EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic continues to build a pop science franchise around breakout hit Brain Games. The network has greenlighted a second companion series for flagship Brain Games, Duck Quacks Don’t Echo (working title), based on a panel show created by Magnum Media for UK’s Sky1. The U.S. version, produced by JimCo Prods, will have three co-hosts who will challenge each other by presenting their best theories, like “Can shrimp run longer than the average human?” or “Is it impossible for a blindfolded person to walk, swim or drive in a straight line?,” and then put them to the test with real, in-studio and field experiments. “Duck Quacks Don’t Echo unearths and tests the most obscure and the most absurd theories,” said NGC EVP Heather Moran. “We’re making science entertaining and interactive by revealing the facts behind these ideas and engaging viewers actively in these experiments — and hopefully they’ll learn a thing or two along the way.” The order for Duck Quacks Don’t Echo comes on the heels of the recent pickup of statistics-themed The Numbers Game, also a Brain Games companion. Duck Quacks Don’t Echo starts production in the fall with Jim Biederman and Marla Ratner executive producing.
EXCLUSIVE: Science program The Numbers Game first debuted as a three-part special accompanying National Geographic Network‘s Brain Games, which hit record-setting ratings for the channel when it launched in April. Now the network is making The Numbers Game a regular series with an order for additional 12 episodes of the show hosted by scientist Jake Porway, who uncovers the surprising science behind life’s mysteries in each episode. “The Numbers Game is the first series to present data and numbers to viewers in a fast-paced, engaging format that transforms science into must watch television” said Goodbye Pictures president Rich Bye who is exec producing Numbers with Nat Geo Television’s Pam Wells.
EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic Channel has greenlit a docu-drama series American Genius from the producers of The Men Who Built America and Sons of Liberty. This time, Stephen David Entertainment will spotlight Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Graham Bell, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, among others. “In an era where America is not always credited as leading ingenuity, this show will remind us that this country has always been a global hotbed for genius, and we will celebrate the way they changed the world we live in,” NatGeo Channel president Howard T. Owens explained. NGC is billing the multi-part series as the natural extension of its series Brain Games, which sizes up the human brain using an intricate string of experiments, optical illusions, brainteasers and hard science, and The Numbers Game, which looks at how science and statistics may hold the keys to a longer, wealthier, calmer life. Both Brain Games, which NGC says is its highest rated series to date, and The Numbers Game are in a second season of production.
“American Genius looks at those who mentally put the pedal to the metal,” said David. “These are stories of beautiful, hyper-creative mad minds. We may think we know them because our country, and the world, still reaps the benefits of their extraordinary thinking, but our goal is to go way behind IQ, and way beyond the known eccentricity.”
SDE’s docu-dramas weave narration, re-enactment, and talking heads. What distinguishes …