Smithsonian Channel, a joint venture between CBS’s Showtime Networks and the Smithsonian Institute, is joining global prodco and distributor Vivendi Entertainment and French indie Pernel Media to co-produce a docudrama about the building of the Egyptian pyramids.
Secrets of the Pyramid Builders (6 x 45 minutes) traces the construction of the pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza, combining dramatizations shot in Morocco and documentary footage shot in Egypt, along with CGI reconstructions.
Smithsonian will join Vivendi-owned Canal Plus in broadcasting the series, with the French media group sending the series to its C8 and Planète+ channels, and Vivendi Entertainment distributing the program globally. Smithsonian Channel will be the U.S. home for the program.
Secrets of the Pyramid Builders was co-written by Christopher Holt and Sigrid Clement, who also acts as series director. Alain Brunard is drama director for the series, while Pernel Media president Samuel Kissous is executive producer.
“We are delighted that Smithsonian Channel has come on board to co-produce Secrets of the Pyramid Builders in a deal that will scale up this hugely ambitious docudrama to even further heights, as well as giving it a home in the U.S.,” said Kissous in a statement.
“Smithsonian Channel prides itself on bringing ambitious programs to its audience,” added David Royle, EVP and chief programming officer at Smithsonian Channel. “Secrets of the Pyramid Builders promises a dramatic and revelatory look at the people who engineered one of mankind’s greatest achievements and founded civilization as we know it.”