National Geographic Channel has set three separate projects with Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Alex Gibney and Tom Fontana, the network announced today during its panel at the Television Critics Association summer tour.
Red Planet (wt), an event series which tells the epic story of the quest to colonize Mars, is executive produced by Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer and Justin Wilkes and Dave O’Connor of RadicalMedia. A hybrid of scripted and unscripted elements, Red Planet is set in 2032 and the present day, and includes interviews from present-day scientists and innovators who are preparing the way for the first manned mission to Mars in 2032. It’s slated to premiere on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 44 languages in 2016.
Nat Geo also greenlighted Parched from Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney and his Jigsaw Productions, which looks at the global water crisis. Gibney will serve as executive producer of Parched, which will be created as a TV miniseries and as a feature documentary with a limited theatrical release. Both will air globally on the National Geographic Channels in 171 countries and 44 languages.
Nat Geo also ordered a pilot script from Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson (The Levinson/Fontana Co) for a potential limited series, Last Men Out. Based on Bob Drury and Tom Clavin’s book of the same name, Last Men Out dramatizes the heroic actions of a small band of Marines in the final days of the Vietnam War. Fontana will write and executive produce the series pilot through The Levinson/Fontana Co— the production company he co-founded with Levinson.
In other Nat Geo news today: The network announced that Bill Clinton will be the first guest on the new season of StarTalk, hosted by Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Season 2 premieres Sunday, October 25 at 11/10 C. The two-hour special Billy the Kid: New Evidence premieres Sunday, October 18, at 9/8c and globally on the National Geographic Channel. Executive produced by Kevin Costner, the special traces the origins of a newly discovered tintype containing what appears to be a second image of the famed fugitive. Nat Geo Wild has greenlighted Big Game Of Thrones (wt), a wildlife miniseries that chronicles rival animal clans battling for supremacy in the wild. It premieres on Nat Geo Wild globally in 2016. And Hans Zimmer has signed on to score the main title theme music for National Geographic Channel’s upcoming movie event Saints & Strangers, shooting now in Cape Town, South Africa. Zimmer and Extreme Music’s Bleeding Fingers Music will score the film. Saints & Strangers chronicles the trials and tribulations of the first settlers at Plymouth. The four-hour film is slated to premiere on the network later this fall.