National Geographic is expanding its long-running documentary series, Explorer, into a multi-platform franchise.
National Geographic Channel—part of a joint venture between 21 Century Fox and the National Geographic Society—is holding an upfront event Wednesday night in New York.
Explorer sponsorships can be customized to include the television show, its digital storytelling, social experience, live events, print and the new Open Explorer community platform.
The Explorer ecosystem starts with the TV series, which has been running since 1995—long before the network launched.. A new 20-episode season, with new host Phil Keoghan, has its premiere in November 2018. Last year, Explorer’s 10th season on Nat Geo aired from March to June 2017.
When the new season premieres, Explorer will go cross-platform with weekly digital and social extensions. The extensions will include breakdowns of complex issues dealt with in episodes, profiles, extra visuals and facts.
National Geographic this week launched Open Explorer an online platform and community where explorers can share their adventures, collaborate and raise funds. Open Explorer features story telling tools that will also people to create “digital field journals,” democratizing exploration and letting more people and organizations to contribute observations.
National Geographic Magazine will be originating stories that will become segments on the show. The magazine will also feature more adventure pieces, letting reader go on mental journeys. New elements include Atlas, which are stories told using maps and Through the Lens, which recounts how a memorable photo was created.
“Explorer has been informing and entertaining audiences for over 30 years, taking them on exciting adventures around the world,” said Gary Knell, Chief Executive Officer of National Geographic Partners. “By expanding Explorer across National Geographic’s multiplatforms, we will bring the spirit of this award- winning series to our audiences in new ways and will give them more tools to explore their curiosities than ever before.”
The new season of Explorer, currently in production, will premiere on National Geographic in 172 countries and 43 languages. Explorer is produced by National Geographic Studios for National Geographic. Jeff Hasler, Brian Lovett and Gretchen Eisele are executive producers.