Discovery sets documentary franchise

Discovery Networks U.S. is partnering with five acclaimed documentary
filmmakers to create a new documentary franchise.

Filmmakers Barbara Kopple, Michael Apted, Nanette Burstein, Chris Hegedus and
the team of D.A. Pennebaker and Peter Gilbert have signed on with Discovery and
CameraPlanet to produce and distribute new films, called "Discovery Docs."

The documentaries will be released theatrically first, then premiere on
Discovery Networks, most likely on flagship Discovery Channel.

Discovery Networks president Billy Campbell said the first projects will be
green-lit in the coming weeks and the first film could premiere early next year.
Discovery doesn't have a set number of documentaries planned.

Subjects the filmmakers have suggested range broadly from hockey to Libyan
leader Muamar Qhadafi to former Ill. Gov. Ryan's decision to
commute death sentences before he left office.

"We are partnering with the best filmmakers to make the best documentaries,"
Campbell said. "We are excited to get back to the roots of what Discovery is all