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BBC America to Launch ‘Project Awe’ Micro Channel

BBC America will offer a weekly 24-hour block of nature-themed programming on Saturdays beginning in the fourth quarter, the network said during its upfront presentation Monday. 

The “micro network,” dubbed Project Awe, will feature premium nature and wildlife content, including such franchises as Frozen Planet, and Planet Earth, according to network officials. BBC America will transform the look and feel of the channel to reflect the Project Awe brand, which will run every Saturday beginning at 6 am. The block will also serve as the premiere destination for upcoming nature projects One Planet: Seven Worlds, Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III, according to BBC America.

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“As the past, present and future U.S. home to this iconic BBC nature and wildlife programming, we know that epic documentaries about this spellbinding blue planet we all share pulls people from all backgrounds and all ages together in a transcendent way that’s unlike anything else, which is why we have been ‘all in,’ on this groundbreaking programming for many years, and will continue to be for many more to come,” said Sarah Barnett, president of the entertainment networks group for AMC Networks in a statement. “It is a privilege to be a home for experiences that make us feel part of something bigger than ourselves and remind us of our profound connectedness. BBC America's Project Awe is created as a place for audiences to gather together and feel something bigger than themselves.”

In other AMC Networks upfront news, IFC has renewed its original series Documentary Now! for a 53rd season, according to the network. 

AMC also announced a Aug. 12 premiere date for its anthology series The Terror: Infamy, which centers on a series of bizarre deaths that haunt a Japanese-American community, and a young man's journey to understand and combat the malevolent entity responsible. 

Also that day, the network will also return its drama series Lodge 49 for a second season, the network announced. 

IFC will debut its musical sketch comedy show Sherman's Showcase on July 31, while SundanceTV premieres limited original series The Name Of the Rose May 23, season three of comedy Rosehaven June 20; non-fiction series Close Up with The Hollywood Reporter on June 23, and new true crime documentary series No One Saw A Thing on July 31.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.