Programming

NBC News Launching iPad Series With Richard Engel

Monthly travel documentary show 'Hidden Planet' debuts Feb. 8 2/06/2012 03:35:28 PM Eastern

On Feb. 8, NBC News will debut the documentary series Hidden Planet hosted by Richard Engel on the Rock Center with Brian Williams iPad app, the first time the network has premiered a series on an iPad app.

The monthly series takes Engel, NBC News' chief foreign correspondent, off his usual beat of war-torn countries and follows him as he explores some of the most rarely seen places around the world, like the lost city of Timbuktu and the tunnels beneath the Saqqara Pyramids. The series will be exclusive to the iPad app on release, then available on RockCenterNBC.com a week later.

For Engel, the series grew out of his own wanderlust, which he fulfills by making sure he takes side trips when on assignment in conflict zones. He often takes a camera crew along for fun, and some footage has since aired in segments on the Today show before the decision to expand it to a series in Hidden Planet.

The series is Engel's way of introducing audiences to the world outside of the latest suicide bomb attack or civilian uprising that often makes news in the regions from which he reports.

"I think for the last 10 years, Americans, partly by the media and partly for good reason have been very afraid of the world and there has been this constant bombardment of seeing foreign countries as dangerous places," Engels says. "While there is a lot of danger out there and there are a lot of Anti-American places, the world is also wonderful and beautiful and exciting and full of history and adventure and romance."

Engel and his crew have filmed six episodes so far, including trips to Yemen, Libya and deep into Tanzania where a native tribe took Engel on a hunt with poison-tipped arrows. He chooses all of the locations, all of which are rooted in history in some way. And just as Rock Center does segments that are of personal interest to Brian Williams, Hidden Planet shows a side of Engel that viewers don't normally get to see.

"I like journalism not because I like seeing people get
shot, I like journalism because you see lots of different things," he says. "I'm very passionate about this subject, probably more than
most people expected."

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