Historical Docudrama ‘Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator’ Debuts April 2 on PBS

“Julius Caesar: The Making of a Dictator” — a new three-part BBC-produced historical docudrama that explores how the nearly five-centuries-old Roman democracy was overthrown in just 16 years — debuts on three consecutive Tuesdays April 2-16 (9 p.m.-10 p.m. EST) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App.   

The story of a brazen power grab that saw Julius Caesar consolidate the vast Roman Republic in his own hands, the series is told through the eyes of an expert cast of British and American historians, scholars, and political operatives (including a former head of MI5). Illustrated with dramatic moments and packed with contemporary resonances, the docuseries follows complex power dynamics playing out for enormous stakes.

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Episode 1: “High Priest” (April 2)

The first episode traces Caesar’s ambitious rise as he seeks to become Consul, the highest political position in Rome. He forms dangerous alliances and bends the rules of the Republic, courting the popular vote, exploiting division, and using bribery and intimidation to get his own way. But his unconventional approach to politics and disregard for established customs sets him at odds with the conservative elite within the Senate. And one man — Cato — is determined to bring him down.

Episode 2: “Veni Vidi Vici” (April 9)

Caesar has brokered an uneasy alliance with the two other most powerful men in the Republic, Pompey and Crassus, and the trio dominate the political system. Caesar leaves Rome to take the governorship of Gaul — modern-day France — to conquer its people and win greater power and prestige. But events beyond his control threaten to unravel his plans and leave him isolated. Backed into a corner, he makes a decision that will change the course of the Republic — and Western history — forever.

Episode 3: “Ides of March” (April 16)

As Caesar takes control of Rome and consolidates his grip over the Republic, he awards himself ever-greater powers. Appointed dictator for one year to restore peace, he soon extends this to 10 years and then becomes “Dictator for Life.” His ambition turned to tyranny, Caesar has become untouchable, and Rome is now essentially a dictatorship. A handful of senators, including some of his closest allies, plot to end his rule in the only way they can: by taking his life. But will that be enough to save the Republic?

Gravitas Ventures Acquires Rights to ‘I Am DB Cooper,’ Due Via On Demand Dec. 9

Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide rights to distribute the feature docudrama  I Am DB Cooper slated for theatrical and on-demand release Dec. 9.

Written and directed by T.J. Regan, it follows two bounty hunter brothers who encounter an ailing old man named Rodney Bonnifield while coordinating his bail after a violent encounter on a dairy farm involving a machete. Close to his sentencing, he reveals to the bondsmen not only was he responsible for the notorious DB Cooper plane hijacking, but the ransom cash is still buried and he needs their help digging it up. Up against the clock with Rodney’s prison sentence looming, the group set out on a modern-day treasure hunt to recover the money he buried on the Columbia River 50 years ago, uncovering bizarre truths about Rodney Bonnifield and his connection to the only unsolved plane hijacking in U.S. history.

“I am so excited to have partnered with Gravitas for worldwide distribution,” Regan said in a statement. “This unique film was made possible by a team of truly passionate filmmakers willing to take a chance on a crazy idea. Our goal was not only to revisit and solve the most notorious hijacking in world history but to keep you on the edge of your seat while you’re there.  We are extremely confident that Gravitas will take this project to the next level.”

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“T.J. Regan and his team present a fascinating new angle to one of the most infamous American mysteries by blending impressively filmed reenactments and intriguing documentary footage,” Bill Guentzler, Gravitas senior director of acquisitions, said in a statement. “Gravitas is thrilled to be bringing I Am DB Cooper  to select theaters and into homes this December.”

‘Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Beside Me — The Ted Bundy Story’ Coming to Blu-ray and Digital in July From Mill Creek

The docudrama Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Beside Me — The Ted Bundy Story will come out on Blu-ray and digital July 9 from Mill Creek Entertainment.

Based on her book, the story follows Ann Rule (portrayed by Barbara Hershey, Beaches), an ex-cop working the suicide hotlines in Seattle. To make ends meet, she indulges in another obsession — writing true-crime stories.

She has a daughter, a fulfilling life and a good friend in a man named Ted Bundy (Golden Globe nominee Billy Campbell, Once and Again), a handsome and intelligent charmer who’s just been accepted into law school in Utah. What’s captivating Ann’s attention now is a string of brutal murders — missing-women cases that have stretched from Utah to Seattle.

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But the more she digs and uncovers, a dreadful and unavoidable truth is staring her directly in the face — her friend Ted.