REVEALING THE WORLD OF TOMORROW ... TODAY
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CHANNEL AND GE, ALONG WITH IMAGINE ENTERTAINMENT AND ASYLUM ENTERTAINMENT, PARTNER ON REVOLUTIONARY NEW SERIES "BREAKTHROUGH"
Directors Angela Bassett, Peter Berg, Paul Giamatti, Akiva Goldsman, Ron Howard and Brett Ratner Capture Scientific Discovery as It Unfolds;
Jason Bateman and Adrien Brody Join as Narrators
BREAKTHROUGH Premieres Sunday, Nov. 1, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on NGC
(WASHINGTON, DC - SEPT. 23, 2015) In an unprecedented partnership, National Geographic Channel (@NatGeoChannel) and GE (@generalelectric) present the new series BREAKTHROUGH, produced by Imagine Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment. BREAKTHROUGH kicks off on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT on National Geographic Channel. For more information, visit our press room at foxflash.com and follow @NGC_PR on Twitter.
Executive produced by Brian Grazer (@BrianGrazer), Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward), Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Mark Dowley and Kurt Sayenga, BREAKTHROUGH is a revolutionary new series about scientific explorers from leading universities and institutions and how their cutting-edge innovations and advancements will change our lives in the immediate future and beyond. The series intends to bring to life the stories, people and technology behind these breakthroughs, and show how they are changing our world.
Each hourlong episode is directed by a Hollywood visionary - Angela Bassett (@ImAngelaBassett), Peter Berg, Paul Giamatti, Akiva Goldsman (@AkivaGoldsman), Ron Howard and Brett Ratner (@BrettRatner).
BREAKTHROUGH explores remarkable scientific discoveries in brain science, longevity, water, energy, pandemics and cyborg technology. Lifesaving, mind-boggling innovation is a part of everyday life, so we sometimes take it for granted. It happens in the blink of an eye - on battlefields and playgrounds, in supercolliders and the International Space Station, in smart homes and smart cars. These are modern-day revolutions in how we live.
BREAKTHROUGH will explore the courage, imagination, passion and self-sacrifice of the scientists bringing these innovations to life.
Breakthroughs covered include:
Fighting Pandemics (Directed and Narrated by Peter Berg)
Premieres Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
Berg will take viewers into the dramatic, inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking world of pioneers scrambling to stop an outbreak and save the world from future plagues. The recent Ebola outbreak forced medical science to evolve as quickly as the virus it is fighting, provoking breakthroughs that may give birth to a world virtually free of pathogens. From antibiotics and vaccines to computer programs that predict how viruses will spread, new lifesaving tools will be used to fight a wide range of viruses in the near future, including HIV, influenza, dengue fever, malaria and a host of other killer diseases. Follow Dr. Maria Croyle, who has developed a revolutionary way to introduce a vaccine into a common cold virus; Erica Ollman Saphire, who organized a world-wide consortium to find an antibody treatment for viral hemorrhagic fevers, including Ebola; and Dr. Ian Crozier, a World Health Organization (WHO) virologist who fought Ebola in Sierra Leone until he contracted the disease himself and spent 40 agonizing days locked in an isolation ward at Emory University Hospital. Crozier recovered - only to find the virus was still multiplying in his eye.
More Than Human (Directed and Narrated by Paul Giamatti)
Premieres Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
Chances are you either are, or you know, a cyborg: a person who is aided or enhanced by embedded technology, such an artificial limbs or pacemakers. But advances in science are taking us beyond replacement parts and into a new realm that is changing the nature of the human body and the human mind. The fusion of biology and technology is making us better, stronger, faster and smarter. How we think, how we feel, how we experience the world: Everything is changing. Now we are learning how to manipulate our genetic code and seize the keys to creation. But as the natural and man-made worlds merge, will we become more than human? And do we risk losing our humanity? Watch Trish Aelker at Lockheed Martin Exoskeleton Technologies build exoskeletons that give mere mortals super strength, and Dr. Miguel Nicolelis, a brain-machine interfaces expert whose work with the Walk Again Project is giving hope to people with traumatic spine injuries.
Decoding the Brain (Directed by Brett Ratner; Narrated by Adrien Brody)
Premieres Nov. 15 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
After millennia of speculation about what goes on inside the human brain, we now have the tools to explore its hidden reaches. These tools are leading to research that may help those suffering from afflictions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. They are also shedding light on the mystery of consciousness and what makes us who we are. Meet leading researchers and scientists, such as Dr. John Schenck, who helped pioneer MRI technologies and was the first person to have his brain imaged by the machine in the early 1980s; Dr. Mohamad Koubeissi, a neurologist who developed a groundbreaking way to treat epilepsy; and Dr. Steve Ramirez, who is investigating how to implant or erase memories and hopes his work could help people suffering from PTSD.
The Age of Aging (Directed and Narrated by Ron Howard)
Premieres Nov. 29 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
In recent years, close study of the aging process has opened up new ways that could help us all live healthier for longer. Can we move beyond treating individual diseases and instead treat the aging process itself? Would a longer life necessarily be a better life? A loose-knit group of researchers believe the real breakthrough is extending our health span - the period of life spent free of disease. Hear from Laura Deming, who dropped out of M.I.T. at the age of 14 and committed herself to finding and funding projects that can expand the human health span, and Dr. Brian Kennedy, whose work in the basic biology of aging has been crucial to the development of countless other researchers' work.
Energy From the Edge (Directed by Akiva Goldsman; Narrated by Jason Bateman)
Premieres Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
We are surrounded by clean, raw energy waiting to be tapped - energy that could eventually replace fossil fuels. Finding new ways to harness the energy around us takes a rare breed of scientist/engineers: men and women with a combination of technical skill, imagination and unwavering focus. This hour will follow innovative alternative energy projects and the colorful people behind them, like engineer Louis Michaud, who is building a tornado machine - and harnessing the energy it produces; and the team at the National Ignition Facility, who are trying to save the world by harnessing the power of controlled fusion.
Water Apocalypse (Directed and Narrated by Angela Bassett)
Premieres Dec. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT
California is on the brink of an apocalypse. The state faces a future of drought that will cost billions in lost farm revenue and thousands of jobs. The challenges facing the state are not unique: All over the world, governments are struggling with bigger populations and a diminishing supply of freshwater. Bassett will focus on inspiring stories of people working to change the world, such as Sandra Postel, who is trying to bring water back to the Colorado River Delta, which became a dried-up husk after the Colorado River was diverted to feed the western United States; Aaron Mandell, whose solar-powered desalinization project offers a way to conserve and reuse this precious resource; and Italian architect Arturo Vittori, whose quest to build a water-collecting tower in a remote village in Ethiopia dramatizes all the triumphs and challenges of innovation.
Presented by National Geographic and GE, brands long dedicated to innovation, science and exploration, the series will air on National Geographic Channels in 440 million homes in 171 countries and in 45 languages, as well as on the Spanish language network Nat Geo Mundo. Additional executive producers include Michael Rosenberg from Imagine Entertainment, Ryann Lauckner from Asylum Entertainment, Beth Comstock from GE, Linda Boff from GE, Michael Cascio and Allan Butler from National Geographic Channel. Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production for NGC.
GE and National Geographic Channel are united in their commitment to inspire the most curious minds the world over with the new series BREAKTHROUGH.
# # #
About National Geographic Channels
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in nearly 90 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 45 languages. For more information, visit natgeotv.com, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NatGeoTVUS or follow @NatGeoChannel on Twitter and Instagram.
GE (NYSE: GE) imagines things others don't, builds things others can't and delivers outcomes that make the world work better. GE brings together the physical and digital worlds in ways no other company can. In its labs and factories and on the ground with customers, GE is inventing the next industrial era to move, power, build and cure the world. www.ge.com
Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create independently produced feature films, television programs and other original programming. Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more than 60 prestigious awards including 10 Academy Awards and 36 Emmy awards. Past productions include Academy Award Best Picture winner "A Beautiful Mind," "8 Mile," "Apollo 13," "American Gangster," "The Da Vinci Code," "Liar, Liar," "Backdraft" and "Parenthood," to name a few. Upcoming films include "Get on Up" and "In the Heart of the Sea." Television productions include NBC's "Parenthood," NBC's "Friday Night Lights," Fox's "24" and "24: Live Another Day," Fox's and Netflix's "Arrested Development," and Fox's "Gang Related," as well as HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon," for which Howard and Grazer won the Emmy for Outstanding Mini-Series. Current television productions include Fox's "Empire." Howard and Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies "Night Shift" and "Splash," and continue to run Imagine Entertainment as chairmen.
Asylum Entertainment has produced a diverse slate of event miniseries, feature films, gritty documentaries and provocative unscripted series - thousands of hours of programming in its 12-year history. Notable productions include the miniseries "The Kennedys," which won four of the 10 Emmy awards for which it was nominated, and "Ring of Fire," which garnered four more Emmy nods. Last year, Asylum received glowing reviews for its feature documentary "Happy Valley," about the Penn State sex scandal, as well as for a coming-of-age feature film titled "Small Time." Asylum's event miniseries about Marilyn Monroe's turbulent relationship with her schizophrenic mother (starring Susan Sarandon, Emily Watson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kelli Garner) will air in May, and a film about the young devotees of Charles Manson is now in pre-production. Asylum's factual series include ESPN's Emmy-winning series "30 for 30," "Beverly Hills Pawn," "Addicted," "Being Mike Tyson" and "American Gangster." Asylum Entertainment is owned by Legendary Entertainment, a leading media company with film (Legendary Pictures), television and digital (Legendary Television and Digital Media), and comics (Legendary Comics) divisions dedicated to owning, producing and delivering content to mainstream audiences with a targeted focus on the powerful fandom demographic.