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Today, National Geographic Channel announced plans for Genius, the network’s first ever scripted series. The ambitious anthology series is a partnership between the network, Fox 21 Television Studios (Homeland, The People v. O.J. Simpson), Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Television (24, Empire), OddLot Entertainment (Rosewater; The Way, Way Back) and EUE/Sokolow. Howard will direct the series premiere, with each season spotlighting one of the world’s most brilliant minds. Season 1 will focus on the guy whose name is synonymous with the idea of genius — Albert Einstein — and will be adapted from Walter Isaacson’s critically-acclaimed book Einstein: His Life and Universe by writer Noah … Continue reading
Sue Aikens is one tough cookie on National Geographic Channel’s Emmy-nominated hit, Life Below Zero — risking her life and sometimes ruining her body to maintain the solitary Alaskan lifestyle she loves at her Kavik River Camp 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. But you’d be hard pressed to find a more charming coffee date and conversationalist when Aikens does venture down from the 49th state, which she did to take part in a January press tour. I found her relaxing with a pair of the show’s producers in a Pasadena hotel restaurant, enjoying her time in the warmer climes — and greeting reporters she … Continue reading
The Story of God With Morgan Freeman premieres Sunday, April 3 at 9/8CT on National Geographic Channel. By his very nature — the soulful eyes and regal bearing, legendary voice and sonorous delivery — when Morgan Freeman tells you something, you believe it. You just do. Hence, the Oscar winner is frequently tapped to play noble sorts — doctors, lawmen, statesmen, even revolutionaries like Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X. Even God. And God is the reason Freeman is here today, seated beside his Revelations Entertainment partners Lori McCreary and James Younger in a Pasadena hotel suite. Not because he’s portraying God. … Continue reading
I’m at a castle outside of London, and I’m watching King Henry VIII (and his suspiciously large, but historically accurate, codpiece) counsel three people in matching sweaters. One of the three is a genius. And celebrity smartie Jason Silva is there. But this isn’t a dream — this is Brain Games, and I’ve been invited along as the NGC series shoots Season 5, and further explores the 3 pounds of gray stuff that resides inside our skulls. Our adventure for today is Hever Castle, the childhood home of Henry VIII’s second wife Anne Boleyn and also home to an impressive … Continue reading
I can still remember sitting in my sophomore homeroom on the morning of Jan. 28, 1986, when our school’s principal came on the intercom system to inform us of the tragedy that had occurred when, 73 seconds into its launch, the space shuttle Challenger abruptly burst into flames and broke apart, killing all seven crew members. Among the deceased was Christa McAuliffe, a social studies teacher who was supposed to be the first American civilian in space. Thirty years on, the image of the Challenger disaster has become embedded into the psyches of most Americans who are old enough to remember the … Continue reading
Saints & Strangers executive producers Gina Matthews and Grant Scharbo had a quagmire on their hands. Setting out to create the most authentic retelling of the Thanksgiving story ever committed to film — on a blistering schedule — the pair also knew they didn’t want to risk stereotypes for the sake of time. Especially when it came to honoring their Native American characters. • MORE Saints & Strangers: Think you know the Thanksgiving story? We’re on set as NGC tells the real tale. “It was a big debate up until two weeks before the actors were starting whether we would … Continue reading
The two-night event Saints & Strangers premieres Sunday, Nov. 22, and Monday, Nov. 23, at 9/8CT on National Geographic Channel. Vincent Kartheiser is doing his best to be patient. Sporting coarse Pilgrim garb, a full beard and shoulder-length tresses (no Mad Men, this!) as Plymouth Colony leader William Bradford on NGC’s Saints & Strangers, Kartheiser finds the speech he is about to deliver — one arguably launching American free market commerce — interrupted by a loud buzzing sound emanating from somewhere on the Stellenbosch, South Africa, wine farm on which the project’s main sets are nestled. The buzzing stops. Kartheiser … Continue reading
The six-episode, science-meets-storytelling series Breakthrough airs Sundays beginning Nov. 1 on National Geographic Channel. With multitasking cellphones in our pockets, artificial knees and hips a normal part of the aging process, and instant access to lifesaving vaccines, Americans are easily inured to the daily wonders of science. Breakthrough, a stirring, six-episode series from National Geographic Channel — in partnership with GE, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s Imagine Entertainment, Asylum Entertainment and eager celebrity guest directors — aims to change that, one awe-inspiring innovator at a time. Each hour of Breakthrough takes viewers into the workspaces of today’s most diverse and … Continue reading
This Sunday, National Geographic Channel and Mental Floss are partnering for the 2-hour live event Brain Surgery Live With Mental Floss that gives viewers a fascinating look at an awake deep brain stimulation surgery. For the first time on U.S. television, we’ll see live coverage from an operating room (at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland) as 49-year-old veteran Greg Grindley, who suffers from early-onset Parkinson’s Disease, undergoes this surgery. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a procedure used to treat debilitating neurological symptoms, including Parkinson’s disease, by implanting electrodes that block electrical signals from specific areas in the brain. During awake DBS, patients are … Continue reading
The critically acclaimed documentary series Explorer returns to National Geographic Channel on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 8pm ET/PT. Each monthly episode of the series will go deep into a story ripped from the pages of the current issue of National Geographic magazine. In the premiere episode, Warlords of Ivory, special investigative correspondent Bryan Christy, a veteran of wildlife trafficking wars, traces the path of destruction left in the wake of Africa’s illegal ivory trade — a path rife with misery, crime and terrorism that spreads like a dark stain across the map of the world. Christy and his team had an … Continue reading