National Geographic Channel, which is coming off posting a record-setting first quarter and its highest-rated new series premiere with Brain Games, is rolling out a large-scale consumer brand campaign, which will canvass TV (both on-air and off-air), online and in-cinema, launching in primetime during the May 12 finale of the channel’s popular series Wicked Tuna. The four spots, developed with ad agency BBDO, carry the multiplatform campaign’s tagline “The places we take you aren’t just on the map.”
Hoping to piggyback on the success of National Geographic Channel‘s take on Bill O’Reilly’s best-seller Killing Lincoln, the network is again partnering with Ridley Scott and O’Reilly on Killing Jesus: A History, O’Reilly’s recently announced book that he co-authored with Martin Dugard. The book will be published by Henry Holt and Company on September 24. Today’s announcement comes as the network is in pre-production on O’Reilly’s Killing Kennedy: The End Of Camelot expected to air worldwide on Nat Geo Channels later this year. “I am thrilled to once again be partnering with National Geographic Channels and Scott Free Productions on my next book,” said O’Reilly. “Jesus is the most famous person that has ever lived — and is worshipped today by more than 2.2 billion people”. Killing Jesus tells the story of Jesus of Nazareth as a beloved and controversial young revolutionary brutally killed by Roman soldiers and recounting the seismic political and historical events that made his death inevitable and the changes that his life brought upon the world for the centuries to follow. “O’Reilly has proven with Killing Lincoln and Killing Kennedy that the public is fascinated with the tragic tales of these renowned historical figures, and this is one of the most dramatic stories ever told. We are privileged to once again work with National Geographic Channel to bring Bill’s vision to the screen,” said Scott. Production is set to begin this fall. Click over to read today’s release.
Coming off its highest rated February in history, the National Geographic Channel is unveiling a slate of four new and seven returning series at its upfront presentation. The new series include Die Trying, featuring men and women pushing the limits of endurance; Building Wild, an extreme do-it-yourself-type home building series; Showdown of the Unbeatables, a battle of cutting-edge inventions; and The Legend Of Mick Dodge, described as “Forrest Gump meets the Jungle Man,” about a man who lives on his terms and his band of quirky friends. “We want to keep the momentum, coming off pour best year (2012) and month (February) with a mix of contemporary entertainment styles,” said NGC Chief Executive Officer David Lyle.
Additionally, Nat Geo brass are so high on two of its upcoming series, Brain Games (premiering in April), an interactive series exploring mind’s skills hosted by Jason Silva; and Ultimate Survival Alaska (premiering in May), an extreme adventure series testing a team of explorers, that the network is granting both second-season renewals before their freshman ones had debuted. Lyle stressed that Brain Games‘ take on science is “smart rather than intellectual while NGC president Howard T. Owens noted Survival Alaska‘s breakout potential. Also receiving series renewals are hits Doomsday Preppers, NGC’s highest-rated series, Wicked Tuna and Diggers. And while the slate presented to advertisers is dominated by unscripted fare, Nat Geo also is committed to growing its scripted area following the success of its first scripted offering, the Scott Free-produced factual drama special Killing Lincoln. “The DNA of the channel is to take creative risks and make bold moves and not be afraid to be different,” said Owens. NGC is getting some attention with the gritty docu series Inside Combat Rescue and has also coming up acquired feature documentary Chasing Ice and two-hour special American Blackout. Paired with Doomsday Preppers, the real-life Revolution imagines the first two weeks immediately following a catastrophic blackout and “will be filmed as a full-throttle disaster movie,” Owens said. Sibling Nat Geo Wild’s slate includes a new Cesar Millan series and two specials featuring the dog whisperer. Here are descriptions of NGC and Nat Geo Wild’s newly picked up series.
National Geographic Channel’s Killing Lincoln will premiere Sunday, February 17 at 8 PM PT/ET (repeating at 10 PM) during Presidents Day weekend. The docu-drama is based on Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever. …
National Geographic Channel Reteams With Bill O’Reilly And Ridley Scott For ‘Killing Kennedy’ Film About JFK’s Assassination
EXCLUSIVE: Ahead of next month’s premiere of National Geographic‘s Killing Lincoln, the cable network has greenlighted Killing Kennedy, a new film from Killing Lincoln producer Scott Free about the assassination of John F Kennedy. Like Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy will be based on a book by Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly. Killing Kennedy: The End Of Camelot, O’Reilly’s latest New York Times bestseller with co-author Martin Dugard, is a follow-up to the duo’s hugely successful Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever, which has sold more than 1 million copies. The new two-hour factual drama will keep the narrative storytelling devices used by O’Reilly in the book, published in October, which recounts Kennedy’s assassination and its impact on America. “The common parallels between Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy are astonishing, with both assassinations profoundly changing the nation during crucial moments in its history,” O’Reilly said. “While Kennedy’s assassination continues to garner many conspiracy theories, our story is based on facts — some that haven’t been publicly known. And with National Geographic Channel and Scott Free once again at the helm, I have the utmost trust and faith that they will bring the story of Kennedy and Camelot to life.” Casting on the two-hour film, which will combine historical insights and archives with dramatic storytelling in the signature style of the Scott brothers, is expected to begin shortly for a sprint start of production. “Collaborating with National Geographic on Bill O’Reilly’s follow-up was an easy decision,” said Scott Free principal Ridley Scott. “They share the same passion of storytelling, willing to take creative leaps and risks to keep viewers entertained to tell the provocative story of Kennedy’s last days, a pivotal and historic moment.”
The network behind Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden said its one-hour special Superstorm 2012 will air Thursday at 10 PM. That’s three days before the BBC said it would air its quick-turnaround documentary special …
National Geographic Channel‘s broadcast of Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden drew an average of 2.7 million viewers last night, making it the network’s top show of 2012 and its sixth-highest-rated broadcast in its six-year history. The two-hour special presentation directed by John Stockwell scored a 1.4 in the adults 25-54 demo, more than four times Nat Geo’s Sunday average (the average viewership in the demo last night was 1.27 million). It is the highest-rated telecast on the network in the demo since the premiere of George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview in August 2011. Nat Geo’s highest-rated show in the demo was Inside 9/11: Zero Hour, which garnered a 2.88 rating when it aired in August 2005.
The Weinstein Company movie is being made available as an unedited version on Netflix today featuring a news montage of statements by Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, Hilary Clinton and others; Seal Team Six encores on Nat Geo on Friday at 8 PM ET.
A scene in an upcoming TV movie that depicted Mitt Romney appearing to oppose the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden was cut from the film, according to a report in the New York Times. “We wouldn’t air this if it …
Noel Siegel as been hired as SVP Production and Development to be based at National Geographic Channel’s DC headquarters. He will work with Nat Geo Channel’s LA-based SVP Programming and Development Alan Eyres to develop series and event specials. Siegel, previously SVP TV Development at Warner Horizon Television–based production company Next Entertainment, will report to EVP Programing Michael Cascio. Meanwhile, Lynn Sadofsky has been promoted to VP Production and Development in the New York office, reporting to Eyres, and Robert Palumbo has been named executive producer in the New York office, reporting to Sadofsky.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar winner Tom Hanks is set as the on-camera host, historical commentator and narrator of Killing Lincoln, National Geographic Channel‘s two-hour historical thriller from Ridley and the late Tony Scott’s Scott Free Prods. It’s based on Bill O’Reilly best-selling book with co-author Martin Dugard that chronicles the conspiracy behind Lincoln’s assassination.
Hanks joins director Adrian Moat (Gettysburg), Emmy-winning writer/executive producer Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers) and producer Mark Herzog’s Herzog & Co. (Gettysburg) on the film, which combines drama with CGI — in the signature style of the Scott brothers — with rare historical archives. “The murder of Lincoln is not a passage of our history — it was a signpost of our American character, then, now and forever,” said Hanks, who has been involved in a number of historic TV projects including the HBO miniseries Band Of Brothers and The Pacific, which he exec produced, and the PBS docu-series Freedom: A History Of Us.
In Killing Lincoln, Billy Campbell plays Lincoln, Jesse Johnson plays John Wilkes Booth and Geraldine Hughes is Mary Todd Lincoln. Graham Beckel appears as Edwin Stanton (who served as Secretary of War under the Lincoln administration) and Shawn Pyfrom portrays Private John W. Nichols.