In this week’s round-up, new unscripted series and documentaries are slated to premiere across such networks as National Geographic Channel and Nat Geo Mundo, PBS’s ‘Independent Lens’ strand, Discovery Channel and TBS.
U.S. cable network National Geographic Channel, in partnership with Fox Searchlight Pictures, is to air the global television debut of Davis Guggenheim‘s BAFTA-nominated documentary He Named Me Malala (pictured) on February 29.
The film, which enjoyed its world premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, paints an “intimate portrait” of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and shot when returning home on a school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.
The feature film will air across Nat Geo in the U.S. at 8 p.m. EST/PST on February 29, and will be simulcast across Nat Geo Mundo as Él Me Nombró Malala. A global roll-out is planned within a week in 171 countries and 45 languages.
The 62-minute doc, which was shot over a five-year period and premieres February 29 at 10 p.m. EST/PST, centers on 62-year-old grandmother Wilhemina Dixon as she struggles to care for five family members with HIV/AIDS who are growing increasingly ill. The film provides a firsthand account of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of one of the leading causes of death for black women in the rural south.
The series finale, which airs on March 5 at 8 p.m. EST/PST, will showcase hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman as they blow up an RV, take a “wild ride” while experimenting with a cement truck filled with 5,000 pounds of ammonium nitrate/fuel oil – a widely used bulk industrial explosive mixture.
Immediately following the episode, the Beyond Productions-made series will see all five of its hosts throughout its 13-year history – Savage, Hyneman, Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara – pay tribute to the show in a behind-the-scenes reunion special set to feature celebrity guests. The hour-long special airs at 9 p.m. EST/PST.
The following day, Discovery and Science Channel will transmit a never-before-seen MythBusters episode on duct tape. The episode – airing on March 6 at 8 p.m. EST/PST – will offer viewers with “the duct tape build to end all duct tape builds in size, engineering, complexity and sheer ambition.”
The series, which was created in partnership with technology company Intel, pits 24 teams of American creators in head-to-head challenges that see them conceiving, pitching and implementing “game-changing technology” in front of a panel of celebrity judges. The series culminates with the five finalists presenting their finished products for a chance to take home the US$1 million prize and title of “America’s Greatest Makers.”
Celebrity judges include sports icons Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith; actor Mayim Bialik; and Massimo Banzi, co-founder and CEO of open-source computer hardware company Arduino.