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. READ MORE »
National Geographic Channel announced today that Locked Up Abroad will be returning for its ninth season on April 17 at 9 PM. The season opener features a profile of Ernie Brace, the longest-held American POW of … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic Channel has greenlighted a pilot for In The Name Of Science, a science-based show from Nerdist Industries, Chris Hardwick and Peter Levin’s production company for multi-platform genre and pop culture content, … Read More »
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. … Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s coverage of TCA.
Erik Jendresen, the writer and executive producer of the forthcoming National Geographic Channel film Killing Lincoln, told critics during a TCA panel this morning that while Abraham Lincoln’s … Read More »
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.” Read More »
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 … Read More »
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.
Related: ‘Raid On Osama Bin Laden’ TV Movie Cut Romney Scene, Bolstered Obama: NYT
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. Read More »
Hurricane Sandy’s assault on the East Coast today compelled National Geographic Channel to move tonight’s Washington DC premiere screening of Seal Team 6: The Raid on Osama bib Laden. The screening of the TV movie has … Read More »
The director of the upcoming National Geographic TV movie about the killing of Osama bin Laden is criticizing the New York Times for suggesting in a story that his Seal Team Six risks causing additional backlash in the … Read More »
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 … Read More »
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. Read More »
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. Read More »
Weaving together home video, passenger and staff stories, National Geographic Channel will air a one-hour documentary February 13th recounting the recent Costa Concordia ship disaster off the coast of Italy. Titled Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories, … Read More »
Jeremy Clarkson Strikes Again, Fry’s A Gentleman
The BBC has put an episode of Stephen Fry’s game show QI on the shelf following remarks made by Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson last week. The episode of the intellectual comedy quiz show, which Clarkson taped this past summer, was due to air tonight in the UK. But appearing on the BBC’s The One Show last week, Clarkson prompted outrage when he commented on the recent public workers strike in Britain, “I would have them taken outside and executed them in front of their families.” Clarkson apologized in due course, but he’s no stranger to this kind of controversy. Earlier this year Top Gear was criticized over comments about Mexicans which were perceived as racist. The Guardian has a compilation of Clarkson’s most famous flubs titled “Jeremy Clarkson: big mouth strikes again.” Meanwhile, I checked Stephen Fry’s Twitter feed to see if he’d made any comment about the network’s decision to shelve the show, but he’s been busy promoting the Sherlock Holmes sequel in which he plays Holmes’ brother Mycroft and which premiered last night in London. He did, however, point to a new poll in which Winston Churchill was voted the greatest British gentleman of the 20th century, followed by filmmaker Richard Attenborough and … Stephen Fry.
New Appointments At Sky, National Geographic
Phil Edgar Jones has been named head of entertainment for Sky. He will have oversight on the bouquet of channels that includes Sky 1, Sky Arts and Sky Living. He will also commission shows for Sky Movies and the recently launched Sky Atlantic which is airing a host of HBO shows. Edgar Jones was previously creative director of independent producer Running Bare and creative director of Remarkable Pictures where he exec produced Big Brother on Channel 4. In related news, Hamish Mykura has been named executive vice president and head of international content for National Geographic Channels International. The former head of documentaries for Channel 4 will also become the London head of global development for National Geographic Channel. Mykura will oversee editorial development and production for the company and will supervise NGCI’s networks NGC, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Adventure. Read More »
Following marathon negotiations, and with only a few hours to spare before the midnight deadline tonight, Fox and DirecTV have reached a new carriage agreement. The deal covers not only all Fox Networks that were in danger of going … Read More »