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TCA: Nat Geo slates Gordon Ramsay, Jeff Goldblum projects

Series featuring celeb chef Gordon Ramsay and actor Jeff Goldblum are coming to National Geographic. During the Fox-owned cable network’s TCA presentation today (July 25), plans were unveiled for the 12-part ...
July 25, 2018

Series featuring celeb chef Gordon Ramsay and actor Jeff Goldblum are coming to National Geographic.

During the Fox-owned cable network’s TCA presentation today (July 25), plans were unveiled for the 12-part The Curiosity of Jeff Goldblum (w/t), which will see the Jurassic Park star (pictured, top) travel the globe to find what the network calls “the extraordinary stories behind the world’s most ‘ordinary’ things.”

Each 30-minute episode will follow Goldblum as he uncovers the surprising revelations behind the origins of everyday items and pastimes — ranging from toilet paper and ice cream to baseball —and the fascinating ways they impact our daily lives.

“We are thrilled to partner with megastar Jeff Goldblum who shares our insatiable curiosity and passion for learning,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks, via a statement. “This series is the perfect platform for Jeff to use his uniquely infectious and approachable charm to take viewers on an unexpected and surprising journey.”

“Curiosity is a fundamental human trait,” added Goldblum. “The Curiosity of Jeff Goldblum puts me in the driver’s seat, guiding viewers on a mind-blowing adventure where we break down the unexpectedly complex science behind seemingly basic things.”

The series is produced by National Geographic Studios, with Bryan Lovett as executive producer.

Elsewhere, the network announced an upcoming culinary travelogue featuring Gordon Ramsay. Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, produced by Studio Ramsay, will see the renowned chef travel to exotic locales such as Malaysian Borneo and Cambodia, soak up their traditions and cultures through “adventures with local food heroes,” and at the culmination of each episode, take part in a friendly cooking competition with local chefs and foodies.

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted

Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted

According to Nat Geo, the series follows up from where 2010′s Gordon’s Great Escapes for Channel 4 in the UK left off. It will premiere in 2019 across Nat Geo globally, in 171 countries, with Studio Ramsay and All3Media retaining rights in the remaining international territories. Production is slated to begin this fall.

“My passion for adventure has made me not only a better chef but also a fearless apprentice of all cultures, which makes it so exciting for me to work with National Geographic, who’ve been taking exploration to the limit for their entire storied history,” said Ramsay in a statement.

“Armed with his relentless pursuit of finding the unexpected, Gordon is not only a bold chef and exceptional television talent, but he is also a fearless adventurer who pushes himself to the limit to fully immerse himself in new worlds and cultures,” added Monroe. “We’re thrilled to inspire the legions of Gordon Ramsay fans with a series unlike anything they’ve ever seen from him before.”

The network has also announced the renewal of One Strange Rock, a coproduction between Nutopia and Darren Aronofksy’s Protozoa Pictures.

According to Nat Geo, the first season of the series became the network’s fourth most watched series globally, with 81 million viewers. Narrated by Will Smith, season one explored the interconnected nature of our home planet’s chemical, biological and physical systems, and how that connection made Earth ideal for nurturing and supporting life as we know it. The second season, which begins principal photography in February of 2019, will further explore what makes Earth so unique in our known universe.

"One Strange Rock" EP Darren Aronofsky (pic: Niko Tavernise)

“One Strange Rock” EP Darren Aronofsky (pic: Niko Tavernise)

For Nutopia, executive producers for One Strange Rock are Peter Lovering, Jane Root and Arif Nurmohamed. For Protozoa Pictures, executive producers are Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel and Scott Franklin. For National Geographic, executive producer is Matt Renner.

The network also announced two companion projects for its upcoming scripted series Valley of the Boom, which charts the rise and burst of the dot com bubble. These will include the two-hour special Inside the Internet, produced by National Geographic Studios, and the six-part miniseries 1989: The Year that Made the Modern World, from National Geographic Studios in association with the Intellectual Property Corporation.

Nat Geo also provided more details regarding its previously announced natural history event series, Hostile Planet, from Plimsoll Productions and Academy Award winning director and cinematographer Guillermo Navarro. Premiering globally in the spring of 2019, the series will feature adventurer and survivalist Bear Grylls as host and narrator.

Nat Geo says the series will depict the battles various species face as part of surviving in often unforgiving environments, “told in an intimate manner with new camera technology that allows a close-up vantage point as the animals navigate their changing landscapes.”

“The name Bear Grylls is synonymous with adventure, and I cannot think of a person better suited to help us tell this story of the remarkable resiliency of life on our planet,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo Wild, and interim president of original programming and production, National Geographic, in a statement, adding: “With his charisma and knowledge, combined with the unparalleled storytelling techniques of the creative minds at its helm, Hostile Planet will reimagine the ways in which we showcase the natural world.”

On the Nat Geo Wild front, the network will debut the previously announced two-hour documentary Into the Okavango, produced by National Geographic, on December 14. The new series Fish My City with Mike Iaconelli, produced by NHNZ, will debut on October 12. The network’s annual ‘Big Cat Week’ stunt strand will premiere on November 30.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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