National Geographic Society and National Geographic Channels have announced the undertaking of the largest global television event and cross-platform initiative in the institution’s history.
When all is said and done, Greatest Migrations will be a seven-hour mini series accompanied by multiple feature articles in National Geographic’s magazines, books on the subject, digital media content, and various products, events and games.
The mini-series, which will chronicle the stories of animal migration across the globe, is still in production by National Geographic Television, but is due to air after three years in the field in fall 2010 on the National Geographic Channel.
‘The scope of this project draws upon all of the Society’s passion for the natural world,’ said Michael Rosenfeld, president of National Geographic Television, in a statement. ‘We are using every resource at our disposal to produce and distribute this spectacular content in a coordinated effort across all media platforms. Many of the planet’s great migrations are at risk, so the series is going to illuminate the fragile existence of these great animal movements and inspire a worldwide movement to protect them.’
Four hours of the project will encompass the premiere specials, while additional hours will include a scientific look behind animal migration which will air as part of NGC’s ‘Explorer’ series in the United States. There will also be a behind-the-scenes special which looks at the technology required to capture the footage in the series and the challenges the crew faced along the way. Finally, there will be an hour-long piece consisting of footage from the program set to original music.
In addition to all of the television programming that will come from this project, there is also a multi-platform initiative underway to accompany it. The initiative will include features in all of National Geographic’s magazines, a 300+ page book entitled Great Migrations: Incredible Stories of Animals on the Move, a children’s book, the establishment of a Great Migrations philanthropic arm, maps of the migrations, iPhone applications, downloadable games, a lecture series and screenings, educational curriculum, a multitude of products, a series of National Geographic Expedition trips and an exhibit at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington D.C.
‘This is the most ambitious undertaking in National Geographic Channel history,’ said Sydney Suissa, executive vice president of content for National Geographic Channels International. Steve Burns, EVP of content for NGC U.S., added, ‘This is sure to be a viewing experience beyond any program we have aired to date.’