if you like. It’s not risk-averse. It’s pro-risk, and often it can seem a bit chaotic, a bit ramshackle, and even at times a bit amateurish. Exotic words like “dead-drop” and “brush past” and things like that can simply be someone walking into a supermarket with the same plastic bag and putting it down and then each leaving with each other’s bag. It’s not exactly high-tech. While you’re looking for a slightly more sci-fi, James Bond aspect to these stories, they don’t exist. So the challenge for us was how to make the stories gripping and suspenseful. We tried to get into the minds of the individuals and what was at stake for them. What are the documents in that bag? What happens if that individual is caught? Why is the individual doing it? If the individual is a KGB officer and he’s caught, he’s going to be executed. If he’s a Western intelligence officer, he’s going to be imprisoned for life. We were trying to find out why these men and women are motivated to do these things. The motivation is often grubby and personal. It can be for simple revenge, a need to be heard, a need to belong to something, to be loved. People turn traitor for all these different reasons. So the surprise was constantly the grubbiness! And the desperation that’s there. And the extreme risk that these people are prepared to take in order to keep going.

Continue reading Spy Wars: TV Real Interview – Oct 3, 2019

Categories Helen Interviews Magazine Print Media Spy Wars

Radio Times Magazine Interview – Oct 2, 2019

Could the Next James Bond Be Ginger? The Famous Redhead Rules Himself Out

by Kristy Lang | Radio Times Magazine | Issue: October 5-11, 2019

In a five-star hotel suite high above the City of London, Damian Lewis and I have a ginger bonding moment. As a fellow redhead, I’ve long admired his rise through the acting world. Not many gingers get leading-man status, but after starring in series such as Band of Brothers, Homeland and Billions, Lewis is big in American.

We’re meeting to discuss his first venture into the world of documentaries, fronting and producing a series about spies on the History channel.

Lewis, now 48, was born in London but was sent to boarding school at a young age, which, he thinks, would make him a very good spy.

“If you are sent away from your family at the age of eight, it gives you a rigor, a dissociative quality that is extremely useful for spies because they have to be able to shut down parts of their emotional life. That’s why the British secret services actively recruited public schoolboys. Guy Burgess is the most extreme example of that. He was flamboyant, charming and mostly drunk – how he didn’t reveal what he was doing is a mystery to me.”

Continue reading Radio Times Magazine Interview – Oct 2, 2019

Categories Print Media Spy Wars

The Real Stories Behind Some of the World’s Most Intriguing Espionage Cases – Sept 27, 2019

Spy Wars: kNOw More Secrets

by Nicole Lampert | Weekend Magazine | September 27, 2019

Damian Lewis thinks he would probably make a good spy, partly because of his schooling. Some of Britain’s best known spies – and traitors – went to public school, and the Eton- educated actor isn’t surprised.

‘If you’re sent away from home at the age of eight and you’re asked to cope with that situation, I think there’s an instinctive compartmentalising of one’s emotional life,’ he says.

‘That’s very helpful to a covert life of espionage. It helps you develop a mild sociopathy, which is clearly what spies need to have. Often they’re living multiple lives, not just double ones.

‘I think I’d be a good spy, better than James Bond, who’s a rubbish spy,’ he adds, despite being one of the favourites to take over the role from Daniel Craig.

‘What’s brilliant about Bond is his recovery. Each movie is two hours of him getting himself out of a massive mistake he made quite early on.’

It’s little wonder he’s fascinated by spies. He won acclaim as soldier-turned-potential-terrorist Nick Brody in Homeland, and was cast as MI6 agent Hector in the film adaptation of John le Carré novel Our Kind Of Traitor.

But as outlandish as those stories were, they don’t compare to the twists and turns in the real spy dramas he explores in his first documentary series, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.

Continue reading The Real Stories Behind Some of the World’s Most Intriguing Espionage Cases – Sept 27, 2019

Categories Interviews Print Media Screenings Spy Wars

Damian Tells of His New Docudrama Series Spy Wars and His Take on Ian Fleming’s Hero – Sept 21, 2019

The World of Espionage: Traitor or Hero?

by Dalya Alberge | The Guardian | September 21, 2019

His award-winning performances have included the hit espionage drama series Homeland and he is among actors tipped to take over from Daniel Craig as James Bond. Now Damian Lewis has taken on his first role in a television docudrama about spies, whom he describes as “often quite grubby and banal”, a world away from the glamour of 007.

The Hollywood star presents and produces the eight-part show about some of the most significant espionage operations of the last 40 years. The series features undercover agents – some still identified only by their code names – who were persuaded to tell their stories for the first time.

“I find the different reasons for turning traitor or being a hero, depending on your view, are often quite grubby and banal. I’m interested [in] the motives of these spies. That’s the series we’ve tried to make,” Lewis said.

Continue reading Damian Tells of His New Docudrama Series Spy Wars and His Take on Ian Fleming’s Hero – Sept 21, 2019

Categories Appearances Interviews Print Media Screenings Spy Wars

Damian Lewis Looks at Real Life Spies in History’s New DocuDrama – Sept 12, 2019

From Our Kind of Traitor to Spy Wars

by Matthew Bell | Royal Television Society | September 12, 2019

Having played a fictional spy in the John le Carré adaptation Our Kind of Traitor and a turncoat in long-running US thriller Homeland, Damian Lewis has turned presenter for History’s new espionage series.

The actor was initially reluctant when his brother, Gareth ­­– one of the executive producers of Damian Lewis: Spy Wars – asked him to present. “I hadn’t done factual [before] and I don’t consider myself a presenter.

“But I enjoy the [spy] genre and I thought it was an opportunity to look behind these popular stories and see if we could unearth something a bit more intimate about the people themselves, and the ramifications on global politics of very personal decisions taken by individuals.”

Lewis was talking after a screening of an episode of Damian Lewis: Spy Wars at the British Museum in mid-September.

Continue reading Damian Lewis Looks at Real Life Spies in History’s New DocuDrama – Sept 12, 2019

Categories Appearances Events Screenings Spy Wars Video

Spy Wars Q&A Transcript Highlights and Video – Sept 11, 2019

The Spy Stories That Still Intrigue Us

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 11, 2019

Gareth Lewis second from left, Damian Lewis far right.

On Wednesday, September 11, 2019 The Royal Television Society hosted an exclusive sneak peek screening of History UK’s Damian Lewis: Spy Wars , followed by a Q&A, at the British Museum in London, England. Damian, along with his brother Gareth Lewis, Johanna Woolford Gibbon, Dan Korn, and more were present. Here is a highlight of the evening:

Damian Lewis: I wanted to get involved because I’ve been to Langley the CIA headquarters for Homeland…but I wanted to look at the personal intimate decisions people have made.

Johanna Woolford Gibbon: We wanted to speak to people who were in the room at the time and could give us that personal testimony to get into the mind of the spy.

Johanna Woolford Gibbon: We have Russian and French speaking specialists who gained the trust of people over months so we could get the testimonies.

Dan Korn: Having the small human stories has made this series what it is. It’s about getting to the story behind the story.

Gareth Lewis: We’re telling stories that go back 40 years and yet we’re still reading these kind of things today. How we’ve come to this point is mind boggling, that we’re still locked in this kind of conflict, it’s slightly worrying.

Continue reading Spy Wars Q&A Transcript Highlights and Video – Sept 11, 2019

Categories Premiere Screenings Spy Wars

Spy Wars Advanced Screening and Q&A – Aug 23, 2019

Damian Will Attend Exclusive Screening

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | August 23, 2019

Royal Television Society and A+E Networks UK have partnered for an exclusive advanced screening of the new ground-breaking docu-drama from HISTORY, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars on Wednesday September 11, 2019 in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre at the British Museum, located on Great Russell Street in London. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 7:00 p.m. start time.

Damian Lewis will be attending the screening along with the production team and key A+E Networks UK programme makers. Following the screening of the episode, there will be a Q&A with key creatives behind the series. Click here to book now!

The global premiere of Damian Lewis: Spy Wars will be on the HISTORY channel in the UK on Monday, October 7, 2019. The new UK series focuses on many of the most critical and remarkable espionage operations which defined intelligence warfare and reveals remarkable true stories. Click here for more information about the show.

Booking Details: Tickets for RTS members are free and non-member tickets are £10.  Tickets are non-refundable and must be booked in advance.

Source: Royal Television Society

Categories Spy Wars Trailer Video

Spy Wars Teaser Trailers, Air Dates, and Episode Titles/Descriptions – Aug 21, 2019

I Spy With My Little Eye…

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | August 21, 2019

UK’s History Channel has updated their website to indicate Damian Lewis: Spy Wars will air it’s first of eight episodes on Monday, October 7, 2019! The factual series will reveal the remarkable true stories behind some of the most gripping and important international spy operations of the last forty years. Packed full of espionage, surveillance, undercover work, and covert operations, the series brings forth these real events as well as the profound personal and geopolitical consequences for all involved. Utilizing innovative and highly stylized reconstructions, Spy Wars was shot on location in London, Moscow and Israel.

Be sure to visit our Gallery here for not only promo photos, but some behind the scenes photos as well!

Episode Titles/Plot Descriptions:

EPISODE 1: THE MAN WHO SAVED THE WORLD
This is the story of Oleg Gordievsky, one of the West’s most valuable Cold War agents who risked everything to avert a third World War. Appearing to be an ambitious diplomat stationed at the Soviet embassy in Denmark, Gordievsky was actually a Russian spy and a rising star of the KGB. After a few years in Copenhagen, he was recruited by the British and posted to London by the KGB. Whilst in London, President Reagan authorized the largest NATO war game in its history: Able Archer.

From the KGB’s station in London, Gordievsky passed key intelligence to the British which many believe single-handedly pulled the world back from the brink of nuclear annihilation before being summoned by the KGB to return to the USSR immediately. Uncertain if his cover had been blown, Gordievsky was accused of being an MI6 spy. Refusing to blow his cover, he set in motion his MI6 extraction plan, leaving behind his wife and children. It would take 6 years and the collapse of the Soviet Union before his family could flee Moscow to join him. In 2007, Gordievsky was appointed ‘Companion of the Most Distinguished Order’ for services to the security of the United Kingdom by the Queen. Monday 7th October at 9pm.

Continue reading Spy Wars Teaser Trailers, Air Dates, and Episode Titles/Descriptions – Aug 21, 2019

Categories In Development/ Pre-Production Print Media Spy Wars

Spy Wars Heading To Smithsonian Channel – May 20, 2019

 Showtime and Smithsonian Institute on the Brink of Closing a Deal For Spy Wars

by Peter White | Deadline | May 20, 2019

EXCLUSIVE: Damian Lewis’ spy documentary series is heading to the Smithsonian Channel. The network, which is a joint venture between CBS Corporation’s Showtime and the Smithsonian Institute, is on the brink of closing a deal for Damian Lewis: Spy Wars.

Deadline understands that top brass are keen to keep the British actor’s latest project in the CBS Corp family. It comes after Lewis’ Billions was renewed by Showtime for a fifth season following strong numbers for the financial thriller.

The series, which is the Homeland star’s first foray into factual television, is an eight-part documentary series about spies that was originally commission by A+E Networks’ UK network History. The docu-drama will tell the true stories behind some of the most important international spy operations of the last forty years.

Continue reading Spy Wars Heading To Smithsonian Channel – May 20, 2019

Categories In Development/ Pre-Production Print Media Spy Wars

First Look at ‘Damian Lewis: Spy Wars’ – April 25, 2019

International Spy Stories 

by Tess Lamacraft | What’s On TV | April 25, 2019

Actor Damian Lewis will be delving into some of the most fascinating international spy stories for his new docu-drama series.

Here’s the first sneak peek of Homeland actor Damian Lewis looking very suave in an exclusive new batch of shots taken for his brand new docu-drama, Damian Lewis: Spy Wars set to air this autumn on A+E Networks / History Channel.

The new eight-part series for the History channel, sees the Hollywood star delve into the remarkable true stories of some of the most gripping international spy operations that have taken place over the last forty years, from the Cold War to the War on Terror.

Shot on location in London, Israel and Moscow and packed full of espionage, surveillance and undercover operations, the series will use innovative reconstructions to lift the lid on the spy stories and features Damian, meeting and talking to former spooks from MI6, the CIA, KGB and Mossad.

It will be the first foray into documentaries, for the 48-year old actor who not only fronts the series but is also a producer on it.

The series is a co-production of A + E Netwoks UK. VP of Programming Dan Korn said: “We’re thrilled to have Damian Lewis on History for his first foray into factual television and with the ramping up of intelligence activities on all sides, and renewed tensions between East and West, there can be no better time to explore some of the most iconic spy operations of recent years.”

Read the rest of the original article at What’s On TV