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History Channel is getting into the convention game, too, with HistoryCon

History Channel is getting into the convention game, too, with HistoryCon
An illustration released by History Channel to promote its first-ever convention, HistoryCon.

Following the success of BravoCon last weekend, the History Channel has announced its own convention—titled HistoryCon, of course—that will take place next spring, as part of the channel’s 25th anniversary.

While Bravo didn’t announce talent until just before the vent, History has already announced some talent, from Ancient Aliens stars to actual historians, including keynoter Doris Kearns Goodwin. And while MTV announced its own RealityCon last April, there are precisely zero details about it, while History already has tickets for sale.

The network’s announcement describes HistoryCon as “a three-day immersive event that explores America’s history through interactive exhibits, expert speaker sessions and an expansive marketplace” that’s “dedicated to exploring and celebrating our country’s cultural, societal, and political milestones, and helps mark the network’s 25th anniversary” and will feature “series talent, renowned historians, authors and experts.”

HistoryCon will take place April 3, 4, and 5, 2020, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, Calif., the same venue that hosts America’s Got Talent auditions.

Tickets are now on sale, and range from a $79 one-day pass to $350 “utlimate” passes themed to three of the network’s reality shows: Forged in Fire, Pawn Stars, and Ancient Aliens.

There is also even a preliminary schedule, which is far more information than Bravo had released just two weeks before its actual convention.

Who’s appearing at HistoryCon

Forged in Fire, J. Neilson
Forged in Fire judge J. Neilson tests a weapon on a block of ice. (Photo by Miller Mobley/History)

I’ve been impressed by how History Channel has kept to its actual title, even with its reality TV, which often includes historical informational—even in a seemingly ridiculous show like Kings of Pain.

HistoryCon, too, won’t just be focused on its reality TV. In fact, of the the talent announced so far, there are more experts and historians than reality stars (by one, but still!).

Here are the reality stars scheduled to appear:

  1. Rick Harrison, Pawn Stars
  2. Corey Harrison, Pawn Stars
  3. Danielle Colby, American Pickers
  4. Doug Marcaida, Forged In Fire
  5. J. Nielson, Forged In Fire
  6. Danny Koker, Counting Cars
  7. Kevin Mack, Counting Cars
  8. Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, Ancient Aliens
  9. David Childress, Ancient Aliens
  10. Nick Pope, Ancient Aliens
  11. Travis Taylor, Ancient Aliens
  12. Troy Landry, Swamp People
  13. Ashley Jones, Swamp People
  14. Zachary Fowler, Alone

The “deep bench of historians and experts” scheduled to appear are, according to the network:

  1. H.W. Brands, Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History, Univ. of Texas at Austin
  2. Tracy Borman, historian and author
  3. Simon Majumdar, culinary historian and author
  4. Virginia Scharff, Professor of History Emerita, Univ. of New Mexico
  5. Darius Arya, Director, American Institute for Roman Culture
  6. Dr. Libby H. O’Connell, historian and author
  7. Doug Douds, Colonel U.S. Marine Corp (ret.)
  8. Jonna Mendez, former CIA Intelligence Officer and author
  9. Naveed Jamali, national security expert
  10. Jack Barsky, former KGB Sleeper Agent and author
  11. Denise Sandoval, Lowrider Historian and Professor of Chicana/o Studies
  12. Alexis Coe, historian and author
  13. Adrian Miller, culinary historian and author
  14. Eric Schultz, President, the Schultz Group
  15. James Taub, educator and military historian

Presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, who’s attached as an executive producer to History’s forthcoming hybrid documentary/scripted series Washington, said in the press release, “Making history accessible to new audiences in new ways is essential, and I’m very pleased to be part of HistoryCon and the network’s mission to make history relevant to people from all ages and backgrounds. History is full of fascinating stories—the more we inspire people to examine and explore them, the better equipped we all are to use the lessons of the past to inform our collective future.” 

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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