"THE CHALLENGER DISASTER" TO SIMULCAST ON SCIENCE CHANNEL AND DISCOVERY CHANNEL SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 16 AT 9 PM ET/PT
--Academy-Award Winner William Hurt to Lead an All-Star Cast--
(Silver Spring, Md.) - Science Channel and Discovery Channel announced today that the networks will simulcast Science Channel's first scripted feature film, THE CHALLENGER DISASTER, starring Academy-Award winning actor William Hurt as Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Richard Feynman. Based upon Feynman's book "What Do You Care What Other People Think?", THE CHALLENGER DISASTER, tells the largely unknown, riveting story of Feynman's efforts to uncover the cause of the Challenger explosion in 1986. THE CHALLENGER DISASTER premieres Saturday, November 16 from 9-11 PM ET/PT.
Co-produced by the BBC, THE CHALLENGER DISASTER features powerful performances headlined by Mr. Hurt as physicist Dr. Richard Feynman. Joining Hurt is actor Bruce Greenwood who plays fellow commissioner U.S. Air Force General Donald Kutyna in the second lead role. He is joined by Brian Dennehy as William Rogers, Chairman of the Presidential Commission, actress Joanne Whalley who plays Feynman's wife Gweneth, and Eve Best as astronaut Sally Ride.
Dr. Feynman was chosen by William Robert Graham, one of his former students and NASA's acting administrator, to lend his skills to the Presidential Commission tasked with investigating the disaster's cause. Reluctant to participate, Feynman followed his scientific instincts during the investigation, unafraid of raising questions in the face of pressure from several commission members. He determined that two of the shuttle's O-rings failed during launch. In a famous televised hearing Feynman demonstrated that the O-ring was not as pliable as previously thought by submerging a piece of the O-ring in a glass of ice water. At the investigation's conclusion Feynman produced an essential report, "Appendix F - Personal Observations on the Reliability of the Shuttle", that was presented to President Reagan independent of the commission's report.
THE CHALLENGER DISASTER was co-produced by the BBC. For the BBC, Mark Hedgecoe ("Operation Iceberg" and "How to Grow A Planet", "Rome: The Rise And Fall Of An Empire") and Cassian Harrison ("Earthflight", "First Light") are executive producers, and Laurie Borg ("Great Expectations", "Made in Dagenham", "Sense and Sensibility", "Occupation") is producer. James Hawes ("Enid", "Suspicions of Mister Whicher", "Mad Dogs", "Doctor Who", "Fanny Hill") is director and the script is by Kate Gartside ("Mistresses", "Lillies" and "Lark Rise To Candleford", "Stopping Distance").
For Science Channel, Rocky Collins (DARK MATTERS: TWISTED BUT TRUE, ALIEN ENCOUNTERS) is executive producer, Lindsey Foster is coordinating producer, Bernadette McDaid is Vice President of Production, and Deborah Adler Myers is General Manager and Executive Vice President.
About Science Channel
Science Channel, a division of Discovery Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), is home for the thought provocateur, the individual who is unafraid to ask the killer questions of "how" and "why not." The network is a playground for those with audacious intellects and features programming willing to go beyond imagination to explore the unknown. Guided by curiosity, Science Channel looks for innovation in mysterious new worlds as well as in its own backyard. Science Channel and the Science Channel HD simulcast reach nearly 80 million U.S. households. The network also features high-traffic online and social media destinations, including ScienceChannel.com, facebook.com/Science Channel and twitter.com/Science Channel.
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 210 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's #1 nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.8 billion cumulative subscribers in 223 countries and territories. Discovery is dedicated to satisfying curiosity through 162 worldwide television networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and Investigation Discovery, as well as U.S. joint venture networks OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, The Hub and 3net, the first 24-hour 3D network. Across the Nordic region, Discovery owns and operates SBS Discovery Media, a top-three portfolio of 20 television brands that feature leading nonfiction content, as well as locally produced entertainment programs, sports and the best scripted series and movies from major studios. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools and owns and operates a diversified portfolio of digital media services, including Revision3. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.