2016
Bryan Cranston
plays President Lyndon B. Johnson in All The Way, directed by Emmy Award-winning Jay Roach. The stage-to-tv adaptation is produced for HBO by Amblin Television, Tale Told Productions and Moon Shot Entertainment, with Steven Spielberg, Darryl Frank & Justin Falvey, Robert Schenkkan and Bryan Cranston executive producing.

All the Way is based on Robert Schenkkan’s play of the same name and follows Johnson’s ascension to the presidency following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It depicts his efforts to maneuver members of the 88th United States Congress to enact, and civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr. to support, the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Anthony Mackie co-stars as Martin Luther King Jr. Also starring are Melissa Leo as Lady Bird Johnson and Bradley Whitford as Hubert Humphrey.

For his portrayal of Lyndon B. Johnson, Bryan Cranston has won a Tony Award in 2014. He has been nominated for an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in Trumbo (2015) which was also directed by Jay Roach. Cranston is best-known for his roles as “Walter White” on the AMC drama series, Breaking Bad (2008), for which he has won four consecutive Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmy Awards.

According to Variety, Cranston didn’t hesitate when the offer to adapt All the Way came in from HBO because the lesson of the play, about the moral and political courage it took Johnson to push forward on the Civil Rights Act in 1964, was so vital: “We could now reach millions more and tell this important story by way of HBO.”

2013
Steven Spielberg announces Napoleon
to be made for TV, based on Stanley Kubrick’s original screenplay from 1961, and in conjunction with Kubrick’s family.

Spielberg – an admirer of the late director – is in early talks with HBO to acquire the Spielberg-produced miniseries centering on the infamous French leader, with Baz Luhrman attached as a potential director.

Since the announcement, no deal has been made and the project seems to be on hold. 

Update: In 2016, Cary Fukunaga is announced as a potential director.

Incidentally, Spielberg’s The Terminal (2004) contains a scene in which Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) buys the book “Napoléon Bonaparte” by Alan Schom and passionately discusses Napoléon’s fate with Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks).

2010
The Pacific
, a 10-episodes miniseries, is produced by Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Gary Goetzman in association with HBO Miniseries, Playtone, DreamWorks, Seven Network and Sky Movies

A companion piece to the 2001 miniseries Band of Brothers, it focuses on the US Marine Corps’ actions in the Pacific Theater of Operations within the wider Pacific War and follows three Marines who are all in different regiments of the 1st Marine Division.

Originally the project is estimated at $100 million to produce, but ends up with a budget of over $200 million, making The Pacific the most expensive television miniseries ever created by any network. Filming takes place in Australia between 10 August 2007 and May 2008. The series’ score is composed by Hans Zimmer, Geoff Zanelli and Blake Neely.

The Pacific is very well received by critics, with Time magazine’s James Poniewozik naming it one of the Top 10 TV Series of 2010. It is nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Best Miniseries or Television Film.

2001
Band of Brothers
: Based on the bestseller by Stephen E. Ambrose, the epic 10-part HBO miniseries tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. Drawn from interviews with survivors of Easy Company, as well as soldiers’ journals and letters, Band of Brothers chronicles the experiences of these men. 

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, who first collaborated on Saving Private Ryan (1998), serve as executive producers.The unsentimental, near-documentary Band of Brothers is created with meticulous attention to detail and brought to life by a carefully chosen team of producers, directors and actors. 

The cast includes Scott Grimes, Matthew Leitch, Damian Lewis, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fassbender, Frank John Hughes, Tom Hardy, Simon Pegg, Jimmy Fallon, James McAvoy, and Tom Hanks.

Among the directors are: Tom Hanks, David Frankel, Mikael Salomon, and Richard Loncraine.

At a budget of $125 million, it is the most expensive television miniseries made by HBO or any other television network at the time.

Band of Brothers premieres on September 9, 2001, drawing 10 million viewers. Two days later, the September 11 attacks occur, and HBO immediately ceases its marketing campaign. Nevertheless, Band of Brothers does well compared with other HBO original programs. 

The series is well-received by audiences and critics and wins the 2001 Emmy and Golden Globe awards for best miniseries.

Caryn James of The New York Times calls Band of Brothersan extraordinary 10-part series that masters its greatest challenge: it balances the ideal of heroism with the violence and terror of battle, reflecting what is both civilized and savage about war.