Nets Launch ‘Titanic’ Specials in April

Nonfiction-minded networks
are commemorating the 100th anniversary of
the sinking of RMS Titanic with specials set
to air in April.

National Geographic Channel, which has
developed several Titanic-themed specials in
the past, will premiere an April 8 special featuring
filmmaker James Cameron in advance
of the April 15 anniversary. The special Titanic:
The Final Word With James Cameron
will feature
the famed director and a team of experts
who will examine Cameron’s 1997 feature film
and the model of the cruise ship used in it to
determine what new technology has revealed
sicnce the movie’s release, according to David
Lyle, CEO of National Geographic Channels
U.S. and global programming.

The following night on NGC a second special,
Save the Titanic With Bob Ballard, will
follow explorer Ballard as he retraces Titanic’s
beginnings and examines the ship’s original
plans as he teams with families of victims
and survivors to help preserve the wreckage

The National Geographic Society also
made the disaster (which cost some 1,500
lives) subject of the April 2012 cover story in
National Geographic magazine, which first
published Ballard’s historic 1985 discovery
of the wreck, as well as digital and publishing

“The Titanic story is near and dear to National
Geographic Channel’s heart,” Lyle said.
“It resonates with people partly because of the
grandeur of the Titanic, partly due to the shock
of an unsinkable ship sinking and partly due to
the fascination in the fascination — it’s almost
like a self-perpetuating story.”

History will note the anniversary with Titanic
at 100: Mystery Solved
, which revolves around
the findings of a 2010 expedition to the wreck
site, according to History officials. The undertaking,
led by the salvor-in-possession RMS Titanic
Inc., promises to
reveal new footage of
the sunken ship, as
well as the first comprehensive
map of its
underwater resting

History officials
also said the special
will reveal for the
first time a complete
picture of the ship’s
breakup and sinking
by use of a “virtual
hangar” that will create
a holographic reconstruction of the site.

Smithsonian Channel on Thursday, April
5, will air the two-hour special Titanic’s Final
, with a new theory (expounded
on in Smithsonian magazine’s cover story this
month) that the ship sailed straight into an unlikely
combination of atmospheric conditions
that were ultimately responsible for its demise.

Using computer-generated images and a
series of experiments to bring the exceptional
conditions that preceded the ship’s demise
to life, historian and author Tim Maltin will
address one of the Titanic’s great mysteries:
How two expert lookouts missed a giant iceberg
lying straight ahead.

R. Thomas Umstead

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.