The HISTORY® Channel will premiere its new series “The Booze, Gambling, and Sex That Built America” on Sunday, June 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
An expansion of the network’s popular “That Built” franchise, the three-part non-fiction series divulges startling origin stories from America’s alcohol, gambling, sex and tobacco industries and the ambitious and notorious entrepreneurs who have built some of the greatest fortunes in history on the envy of the nation.
Each two-hour episode is packed with scintillating historical facts, gripping drama, expert interviews, and compelling characters who operate on both sides of the law. It’s a bit dangerous, a bit taboo and a lot of fun!
Throughout nearly a hundred years in the 19th and 20th centuries, the struggle against alcohol, gambling, sex, and tobacco defined the American cultural experience and helped the country mature. This is a time when condoms are illegal, smoking is ubiquitous and alcohol is made illegal and then legalized again; the great debate rages between freedom to indulge and protection from the chaos of debauchery.
From the 1860s to the 1930s and beyond, this series looks at innovators like Jasper “Jack” Daniel, Adolphus Busch, Buck Duke, Julius Schmid, Stephanie St. Clair and others who brought these pleasures out of the shadow and into the mainstream to build some of the greatest business empires in American history. Their successes and failures also laid the foundation for the state lottery system, the Sexual REVOLUTION and Sin City itself.
On June 12, the first episode of “The Booze, Bets and Sex That Built America” begins in Tennessee where orphan Jasper “Jack” Daniel, taken in by a local farmer and preacher, works side by side with an elder. slave to distill a clear, flavorless corn-based alcohol known TODAY than American whisky. In St. Louis, a German immigrant named Adolphus Busch takes over his father-in-law’s struggling brewery and sets out to create a better-tasting beer, eventually known as Budweiser.
Meanwhile, Buck Duke pursues a vision to sell tobacco in every tobacco store, drug store, and dry goods store across America on his way to becoming the third richest person in the country, with a new product called … cigarette. And, in New York, Julius Schmid, a sausage factory worker, begins to revolutionize contraception in America by using his company’s natural casings to make condoms, which he has to sell underground because they’re illegal. .
The remaining two episodes highlight Stephanie St. Clair’s story of operating an illegal “numbers” game in her Harlem neighborhood where it attracts the attention of the New York mob and continues to inspire the creation of the state lottery system; Billy Wilkerson who sets out to build a “luxury resort casino” that redefines casinos and creates “The Strip” in Las Vegas; Unemployed war veteran Hugh Hefner creating an alluring new magazine like anything the world has ever seen.
Airing right behind “The Booze, Bets and Sex That Built America,” three new episodes of “The Fast History Of…” begin Sunday, June 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The non-fiction series is a high-octane adventure through the stories of anything and everything, from iconic brands like Jack Daniel’s and Budweiser to exciting topics like the mob, UFOs and the secret lives of the super-rich. From the very beginning until today, it’s all the surprising, revealing and innovative moments that make up their stories, all in half an hour!
“The Booze, Gambling, and Sex That Built America” is produced for the HISTORY® Channel by Lucky 8 and Smash Awesome Entertainment. Kim Woodard, Greg Henry, Isaac Holub, George Kralovansky, and Irfan Rahman serve as executive producers for Lucky 8. Yoshi Stone and Shuli Stone serve as executive producers for Smash Awesome. Jim Pasquarella and Mary E. Donahue are executive producers of The HISTORY® Channel.
“The Fast History Of…” is produced for The HISTORY® Channel by Lucky 8. Kim Woodard, Greg Henry, Isaac Holub, George Kralovansky, Irfan Rahman and Shari Ortner are executive producers of Lucky 8. Jim Pasquarella and Amy Savitsky serve as executive producers for The HISTORY® Channel.
A+E Networks has worldwide distribution rights to “The Booze, Bets and Sex That Built America” and “The Fast History Of…”.
Watch the trailer for the new series here: