Nat Geo renews “Breakthrough”

Directors signing on for the second season of the science anthology series include Ana Lily Amirpour, Shane Carruth and Shalini Kantayya. (Pictured: season one)
July 25, 2016

National Geographic Channel has greenlit a second season of its science anthology series, Breakthrough, from Imagine Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment.

Production on the second season has begun, with a spring 2017 premiere slated for Nat Geo’s channels across the globe. The series spotlights the world’s leading scientists and innovative breakthroughs that will impact the immediate future and generations to come.

While the first season brought in various actors and Hollywood directors to helm each installment, including Paul Giamatti and Brett Ratner, the second season will feature such directors as Iranian-American writer/director Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), who will look at the ground-breaking use of T-cell immunotherapy in the treatment of cancer; Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize winner Shane Carruth (Primer, Upstream Color), who will examine advancements in big data and artificial intelligence; filmmaker David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints), who will look at the use of psychedelic drugs in treatment of addictions; “eco-advocate” filmmaker Shalini Kantayya (Catching the Sun), who will spotlight innovative energy technologies; The Malloy Brothers (Under the Great White Northern Lights), who will look at the pros and cons of small commercial drone use; and music video and commercial helmer A.G. Rojas, who will take a deep dive into the world of cyberterrorism, and efforts to combat it.

For Imagine Entertainment, executive producers are Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael E. Rosenberg. For Asylum Entertainment, executive producers are Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Ryann Lauckner and Kurt Sayenga. Kevin Tao Mohs exec produces for National Geographic Channel.

“Not only are we pleased to continue our ongoing partnership with Brian and Ron, but we are proud to line up a second wave of films with renowned visionaries in the indie world that will address the challenges facing us today and shines a spotlight on the trailblazing scientists and engineers around the globe who are pushing the frontiers of innovation and exploration,” said Tim Pastore, president of original programming and production, National Geographic Channel, in a statement. “Their passion and commitment to make a difference will greatly increase our chances of changing the world for the better.”

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.