Based on the Stephen E. Ambrose book of the same name and executive produced by Stephen Spielberg and Tom Hanks, Band of Brothers was HBO’s first dive into the war miniseries genre. The series follows E Company, 2nd Battalion of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne Division, otherwise known as “Easy” Company, as they complete training and participate in many pivotal events during World War II, up to and including the eventual end of the war.
This series is notable for being the first prestige televised depiction of war, and for being produced by Spielberg, who had made the smash hit war epic Saving Private Ryan a few years earlier. The series also boasts an impressive cast full of up and comers at the time like Damian Lewis and Ron Livingston, as well as having an extensive cast of actors in small roles that includes Michael Fassbender, David Schwimmer, and—no joke—Jimmy Fallon. The series received widespread critical acclaim, which lead to 20 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including a win for Best Miniseries, as well as a companion series, The Pacific, in 2010.