Interview with Morgan Freeman, James Younger and Geoffrey Sharp of “History’s Greatest Escapes with Morgan Freeman” on The History Channel by Suzanne 8/17/21
It was truly great to speak with such an esteemed actor as Morgan Freeman. This sounds like a very interesting show about historical prison escapes. Morgan is one of the producers, as well as the narrator of the series. This was for the Fall TCA panel, so I was very grateful that I was able to ask two questions.
I asked them if there were any stories they weren’t able to tell, and they said that some they had to skip for logistical reasons, but they might be able to do them for season two. They had also tracked down one guy, Nuno Pontes, who had escaped from the former Western Penititentiary, who had agreed to do the show, but then he didn’t want his mother to see him on TV because he was an ex-con and he was embarrassed (so they had to do the show without showing his face).
Then I asked Morgan Freeman whom he thought would have made a good replacement for him, if he had been unable to host the show. After joking that I was going to get him in trouble, he answered that Jeremy Irons would have been his choice because “he has a magnificent voice, and he’s a great actor.” As a fan of the “Batman” movies, that answer made me very happy! Make sure you check out this fabulous series.
A+E NETWORKS CTAM PRESS TOUR SUMMER 2021
History Channel Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman
Morgan Freeman, Host and Executive Producer
James Younger, Executive Producer, Revelations Entertainment
Geoffrey Sharp, Executive Producer, Revelations Entertainment
2021 Virtual Tour Los Angeles, CA August 17, 2021
© 2021 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman: Unveiling the Art of Prison Breaks
Los Angeles, CA, August 17, 2021 – The History Channel has taken a unique turn in its storytelling approach by partnering with the iconic Morgan Freeman and his production company, Revelations Entertainment, to bring viewers “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman.” This eight-episode nonfiction series delves into the intriguing world of some of history’s most daring prison escapes, revealing the untold stories behind the notorious breakouts.
During the A+E Networks CTAM Press Tour in the summer of 2021, Morgan Freeman, host and executive producer of the show, along with executive producers James Younger and Geoffrey Sharp, shared insights into their groundbreaking project.
The History Channel, known for its exceptional documentaries and nonfiction series, has consistently explored various aspects of history. Eli Lehrer, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for the channel, highlighted their dedication to bringing history to life through storytelling. In 2020, their presidential megadocs “Grant” and “Washington” achieved remarkable success, with “Grant” becoming the most-watched nonfiction miniseries in history. Now, they are gearing up to release two new presidential megadocs, “Lincoln” and “Theodore Roosevelt,” in collaboration with acclaimed historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
However, the channel’s interest in history doesn’t stop at political leaders. They also commemorate events like September 11th by providing unique perspectives through documentaries that include government insiders, first responders, survivors, and victims’ families. To mark the 20th anniversary of the tragic day, History Channel will air seven powerful documentaries, shedding light on the various aspects of that fateful day.
The highlight of the CTAM Press Tour was the introduction of “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman.” This series goes beyond the headlines and explores the fascinating stories of individuals who executed some of history’s most daring prison breaks. Morgan Freeman’s involvement in the show sparked comparisons to his iconic film “The Shawshank Redemption,” but Freeman was quick to distinguish between fiction and reality, emphasizing his ability to separate the two.
“Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman” showcases real-life stories of ingenious escapes from notorious prisons worldwide, including Alcatraz, Dannemora, Clinton, and Cummings. These stories of resourcefulness, ingenuity, and determination exemplify the lengths to which some prisoners will go to regain their freedom.
One of the standout stories is “The Great Escape” from World War II, where allied airmen managed to escape a German POW camp. In this case, their escape was successful, but in most instances, escapees are either recaptured or meet unfortunate fates.
The producers emphasized the meticulous research involved in bringing these stories to life. They interviewed guards, prison officials, historians, and even some of the escapees themselves. Some stories were based on documents created after the escapes to analyze how they happened.
During the Q&A session, Morgan Freeman and the executive producers shared their fascination with these escape stories. They highlighted the human ingenuity and resourcefulness that drives prisoners to attempt escapes, even if it means years of planning and execution.
The panel also discussed the significance of history and the untold stories that still exist. “Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman” aims to shed light on these lesser-known aspects of history, making viewers realize that history is often hidden in plain sight, waiting to be uncovered.
While the series tells these remarkable stories, it doesn’t shy away from acknowledging that some details may remain unknown or disputed. The focus is on presenting the adventures and the human spirit behind these audacious prison escapes, leaving viewers both fascinated and inspired.
“Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman” promises to take viewers on an exhilarating journey through history’s most incredible prison breaks, reminding us that the human desire for freedom knows no bounds. With its premiere, it will undoubtedly captivate audiences and continue the History Channel’s tradition of delivering compelling and factual storytelling.
About the Show
Great Escapes with Morgan Freeman is an eight-part series from The HISTORY® Channel hosted and executive produced by Morgan Freeman. The five-time Academy Award nominee and one-time Academy Award-winning actor has appeared in hundreds of films and television roles. One of his most famous and beloved performances was in Shawshank Redemption, a film focusing on the exploits of a group of inmates inside the fictional Shawshank State Penitentiary.
In the series, Morgan will explore real-life prison breaks that have captured the attention of the public. It’s an up close and personal view of what the prisoners are faced with in executing their break outs. Famous escapes from Alcatraz, Dannemora, Pittsburgh State Penitentiary and other locations are recreated with actors playing KEY roles and interviews from some of the prisoners themselves, their families, their cell mates and from the guards and prison employees that tried to prevent the escapes. Along with the interviews and recreations, the series will utilizeS new software technology called Unreal Engine to recreate—with great verisimilitude—the prisons themselves.
Proofread and Edited by Brenda