National Geographic Television International (NGTI) and Rai 2 have announced a new coproduction partnership creating specials for Rai 2′s primetime doc slot ‘Voyager.’
The partnership, proposed by NGTI’s Italian consultant Paola Cunsolo and headed up by NGT’s executive VP, Maryanne Culpepper, will see NGTI and Rai 2 coproduce three docs for the slot. ‘NGTI has licensed programming to various parts of Rai over the years but we are delighted to have taken our relationship to a new level by working so closely together on these coproductions,’ says NGTI president, Maurice van Sabben. ‘National Geographic is a not-for-profit organization that has a mission to inspire people to care about the planet: this dovetails neatly with Rai’s remit as a state broadcaster, caring passionately about informing viewers with entertaining and credible programming.’
The first doc, slated to go out in the premiere slot for the new ‘Voyager’ season on September 1, is Machu Picchu Decoded. The doc, which will come out just ahead of the 100th anniversary of Machu Picchu’s discovery, will look at new archaeological finds which provide new explanations for how and why the iconic site was built.
The other two docs to be created in the partnership, Gallipoli’s Deep Secrets and Quest for Solomon’s Mines, also involve investigations into ancient unsolved mysteries. The former follows National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence (and the man responsible for finding the Titanic), Robert Ballard, as he uses cutting-edge technology to discover what caused the British/French offensive over the Ottoman capital of Constantinople in 1915. The latter will set out to see if Solomon and his mines ever existed.
‘The ‘Voyager’ strand prides itself in presenting viewers with compelling documentaries featuring new discoveries and fascinating, strong stories,’ says ‘Voyager’ creator, and host, Roberto Giacobbo. ‘National Geographic Television shares these values for its productions and therefore is an ideal partner for us. Working together on these programs has been a fascinating experience.’
An additional National Geographic Television program will also go out on Rai 2 next spring. Vampires in Venice follows Italian forensic anthropologist Dr. Matteo Borrini as he examines a strange skeleton he believes was thought to be a vampire in the 16th century.