'Bonnie & Clyde': A Miniseries So Big, Three Networks Are Carrying It

The miniseries about the famed criminals will be all over TV this weekend

Like many TV miniseries, Bonnie & Clyde has been billed as an "epic event." But unlike most of them, this four-hour movie will air simultaneously across three cable networks. If you'd like to watch the love story/true crime saga of these famously murderous, Depression-era lovers, you can tune in on Sunday and Monday, December 8 and 9, at 9 p.m. ET -- on Lifetime, History or A&E.

Of course, you probably already know that -- what with the promotion departments of all three networks hyping it.

What's so special about this story that so many TV execs want a piece of it? "The endurance of the couple’s outlaw myth speaks to our fascination with the intersection of true crime and true romance," writes Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe. In other words: it's got a little something for everyone. Sex and romance. Violent gunplay. And the eerily chilling fact that it's based on a true story.

Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were wildly-in-love 20-somethings who robbed banks in five southern states, and killed 14 people along the way. Meanwhile, the national media made them famous, glamorizing their escapades with a keen relish.

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In many ways, their story is still relevant today. The couple's drive to be famous -- and the willingness of newspapers to grant them headlines -- isn't so far removed from our own, current fascination with celebrity culture. "The media was completely influential with the rise and fall of Bonnie and Clyde," says Holliday Grainger, who plays Bonnie to Emile Hirsch's Clyde. "She's obsessed with fame and this idea of not being forgotten."

"That's all you care about, isn't it?" Clyde asks Bonnie in one scene. "People knowing who you are." It's a question you might ask any of the hundreds of reality TV stars today, who willingly humiliate themselves for any air time they can get.

You'll know who some of the actors are: William Hurt plays the Texas Ranger who eventually succeeded in hunting the couple down. Holly Hunter plays Bonnie's doting mother, who can't believe her daughter is a murderer. And Sarah Hyland (Haley on Modern Family) plays a woman who's part of the couple's bank-robbing Barrow Gang.

Of course, Bonnie Parker did achieve the fame she was desperate for. She was portrayed by Faye Dunaway in the 1967 movie (in which Clyde was Warren Beatty). And though they died at ages 23 and 25, clearly their story is still considered compelling 80 years after their deaths.

Jennifer Graham Kizer is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Google+.

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