'Hatfields & McCoys' Highly Anticipated Premiere Tonight (VIDEO)

The History Channel is set to debut a new mini-series Monday night, based upon the real-life feud between two families. "Hatfields & McCoys" chronicles the true story of two powerful families over 150 years and has been anxiously anticipated by History Channel viewers.

While the exact cause of the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys is unknown, the feud cost many lives. "We wanted to show how a series of incidents swept everybody up in this tornado of ego, jealousy, bitterness and violence," Leslie Greif, one of the executive producers, told the LA Times.

"Never forgiving, never forgetting took over, and pretty soon they were in the middle of a war and didn't even know how they got there," she explained.

The feud was costly and a high price was paid for the long term warring; during the 11 year feud, more than one dozen members of both families were lost.

The struggle between the two families caught national attention and government involvement, with the militias of Kentucky and West Virginia being called in to help the families stop fighting. It wasn't until 2000 when the families officially declared a truce, putting the past behind them, at a ceremony attended by over 500 members of both families.

"It's a big, pre-sold headline that everybody knows but nobody knows," History Channel president Nancy Dubuc told the Times. "It's part of American pop culture, but very few people could tell you the true story of these families."

The series stars such big names as Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton, Tom Berenger, Mare Winningham and Jena Malone. Costner also worked behind-the-scenes on the series. "I tried to be an emotional detective," he explained. "While I thought about the political and economic forces at play—plus the potent combination of alcohol, guns and misery—wanted to find the humanity in these tough, hardened people."

Watch a preview of the series HERE: