The new INSP series about the 26th U.S. President’s early years as a cowboy premieres April 11.
Long before he established himself on the world’s stage as a military leader, prominent politician and groundbreaking conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt rode tall as a cowboy. The formative years of his amazing life are the focus of Elkhorn, a new series starring Mason Beals as Roosevelt and premiering next spring on INSP.
“Most Americans are familiar with the man who charged up San Juan Hill with his Rough Riders and later became the country’s youngest president,” said Craig Miller, VP of Original Programming for INSP. “But few have heard of Roosevelt’s adventurous and life-altering years on the frontier after the unimaginable events that befell the future iconic leader as a 25-year-old.”
On Valentine’s Day in 1884, Roosevelt — then a rising star in the New York state legislature — was devastated by twin tragedies: His beloved wife Alice died giving birth to their first child; several hours later, and in the same household, his mother succumbed to typhus. In his diary on that day, he scribbled an “X,” then wrote: “The light has gone out of my life.”
But fate offered him a way to rekindle his spirits — and to start the transformation of man into myth.
“Reeling from these unimaginable losses,” Miller said, “Roosevelt decided to abandon his comfortable life as a New York State Assemblyman and member of the social elite class, and head west to America’s untamed frontier. Elkhorn gives viewers an unprecedented look into this dramatically transformative period in Roosevelt’s life.”
The ten episodes of Season 1 will dramatize Roosevelt’s first months in the Badlands of the Dakota Territory, where he struggled to establish a cattle ranch known as Elkhorn. Viewers will follow the extraordinary evolution of the young widower as he confronts numerous challenges while disarming a barroom bully, facing down hired guns, tracking down horse thieves, and killing a grizzly bear. Throughout this tumultuous period, he formed lifelong friendships and transformed himself from a frail and grieving greenhorn into the man who would become identified as “The Cowboy President.”
Elkhorn will premiere at 9 pm ET Thursday, April 11, on INSP, with later episodes airing at the same time on subsequent Thursdays. You can read more about Theodore Roosevelt and his years in the Dakota Territory here.
Photos: Morgan Weistling/INSP