Coming off its highest rated February in history, the National Geographic Channel is unveiling a slate of four new and seven returning series at its upfront presentation. The new series include Die Trying, featuring men and women pushing the limits of endurance; Building Wild, an extreme do-it-yourself-type home building series; Showdown of the Unbeatables, a battle of cutting-edge inventions; and The Legend Of Mick Dodge, described as “Forrest Gump meets the Jungle Man,” about a man who lives on his terms and his band of quirky friends. “We want to keep the momentum, coming off pour best year (2012) and month (February) with a mix of contemporary entertainment styles,” said NGC Chief Executive Officer David Lyle.
Additionally, Nat Geo brass are so high on two of its upcoming series, Brain Games (premiering in April), an interactive series exploring mind’s skills hosted by Jason Silva; and Ultimate Survival Alaska (premiering in May), an extreme adventure series testing a team of explorers, that the network is granting both second-season renewals before their freshman ones had debuted. Lyle stressed that Brain Games‘ take on science is “smart rather than intellectual while NGC president Howard T. Owens noted Survival Alaska‘s breakout potential. Also receiving series renewals are hits Doomsday Preppers, NGC’s highest-rated series, Wicked Tuna and Diggers. And while the slate presented to advertisers is dominated by unscripted fare, Nat Geo also is committed to growing its scripted area following the success of its first scripted offering, the Scott Free-produced factual drama special Killing Lincoln. “The DNA of the channel is to take creative risks and make bold moves and not be afraid to be different,” said Owens. NGC is getting some attention with the gritty docu series Inside Combat Rescue and has also coming up acquired feature documentary Chasing Ice and two-hour special American Blackout. Paired with Doomsday Preppers, the real-life Revolution imagines the first two weeks immediately following a catastrophic blackout and “will be filmed as a full-throttle disaster movie,” Owens said. Sibling Nat Geo Wild’s slate includes a new Cesar Millan series and two specials featuring the dog whisperer. Here are descriptions of NGC and Nat Geo Wild’s newly picked up series. (more…)