History Channel Greenlights Energetic Series


A quarter year into her run as History Channel chief, Nancy Dubuc is revving up the network, greenlighting for production shows with quicker pacing and more lively topics, including fighting dinosaurs, modern martial-arts gurus and aliens.

Series slated to premiere in 2007/08 are Human Weapon, a weekly search for the master of various martial-arts forms; Jurassic Fight Club, a dissection of the battles that took place between dinosaurs; Ice Road Truckers, a docu-drama about long-haul truckers whose cross ice to get food to miners; Tougher in Alaska, a look at what it takes to survive in the state; and The Universe, a computer-generated look at what life would be like on other planets.

Dubuc says she's aiming to "emotionally engage" viewers  with contemporary stories and and "dimentionalize history" by using current stories on a broader range of subjects as a prism to look at the past.

"History isn't necessarily locked in the past," she says. "History is what's happening now."

While much of the channel's current original programming tells stories as an earnest, linear, present-tense narratives, newer shows will have quicker pacing and include first-person orating, not just interviews.

History, which averages about 1 million total viewers during prime., has an audience of about 70% men and a median age between 50 and 51. Dubuc said she ideally hopes to bring that down by about four to five years, but declined to give a timeframe to meet that goal.

Dubuc replaced History veteran Dan Davids in December 2006. Davids had been at History's parent company A&E Television Networks for 22 years and Dubuc for about five.