EXCLUSIVE: National Geographic Channel has greenlit a docu-drama series American Genius from the producers of The Men Who Built America and Sons of Liberty. This time, Stephen David Entertainment will spotlight Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Graham Bell, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg, among others. “In an era where America is not always credited as leading ingenuity, this show will remind us that this country has always been a global hotbed for genius, and we will celebrate the way they changed the world we live in,” NatGeo Channel president Howard T. Owens explained. NGC is billing the multi-part series as the natural extension of its series Brain Games, which sizes up the human brain using an intricate string of experiments, optical illusions, brainteasers and hard science, and The Numbers Game, which looks at how science and statistics may hold the keys to a longer, wealthier, calmer life. Both Brain Games, which NGC says is its highest rated series to date, and The Numbers Game are in a second season of production.
“American Genius looks at those who mentally put the pedal to the metal,” said David. “These are stories of beautiful, hyper-creative mad minds. We may think we know them because our country, and the world, still reaps the benefits of their extraordinary thinking, but our goal is to go way behind IQ, and way beyond the known eccentricity.”
SDE’s docu-dramas weave narration, re-enactment, and talking heads. What distinguishes the SDE docu-drama from, say PBS docu-drama, is the talking heads, who aren’t professors of think-ology from leading universities — they’re Mark Cuban and Jack Welch, as was the case in The Men who Built America, about titans of money-making/country shaping Cornelius Vanderbilt, John D. Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan, etc.