National Geographic has given a green light to its next scripted project, Valley of the Boom, a drama/documentary hybrid limited series about the ’90s tech boom, from showrunner and director Matthew Carnahan (House of Lies), executive producer Arianna Huffington and StxTV.
Led by Silicon Valley, the 1990s tech boom spawned some of the world’s most influential people and recognizable brands. The new six-part limited series will look at the culture of speculation, innovation and debauchery that led to the rapid inflation and burst of the 1990s tech bubble. As with its hybrid series Mars, Nat Geo will use select doc elements to support the scripted drama to tell the true inside story of the dramatic early days of Silicon Valley.
Valley of the Boom will be produced by STX Entertainment’s TV studio, STXtv, for Nat Geo. Carnahan and Huffington executive produce, along with Jason Goldberg (The Platinum Life, Punk’d), Brant Pinvidic (Bar Rescue), and David Walpert (House of Lies, New Girl). David Newsom is co-executive producer and will lead the non-scripted unit of the production. Joel Ehninger of Matthew Carnahan Circus Products boards as producer.
The series will premiere globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages. STX will distribute the series in China.
“National Geographic pioneered the hybrid scripted-docuseries genre with Mars, which is currently in production on its second season. With Valley of the Boom, we are continuing on the same genre-busting path,” said Carolyn Bernstein, executive vice president and head of global scripted programming and development at National Geographic. “The provocative world of Silicon Valley has long dominated headlines and captured the public’s imagination. We cannot wait to tell this timely, wildly unpredictable and captivating story of the early days of the dotcom boom and bust with showrunner Matthew Carnahan and his signature irreverent blend of drama, comedy and pathos.”
Carnahan is a critically acclaimed novelist, playwright, director and writer for television and features. His most recent series, House of Lies, starring Don Cheadle and Kristen Bell, ran for five seasons on Showtime and won Cheadle a Golden Globe for Best Actor. Carnahan is repped by ICM & Lighthouse Management & Media.
“Valley of the Boom is the perfect example of the creatively ambitious, globally-minded content that STXtv is producing for audiences across platforms,” said Jada Miranda, EVP and Head of Scripted Television at STXtv. “Matthew has been a dream collaborator and the perfect creator for this project – blending his past in documentary filmmaking with expert TV series show running. We’re thrilled to bring his innovative vision to National Geographic and give audiences a peek behind the curtain of one of the most fascinating periods in recent history.”
Added Carnahan, “We wanted to make something as disruptive and exciting as the people and the tech that came out of The Valley during this period, so this is a wild, hybridized, rule-breaking look at a truly remarkable time and place.
STXtv and NatGeo have allowed us tremendous creative freedom, and I’m excited about making something truly new and different.”
Huffington is founder of The Huffington Post, founder and CEO of Thrive Global, and author of 15 books, including Thrive and The Sleep Revolution.
“Silicon Valley and the technology that came out of it dominate our world in so many ways, both physically and culturally,” said Huffington. “But we can’t understand the present without understanding how we got here. So I’m thrilled to be partnering with a master storyteller like Matthew Carnahan, a global studio of STXtv’s caliber and a brand that has rightly earned such deep trust and loyalty as National Geographic.”
Valley of the Boom follows Nat Geo’s Genius, which received 10 Emmy nominations, and the premiere of its critically praised drama series The Long Road Home.