Ten things that make “The Long Road Home” totally worth it

“The Long Road Home” is a National Geographic’s ambitious series that brings to Technicolor cutting-edge life the harrowing yet inspiring events of April 2004. Here are ten great reasons why this should be your next TV addiction.

1.    It’s based on a painstakingly researched true story. Based on the New York Times best-selling book by internationally acclaimed journalist Martha Raddatz, “The Long Road Home—A Story of War and Family” is about Black Sunday in April 2004. Currently ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, Raddatz book was praised by The Washington Post as "a masterpiece of literary non-fiction that rivals any war-related classic that has preceded it."

2.    Black Sunday would change the way the American military saw Iraq: from a simple peacekeeping mission to a fight against domestic insurgents. Soldiers from the US 1st Cavalry Division of Fort Hood, Texas were ambushed in Sadr City, Baghdad, with eight making the ultimate sacrifice that day and over 65 seriously wounded.

3.    It shines a light on the heroes behind the scenes. “With The Long Road Home…[we’re] going to shine a light on the sisterhood formed by their wives on the home front as they [rallied] around each other awaiting news of their husbands’ fates,” says National Geographic Channel executive vice president and head of global scripted programming and development Carolyn Bernstein.

4.    The staff behind the series is a powerhouse in itself, with screenwriter, showrunner, and executive producer Mikko Alanne adapting the book’s events for TV. Direction is provided by Emmy winners Phil Abraham and Mikael Salomon, and the series’ executive producers are Mike Medavoy, Mikko Alanne, Jason Clark, Benjamin Anderson and Edward McGurn. For National Geographic, Carolyn G. Bernstein is executive vice president and head of global scripted development and production.

5.    The feels you’ll get are going to be too real. Book author Martha Raddatz, according to the New York Times, went back “…and painstakingly reconstructed the event from every conceivable angle — including the thing that he said/she said reactions of soldiers in Iraq and their wives in Fort Hood, Tex. Some of those wives would receive the most dreaded kinds of visitors after the battle. Not since the Vietnam War did the First Cavalry suffer so many casualties in one day.”

6.    Much care has been taken to reconstruct the events as closely as they happened. Talk about bringing you there: In addition to consulting the author herself for the show’s production, NatGeo brought in two US Army veterans who survived the ambush: Eric Bourquin and Aaron Fowler.

In addition, the responses to the book alone have been overwhelmingly positive. From Goodreads to Reddit, even those who admit not to reading about military history have been touched by the story of “The Long Road Home” and have had their eyes opened by the harsh realities of military operations; in a Goodreads review, “Gregory” writes about how the 1st Cavalry Division had neither tanks nor armored Humvees despite their general, Peter Chiarelli, begging for these to protect his people—and how he was rebuked in public because the provision of such would “send the wrong message to the Iraqis.”

7.    The series stars Michael Kelly (“House of Cards,” “Taboo”); Jason Ritter (“Parenthood,” “Girls”); E.J. Bonilla (“Unforgettable”); Kate Bosworth (“Superman Returns,” “Blue Crush,” “SS-GB,” “The Art of More”); Sarah Wayne Callies (“Prison Break,” “The Walking Dead,” “Colony”); Noel Fisher (“Shameless”); Jeremy Sisto (“Suburgatory,” “Law & Order,” “Six Feet Under”); Jon Beavers (“NCIS,” “Gotham,” “The Fresh Beat Band”); and Darius Homayoun (“Tyrant”), among many others.

8.    Not too long, not too short: just right. This eight-part series reflects the eight hours that saw three desperate yet deadly rescue missions launched to save the soldiers in the ambush.

9. It’s history in the making: National Geographic gives viewers a unique perspective of the toll war takes on soldiers and their families. The literary genre of creative nonfiction comes to life in a gripping and intimate way, pushing the boundaries of entertainment and education closer together in a new and exciting way.

Follow the action of the battle on two simultaneous fronts—the chaotic, terror-filled streets of Sadr City, where a group of inexperienced young soldiers faces an unexpected and unimaginable attack with bravery they never knew they had, and the home front at Fort Hood in Texas, where family members, desperate for news of their loved ones and fearing the worst, discover their own courage and determination as well.

10. You can take the show with you, wherever you are. No soldier fights alone—and you won’t be missing a thing with the Fox+ app, available for iOS and Android devices, which gives you access to this brilliant series. Don’t miss a moment—not even when stuck in the everyday Carmageddon of traffic.

“The Long Road Home” begins with the special two-hour premiere “Black Sunday” on November 5, 2017 at 10:00 p.m., with regular new episode telecasts every Wednesday at 10:00 p.m. on National Geographic and every Sunday at 10:00p.m. for the weekend primetime replay.

National Geographic is seen on Channel 41 (Skycable), Channel 141 (Cignal), Channel 62 (Cablelink) and Channel 153 on (GSAT).  National Geographic HD is seen on Channel 195 (Skycable), Channel 240 (Cignal) and Channel 331 (Cablelink).

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