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Upfronts 2012: Nat Geo Adds Five New Shows in Focus on Series - Broadcasting & Cable

Upfronts 2012: Nat Geo Adds Five New Shows in Focus on Series

Under new exec team, net relying on big production talent for specials
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National
Geographic Channel on Monday announced its 2012-13 programming slate under its
new executive team, including five new series and a number of specials and
events.

New
President Howard T. Owens,
a former Reveille exec, outlined a strategy shift from one-off specials to male
character-fronted series to up the entertainment quotient of Nat Geo's
programming.

As
such, the five new series joining Nat Geo are American Chainsaw, about a New England chainsaw sculptor; Bid & Destroy, which follows a
demolition crew that searches for hidden treasure; Brain Games, spun-off from the net's three-part special last fall
which explores the ways your brain fools you; Jersey Combat, about the world's largest military warehouse and the
family that owns it; and the previously announced Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?, the net's first competition series.

NGC
has also renewed seven existing series -- Alaska
State Troopers
, Border Wars, Hard Time, Locked Up Abroad, Rocket City
Rednecks
, Taboo, and Doomsday Preppers.

The
new team is also looking to make their specials larger, tentpole events by
tapping big-name production talent just as it is doing on the series side with Boy Scout, which is from Thom Beers'
Original Productions, and Pilgrim Studios' upcoming Wicked Tuna.

"We're
changing the way we do business in terms of communicating and working with the
creative industry," Owens said. "I think our new slate reflects high
entertainment value that's authentic and thoughtful and smart."

Headlining
NGC's 10 specials for the 2012-13 season is James Cameron's Deepsea Challenge, where the
Oscar-winning director travels to 6.8 miles beneath sea level to the deepest
spot on earth, the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Other
big names include producers include Ridley and Tony Scott on the historical
thriller event Killing Lincoln, based
on the best-selling book by Bill O'Reilly and The 80s: The Decade That Made Us from Nutopia, which looks at the
years that gave us Starbucks, bottled water and Oprah, among many other staples
of modern society.

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