Killing Lincoln, based on Bill O'Reilly's best-seller, attracted 3.4 million viewers for its initial screening on the National Geographic Channel Sunday night, the biggest audience in the channel's history. It was the first time that the channel had ventured into the realm of factal drama, and it did so with some impressive partners. The film was exec produced by Ridley Scott and his late brother Tony, narrated by Tom Hanks, directed by Adrian Moat (Gettysburg), and starred Billy Campbell as Lincoln. In a statement, NGC President Howard T. Owens said, Killing Lincoln was our latest effort to expand the original programming we present on the National Geographic Channel, while still maintaining the brand values viewers expect from us. ... The success we saw last night proved that authentic and entertaining are not mutually exclusive, and I think we've tapped into a new genre of factual drama that clearly resonates with our audience. Ridley Scott said that his Scott Free production company plans to reunite with National Geographic Channel soon for a new collaboration, Killing Kennedy.
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The film is expected to continue without Mendes' involvement.