National Geographic Channel will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its Explorer franchise with a two-hour special set to launch in April.
National Geographic Channel correspondent Lisa Ling will host Explorer: 25 Years, a special debuting April 18 that will highlight how Explorer - the longest running documentary series in cable history -- has covered the world from a news and documentary perspective, according to network officials.
The special will include such highlights as Explorer's coverage of the very first look at the undersea wreckage of the legendary Titanic liner in 1997 and more recently the show's 2007 undercover report from inside North Korea and the 2009 intimate portrait from inside the controversial detention center at Guantanamo, said the network.
Nat Geo will also acknowledge the series' anniversary on the web with an extensive collection of video, gaming and editorial content via a specially designed site launching Jan. 11.
Ove the next 25 weeks, the site will feature each week a past Explorer episode with commentary from the producers or others involved in the program, according to network officials.
In addition, NGC will debut in February an Explorer-themed music video set to the Balkan Beat Box's song Move It.
Viewers will also be able to create and upload to the site their own versions of the famous National Geographic Fanfare music.
The network will also launch a casual game based on Explorer in which players pose as an Explorer reporter to investigate and uncover various nefarious activities being conducted around the world.
On the editorial side, the network will post a special article covering Explorer's impact over the past 25 years by the people behind the series, including Lisa Ling, Boyd Matson and the Explorer filmmakers, said the network.
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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.