National Geographic will air two back-to-back specials evaluating the Obama administration in January, days before Donald Trump is set to be inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.
Airing first is Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures. The hour-long doc examines the alarming pace at which underwater ecosystems are changing in response to human development, and is framed as an effort to inspire the Obama administration to launch larger conservation efforts.
The doc follows ocean explorer and conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle, NatGeo photographer Brian Skerry, author and environmental activist Max Kennedy and “their crew of teenage aquanauts” over the course of a year, during which the team travels throughout the United States capturing remarkable images of underwater ecosystems.
Culminating in Obama’s launch of the largest marine preserve in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, Sea of Hope airs alongside the release of National Geographic Magazine‘s February issue, which looks at the marine conservation efforts of various presidential administrations.
Sea of Hope is directed and produced for NatGeo by Robert Nixon of True Blue Films. Sarah Guinan Nixon and John Bridgeland serve as executive producers for True Blue Films, and Allan Butler is executive producer for NatGeo.
The two-hour special Obama: The Price of Hope airs immediately following Sea of Hope. The film takes a more direct look at Obama’s tenure as U.S. president, beginning with his 2008 electoral victory and his inauguration as the first African-American president in U.S. history. It spans his administration’s approach to the 2008 recession, universal health care, foreign policy, the Tea Party and racial politics.
The special features candid interviews with the president, as well as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Director of the CIA Leon Panetta and former Speak of the House Nancy Pelosi, among others.
“Obama: The Price of Hope weaves in eight years of the President’s objectives, triumphs and struggles, while underscoring his passion to inspire a sense of hope against all odds,” NatGeo states in a media release.
The special is produced for NatGeo by Brook Lapping Productions in association with Les Films d’Ici 2. Robert Palumbo is executive producer for NatGeo. Norma Percy, Paul Mitchell and Bran Lapping are executive producers for Brook Lapping. Serge Lalou and Charlotte Uzu are executive producers for Les Films d’Ici 2.
Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures premieres Sunday, January 15th, at 8pm EST. Obama: The Price of Hope premieres at 9pm EST.