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TCA: National Geographic Channel Taps Actor Kal Penn For Series

National Geographic Channel has signed actor Kal Penn to host a new series Mapology, one of a number of new shows announced Tuesday during the cable portion of the Television Critics Association tour.

Mapology, starring Penn (How I Met Your Mother, Harold and Kumar) explores different themes through the mapping of new data and interacting with interesting characters, said network officials during the network's TCA session.

“We continue to develop new series that demonstrate our commitment to producing cool smart programming that is fun, entertaining and accessible,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Channel in a statement. “With Mapology, we’re stripping down the layers of the world to discover hidden connections that will enhance our audience’s views of what’s really happening, not only the world at large, but in their small world.”

The network also announced the Sept. 7 premiere of a new special, 9/10: The Final Hours, which takes viewers moment by moment through the day before the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York City, said network officials.

In addition, the network will focus on the consumption of alcoholic drinks around the world in the new series Chug. The show will follow “drinkaloguer” Zane Lamprey as he travels by train to sample alcoholic beverages at exotic locations around the world. Another travel series, Eric Greenspan is Hungry, debuts in November and will follow Greenspan as he visits people around the country who farm, raise, nurture, hunt and butcher livestock for food consumption, said the network.