National Geographic Channel (NGC) is aiming to beat other U.S. cable nets to the punch by airing the first U.S. documentary on the Costa Concordia cruise ship tragedy, commissioning Dragonfly TV to re-version a quick-turnaround British doc for American audiences.
NGC will air Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories on February 12 at 7 p.m. EST, repeating the hour-long special the next day at 10 p.m. EST.
The doc is a re-version of Terror at Sea: The Sinking of the Concordia, a special Dragonfly made for Channel 4 in the UK, which the network aired on January 31.
A NGC spokeswoman told realscreen that the re-versioned documentary, while essentially the same program, would feature more U.S.-centric content, such as interviews with American passengers. NGC is billing the production as the “first U.S. documentary detailing the Italian cruise ship disaster moment-by-moment.”
The hour-long doc will weave together stories from passengers and staff onboard the ship, as well as Coast Guard rescuers with home video footage – some never seen on U.S. television – and CGI to reconstruct the sinking of the Costa Concordia “as it happened.”
The special will also ask how the ship sank and whether the tragedy could have been prevented. For Dragonfly TV, the exec producers are Alison Turner, Simon Dickson and Mark Roberts. The edit producer is Martin Pupp, and the producers and directors are Marc Tiley and Paul O’Connor.
For NGC, the executive producer is Michael Welsh and the exec VP of programming is Michael Cascio.
The news comes after Discovery announced last month that it was working on a special to air this spring, looking at the disaster.
The Costa Concordia partially sank on January 13 of this year after hitting a reef off the Italian coast and running aground in Tuscany, claiming the lives of 17 people. Sixteen passengers are still missing.