NEW YORK, AUGUST 13, 2013 -- Smithsonian Channel is set to premiere CIVIL WAR 360, a powerfully moving three-part documentary miniseries that explores one of the most divisive eras in American history from multiple perspectives. Celebrity hosts Ashley Judd (“The Union”), Trace Adkins (“The Confederacy”), and Dennis Haysbert (“Fight For Freedom”) each helm an hour-long program that takes viewers back to a time when their ancestors – and those of many viewers -- were involved in the conflict. Through exploration of iconic and often poignant Smithsonian artifacts, the hosts gain insight into their own family’s experiences and uncover new dimensions of our nation’s history. The series debuts on Smithsonian Channel on consecutive Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT, beginning October 27, 2013.

CIVIL WAR 360 will be broadcast as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War (1861-1865), which includes an array of exhibitions, public programs and websites offered through the middle of 2015

“The Civil War is one of the key turning points in American history, one that still resonates today on both a national and also a very personal level,” said David Royle, Executive Vice President, Programming and Production, Smithsonian Channel. “We are delighted that such talented actors and performers agreed to share not only their fascination, but also their personal links with this traumatic passage in this nation’s life.”


CIVIL WAR 360: The Union
Hosted by Ashley Judd – Premieres Sunday, October 27 at 8PM ET/PT
We all know who won the Civil War. But 150 years ago, a Union victory was anything but guaranteed. Acclaimed actress Ashley Judd seeks to understand the experiences of two of her great-great-great grandfathers, both Union soldiers from Kentucky. In the program Judd remarks: “I hope it inspires people to take a look at their own family history, and learn the interesting stories that can help enlighten them as well as move their hearts.”  Judd is visibly moved when she examines field surgical instruments, a Union private’s letter home about life in Kentucky, and battered dishes from Libby Prison - all providing glimpses of daily life during the grinding war.


CIVIL WAR 360: The Confederacy
Hosted by Trace Adkins – Premieres Sunday, November 3 at 8PM ET/PT
Hosted by award-winning country music star Trace Adkins, this program begins back in 1861, when the South made the radical decision to leave the Union and form a new nation.  While honoring the experiences of everyday soldiers like his great-great grandfather, a Confederate infantryman from Louisiana, Adkins explores music, art, and firearm collections at the Smithsonian Institution. Said Adkins: “I’ve had a real personal connection with the Civil War ever since I was a kid. This is our last best chance to raise awareness. The battlefields, the guns, the pikes, the uniforms and flags – all these things are all that we have left from that pivotal period in this nation’s history.  They should be treated as treasures, and we should try to preserve them and save them for future generations. Because it’s impossible to know who you are if you don’t know your history, or where you’ve come from, or what you’ve done.”


CIVIL WAR 360: Fight for Freedom
Hosted by Dennis Haysbert – Premieres Sunday, November 10 at 8PM ET/PT
In some ways, the story that acclaimed actor Dennis Haysbert tells is perhaps the least known of all, but it is an agonizing and heroic account of a great struggle for freedom. Haysbert experiences painful reminders of this struggle firsthand as he encounters Smithsonian treasures: a ship’s manifest listing a cargo of slaves, the inkwell Lincoln used to write the Emancipation Proclamation, and a hymnal owned by Harriet Tubman.  As Haysbert traces his ancestry back to enslaved people in America’s deep South, we are transported back to the brutal and complicated time when those with the most to gain also had the most to lose.  For Haysbert the lesser known stories, especially of individual courage, are the most inspiring, “So many people stood up and fought together to make this country a free country. It just gave me a different perspective on what our country is about and what we can be.”


An eighth generation Eastern Kentuckian, Ashley Judd first proved her acting abilities in her debut feature film role as ‘Ruby Lee Gissing’ in Victor Nunez's  internationally acclaimed "Ruby In Paradise."  Having won major acting awards worldwide, Judd has demonstrated her range in a variety of genres and is a proven box office draw.

Most recently Judd appeared in "Olympus Has Fallen" for Film District. She is currently filming "Divergent," a Summit film based on the best-selling children's novel by Veronica Roth. The film also stars Shailene Woodley and Kate Winslet and will be in theaters in March 2014.

Judd is also on the board of directors for PSI (Population Services International). Judd joined PSI as board member in 2004 after serving as Global Ambassador for PSI’s HIV education and prevention program, YouthAIDS since 2002.  Judd has visited PSI programs in Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar, Kenya, South Africa, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, India, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. In her work, she witnesses the lives of the exploited and poor to help educated the world about the reality of global poverty and bring solutions to the devastating effects of social injustice and gender inequality.   


Trace Adkins’ trademark baritone has turned albums into Platinum plaques, with over 10 million albums sold, cumulatively since his debut release in 1995. The Grand Ole Opry member has an extensive hit list that includes “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” “You're Gonna Miss This,” “Ladies Love Country Boys,” “Songs About Me,” “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk ,” “I Left Something Turned On At Home,” “Every Light In The House,” “Hillbilly Bone (Blake Shelton and Trace Adkins),” “Hot Mama,” “I'm Tryin',” “Just Fishin’,” “Then They Do,” “Chrome,” and “More.”  Most recently, his eleventh studio album, Love Will… was released on May 14, 2013 on Show Dog-Universal Music. Adkins is a television personality whose integrity and wry humor served him well on NBC’s All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, which he won in May 2013, raising over $1.5 million for the American Red Cross. In 2012, he created and hosted GAC’s “Great American Heroes,” series honoring great deeds by every-day Americans and, for the past three consecutive years, he has hosted FOX’s American Country Awards.

He is a spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program, the American Red Cross and has performed seven USO Tours. He was humbled to serve as Honorary Grand Marshall in the 2013 Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC. As an actor, Trace has played a tough as nails biker in The Lincoln Lawyer (starring Matthew McConaughey) and as an author, the 6'6" oil-rigger recounted his rise to fame, brushes with death and battles with personal demons in his 2007 autobiography, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck. 


Dennis Haysbert captured the attention of audiences and critics alike with his groundbreaking role as President David Palmer on FOX’s hit series “24,” for which he received his first Golden Globe nomination. He returned to television to star in the CBS series “The Unit,” which premiered with record-breaking ratings.

Haysbert just wrapped production on Dimension’s “Sin City” in which he stars as Manute. Haysbert was most recently seen in Indomina’s indie drama “LUV,” Weinstein Co’s dark comedy “The Details” and Disney’s animated feature “Wreck-It Ralph.” His film credits include Universal’s “Breach” and “Jarhead,” New Line Cinema’s “Love and Basketball,” Warner Bros., “Absolute Power,” Orion Production’s “Love Field,” Paramount’s “Major League”, Warner Bros., “Heat,” Columbia Pictures’ “Random Hearts,” Trimark Picture’s “What’s Cooking,” Fox’s “Waiting to Exhale,” Columbia Pictures and Sony Production’s “The Thirteenth Floor,” Orion Picture’s “Navy Seals,” Alfa Omega’s “Suture,” and Dream Works’ “Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas.” Haysbert also appeared on the small screen in the critically acclaimed CBS production “Now and Again.”

Haysbert is a third-party advocate for Allstate Insurance Co. and has appeared in commercials for the company since 2003.

Born and raised in Northern California, Haysbert began acting with a television role on an episode of the Emmy-winning “Lou Grant.”

He is active in the fight against AIDS and in 2000 was spokesperson for the Harlem Health Expo “Break the Silence” and The Western Center on Law and Poverty. He has done many USO tours, most recently in Italy, Germany, Southwest Asia, Afghanistan and aboard a Naval Ship. 

The Biscuit Factory is producing Civil War 360 with Smithsonian Channel. Executive Producers for Smithsonian Channel are Linda Goldman and David Royle. Executive Producer for The Biscuit Factory is Molly Hermann.



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