TCA Winter 2013: Discovery Special Taps White House Chief Of Staffs

Discovery Channel will go behind the scenes at the White House with a new special later this year, one of several Discovery-owned network announcements made during the company’s TCA presentation Saturday.

Discovery Channel’s The Presidents’ Gatekeepers, which will premiere later this year, will feature interviews with 19 White House chiefs of staffs over six Presidential administrations as they talk about key moments and heated debates that helped shape history, according to network officials.

--Animal Planet will focus on the illegal killing of rhinos as part of a three-part miniseries debuting March 7. Battleground: Rhino Wars follows a South African anti-poaching unit trying to stop the illegal trade of rhino horns, according to Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. Kaplan also announced that the network has renewed its hit series Whale Wars for a sixth season.

--Science Channel on Jan. 9 will launch a new series based on the Stuff You Should Know podcast. The series of the same name features Discovery employees Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant as create a “mockumentary” around parts of their popular podcast, said Debbie Adler Myers, general manager and executive vice president for Science Channel. The network will also return for a third season the Ricky Gervais-produced franchise An Idiot Abroad.

--Investigation Discovery will air a pair of specials in February with a focus on civil rights and racial profiling. March To Justice, premiering Feb. 25, will feature first-person recollections from Civil Rights moment luminaries as they discuss the events that crystallized the 1960’s movement. The Injustice Files: Hood Of Suspicion, debuting Feb. 13, looks at three distinct cases that illustrate how self-defense practices discriminate against African Americans, according to Henry Schleiff, president and general manager, Investigation Discovery.

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.