Docs

Nat Geo orders Kal Penn data series, 9/11 special

National Geographic Channel has greenlit three series, including the data visualization series Mapology starring actor Kal Penn (pictured), as well as a 9/11 special.
July 9, 2014

National Geographic Channel has greenlit series starring actor Kal Penn (pictured), ‘drinkaloguer’ Zane Lamprey and chef Eric Greenspan,as well as a 9/11 special.

Penn, who recently starred in Discovery Channel’s The Big Brain Theory, will host and produce the data visualization series Mapology (working title).

Produced by National Geographic Studios, the show will examine how money, sex, food, sports, crime, weather and animal migrations influence daily life through infographics generated from information banks and data analysis, as well as documentary segments. Mapology is slated to air next spring internationally.

“We’re going to establish connections made through statistics and data, and reveal how the bigger picture affects the real world, throughout history, across societies and into our hearts and brains,” Penn said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Kickstarter-funded series Chug - featuring ‘drinkaloguer’ and Showdown of the Unbeatables star Zane Lamprey – will begin airing on the network this fall.

Produced by Inzane Entertainment, the show follows Lamprey as he travels via train to “exotic and boozy locations” such as Fiji, Australia and Kuala Lumpur to learn about local culture and history through the lens of drinking traditions.

In Eric Greenspan Is Hungry, the titular chef and gastronome Captain Mauzner travel the United States sampling local meat dishes to get inspiration for Greenspan’s restaurants in Los Angeles. The series is produced by Relativity Television and will begin airing in November.

The cable net will also air a special marking the thirteenth anniversary of 9/11 on September 7 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

Produced by Creative Differences, 9/10: The Final Hours is billed as a “moment by moment” account of the events leading up to the attack on the World Trade Center. It features interviews with people who worked in the building and encountered hijacker ringleader Mohamed Atta during his still unexplained detour to Portland, Maine.

The doc also features an interview with the 9/11 Memorial Museum chief curator Jan Ramirez.

“So many films have told the story of the unfolding tragedy of September 11 that we decided to explore what happened on the eve of that moment – a new look at the life, and not the death, of the World Trade Center and the men and women who worked there,” said director Erik Nelson in a statement. “September 10, 2001 was just a day like any other, but of course, it was so much more than that. We’ve tried to construct a time portal back to that day, back to this now lost world.”

In other NGC news, National Geographic Korea has picked up The Journey to North Korea 2013. The documentary was produced by and originally aired on Hong Kong broadcasterPhoenix Satellite Television and is tentatively scheduled to air in South Korea in August.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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