Hatfields & McCoys: A Feud Story for the Record Books

Feud story with ties to Civil War breaks cable TV viewing records and there's more to come this weekend.

The History Channel's three-night saga "Hatfields and McCoys" ended Wednesday night and has been the topic around water coolers ever since. 

The finale of the historic TV miniseries was the most-watched of the three nights, with just over 14 million viewers tuning in. According to MSN Money, that makes it the No. 1 non-sports and non-news program to air on ad-supported cable.

Given the Civil War interest in the area, the show was a hit with history buffs as the feud had it's origins connected to the Civil War. Largely historically accurate, it is still only a six-hour drama (with the assumed dramatic license) starring actors Kevin Costner and Bill Paxton (and with some details omitted or suspect). 

If you want a more historically accurate presentation be sure to check out the documentary America's Greatest Feud:The Hatfields and McCoys airing  Saturday at 4 p.m. on the History Channel

Descendants and historians will breakdown the critical facts and fiction surrounding the feud in the two-hour factual documentary. Costner's series repeats immediately after for those who can't get enough, want to compare, or missed it this week.  

There are other movies available on the feud, most notably "The Hatfields and McCoys," a 1975 TV movie starring Jack Palance and Steve Forrest.  If you are looking for summer reading that is more factual in content consider books from feud experts Lisa Alther, author of “Blood Feud: The Hatfields and the McCoys: The Epic Story of Murder and Vengeance" and historian Altina Waller, professor emerita at the University of Connecticut, and the author of “Feud: Hatfields, McCoys and Social Change in Appalachia, 1860-1900.″  Also an early 1940's history of the feud is a book by Virgil Carrington Jones, an author with ties to Northern Virginia, titled "Hatfields and Mccoys."


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