Move over Morgan Freeman. Other actors are coming for your job as narrator in educational programming with Will Smith, Chris Evans and others joining the channel's lineup this Spring. The National Geographic channel announced their lineup for new and returning series at the Television Critics Association Winter Panel, and this year their programming boasts other top talent behind the scenes. Antonio Banderas, Katie Couric and filmmaker Darren Aronofsky attended the panel to talk about their new projects.
Fittingly National Geographic's panel at the TCA Winter Session coincided with the 130th birthday of the magazine which launched in 1888 by a group of men but the milestones of the company were made by women and today a female CEO is head of the century old outlet.
CEO Courteney Monroe joked the National Geographic logo will not be adding Mickey Mouse ears to their logo now that the FOX company has sold it's properties to Disney.
The Nat Geo television channel has three major projects this 2018 winter/spring featuring major players in the industry.
Now Airing - CHAIN OF COMMAND
Chris Evans (CAPTAIN AMERICA, THE AVENGERS) narrates this intense look at the inside the walls of the Pentagon and on the front lines of the U.S. military’s mission to fight violent extremism around the world, National Geographic’s new eight-part documentary series, Chain of Command, premiering on Monday, Jan. 15, at 9/8c, offers a new perspective on what has been dubbed the war of this generation. Filmed over 18 months, the global event series paints an intimate portrait of how men and women in the U.S. military handle authority and responsibility as well as the sacrifices they make in their personal lives.
March 26 - ONE STRANGE ROCK
"One Strange Rock," a 10-part series from Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures is hosted by Will Smith, From Executive Producers Darren Aronofsky (MOTHER!) and Jane Root.
At the TCA panel, eight astronauts including three woman and two pople of color were introduced and are featured in the series giving viewers a first-hand account of their experience in space looking down at Earth. One of the astronauts said the show is not about how Earth will cease to exist because of global warming but the real fear is how humanity faces extinction. Earth will manage to survive.
Premiering on Monday, March 26, at 9/8c, acclaimed filmmaker Darren Aronofsky (“mother!,” “Black Swan,” “Requiem for a Dream”) and award-winning producer Jane Root (“America: the Story of Us,” “The 80s: The Decade That Made Us”) join forces on an epic, cinematic event series that will redefine natural history filmmaking. Hosted by Will Smith (“Ali,” “Pursuit of Happyness,” “Men in Black” franchise), One Strange Rock promises to be a mind-bending, thrilling journey that explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth, one of the most peculiar, unique places in the entire universe. It’s the extraordinary story of why life as we know it exists on Earth, brought into perspective by the only people to have left it behind: astronauts. This 10-part series from Nutopia and Protozoa Pictures brings cameras where they’ve never been before, having filmed in 45 countries, on six continents and from outer space on the ISS. One Strange Rock guides viewers through our vulnerable, tiny speck of a planet among the vast, harsh cosmic arena, revealing the magical twists of fate that have allowed life to emerge, survive and thrive only on Earth.
APRIL 11 - America Inside Out With Katie Couric
America Inside Out With Katie Couric, a six-part documentary series premiering Wednesday, April 11, at 10/9c, follows Couric as she travels the country to sit down with the people shaping the most pivotal, evolving, contentious and often confusing topics in American culture today. Inspired by her own personal journey of making National Geographic’s critically acclaimed, groundbreaking documentary Gender Revolution (2017), Couric has expanded her commitment and each week will address some of the most divisive themes confronting our country today, including feminism, Muslims in America, political correctness, the impact of the white working class on the 2016 presidential election, controversial monuments and statues and the rapid growth of technology. Couric enlists cultural icons and regular folks to help her look past the noise, politics and individual discomfort to understand complicated truths.
April 24 - Genius
Ron Howard and Brian Grazer return as executive producers for the second season of "Genius" with Pablo Picasso as the subject. Emmy-nominated global event series "Genius" will make its sophomore season debut on National Geographic on Tuesday, April 24, at 9/8c. As one of the 20th century’s most influential and celebrated artists, Pablo Picasso imagined and interpreted the world in totally new and unorthodox ways, reinventing our perception of creativity in the process. Starring Antonio Banderas in the titular role, the second season explores how the Spanish-born artist’s passionate nature and relentless creative drive were inextricably linked to his personal life, which included tumultuous marriages, numerous affairs and constantly shifting political and personal alliances.
Antonio Banderas and some of his castmates were at the panel via satellite from Budapest where they are currently shooting the series. The Spanish actor said he feels a lot of pressure to portray Pablo Picasso, otherwise he may not be able to go back to his country.
Brian Grazer revealed they are currently looking for a third season of "Genius" but this time focusing on an iconic woman.
2019 - Cosmos
FOX and National Geographic announce the highly anticipated return of the Emmy award-winning series “Cosmos” renowned Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson returns as host of the 13-part series, and executive produced Seth MacFarlane. The show will return in the Spring of 2019.
Following a wildly successful run in 2014 as the most-watched series ever on National Geographic Channels internationally, and seen by more than 135 million people worldwide on National Geographic and FOX, the new season will once again premiere in the U.S. on both FOX and National Geographic and globally on National Geographic in 171 countries and 43 languages.
In the vastness of space and the immensity of time, the number of worlds to explore and stories to tell are virtually infinite. The first two seasons of the COSMOS television series transported a global audience to the farthest reaches and most deeply hidden recesses of the universe. In the course of those journeys, the series dramatized the lives of many of the forgotten searchers who contributed to the world’s understanding of who, when and where we are in the universe. COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS will venture to previously uncharted territories.
In conjunction with the launch of the new season, National Geographic Books also will publish a companion book, COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS, by Ann Druyan, the long-awaited follow-up to Carl Sagan’s international bestseller, COSMOS: A Personal Voyage.