Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATE, 2:30 PM: With the landmark 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks coming up, National Geographic Channel plans a full week of programming commemorating the event from Aug. 28-Sept. 3. At the network’s TCA session this afternoon, Nat Geo detailed its special week that will include turning over primetime to 9/11-themed programs nightly from 8-11 PM. Headlining the programming is an exclusive hourlong interview with former President George W. Bush that finds Bush offering a rare glimpse into his thoughts about the events of that fateful day. The interview, conducted over a two-day period, will premiere on the channel Aug. 28 at 10 PM, encoring on Aug. 29 and Sept. 3. Speaking to critics today about the interview — cobbled into a narration-free hour special in which Bush’s is the only face seen on camera — executive producer and director Peter Schnall said that Bush required no ground rules in terms of discussing what would be asked in advance. “The president and his staff asked that no questions be provided beforehand,” he said.
PREVIOUS, 11:53 AM: At the National Geographic Channel/Nat Geo Wild session this afternoon at the Television Critics Association’s summer press tour, the adventure-themed channels made several announcements to critics while trotting out panels to discuss new shows including Rocket City Rednecks and Mad Scientists. The news included announcements of several National Geographic Channel premieres:
Pint-Sized Preachers (Aug. 17 at 10 PM)
Hourlong documentary looking at the troubling phenomenon of child evangelists.
Kissinger (Sept. 12 at 8 PM)
Two-hour doc featuring interview with iconic 88-year-old former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Brian Games (Oct. 9 at 8 PM)
Three-part special showing how our brain plays tricks on us and featuring magician David Copperfield; premieres in three-hour burst.
How Hard Can It Be? (Fall, date and time TBA)
New original series centering on three guys tackling complex engineering tasks using ordinary materials.
Knights of Mayhem (Fall, date and time TBA)
New five-part series that goes inside crazy world of full-contact, heavy-armored competitive jousting.
Rock Stars (Fall, date and time TBA)
New series following a company of rock technicians as they trek around North America to prevent treacherous rock slides.