Nat Geo Aims To Build Program Franchises

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National Geographic Channel will launch a record 13 new
series, and see 10 series return, in the 2011-12 season as part of the network's
effort to create more programming franchises.

The channel has seen success with the series Alaska State Troopers and Wild Justice, which were the net's
highest rated returning and new series premieres, respectively, each earning a
0.9 adults 25-54 rating, and hopes to build on that with a new slate of
programming that focuses on Nat Geo's mission of making science accessible.

Among the new series in production is The Indestructibles, about experts who explore the science behind
individuals who defied death, Rocket Men,
about PhDs in Alabama using redneck skills to solve aerospace problems, and American Knights in the U.S., about a
man trying to bring legitimacy to the sport of jousting. The latter two series
spotlight charismatic main characters, which is another priority for the net
this year.

"This upfront is a transition, to some extent, to dial up
our on-air personalities," says Steve Schiffman, president of National
Geographic Channels.

Other new programming includes CSI Me, where forensic experts will try to piece together the
stories of living people by examining forensic clues and the special Party Like A... that looks at celebrations
throughout history.

Nat Geo will also launch its fourth Expedition Week in
November, with five specials like ones exploring the truth about the tomb of
Genghis Khan or the Salem Witch trials. The second annual Expedition Week
earned a 0.4 rating in primetime with adults 25-54, up 38% from the first event
(the third Expedition Week will run this April).