WASHINGTON, May 30, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Beginning June 14, Alec Baldwin will be the on-air host for the National Geographic Channel's (NGC) weekly Night of Exploration programming block. Each Friday, Baldwin will help the channel celebrate the spirit of exploration through exciting world premieres or classic award-winning programs that showcase the hotshots, the mavericks and the best in their fields who have devoted their lives to exploring the world around us, and the groundbreaking discoveries that are making a difference. Baldwin will appear as host for Night of Exploration in the United States and globally in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.ngcpr.com or follow us on Twitter @NGC_PR.
Baldwin's on-camera hosting duties begin June 14 at 8 p.m. ET/PT with Crossing the Ice, which follows two Australian adventurers as they attempt to become the first to tackle the perilous journey from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back, completely unassisted. No sled dogs and no wind kites, just two men dragging their food, their shelter and themselves across the barren ice.
Baldwin has had an award-winning career in television and movies. For seven seasons, he starred on NBC's "30 Rock," for which he received eight SAG Awards, three Golden Globes and two Emmys. He has appeared in more than 40 films, including "Working Girl," "Glengarry Glen Ross," "Ghosts of Mississippi," "The Cooler," "The Aviator," "The Departed" and "It's Complicated." Baldwin is also no stranger to National Geographic Channel. In 2010, he served as the narrator for the critically acclaimed, sweeping miniseries Great Migrations. Even his "30 Rock" alter ego Jack Donaghey had an ongoing obsession with National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Bob Ballard, who discovered the Titanic.
"Alec has the perfect combination of energy and gravitas that we think our Night of Exploration viewers will love," said David Lyle, CEO, National Geographic Channels. "Each week, he will introduce the compelling stories of people around the globe whose drive to climb higher, dive lower or dig deeper never cease to amaze."
Launched in January to coincide with the National Geographic Society's 125th anniversary yearlong celebration, each week Night of Exploration introduces viewers to the trailblazers who are working on the unexplored frontiers of human imagination and innovation. From leading the ultimate cold-case investigation into the Titanic's final moments with Oscar-winning filmmaker and National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence James Cameron, to following a husband-and-wife filmmaking team over their 30-year quest to track lions and leopards through Africa's harshest environments, these critically acclaimed programs have left audiences and critics asking for more.
Upcoming Night of Exploration programs with Baldwin as host include the following:
Crossing the Ice
Premieres Friday, June 14, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
No one has ever walked without any assistance across the wasteland of Antarctica to the South Pole and back … until now. In a special documentary, NGC follows Australian explorers Justin "Jonesey" Jones and James "Cas" Castrission on their excruciating journey to set a world record. Not only do these daring adventurers have to battle freezing weather, serious injuries, hypothermia and gear failures, but along the way they learn that a Norwegian skier is also attempting to achieve the exact same goal. See how these men, delirious with starvation and pain, test their boundaries of endurance on a nail-biting journey from which no man has ever come out alive before.
Mystery Bear of the Arctic
Friday, June 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
High above the Arctic Circle, on a remote Canadian island, an American sports hunter shoots what he believes is a polar bear. He is mistaken. His Inuit guide has never seen an animal like this before. The killing unleashes an investigation by the Canadian authorities. But no one can tell exactly what he has shot. The hunter is under threat of prosecution for a crime he says he didn't commit. Scientists pore over the only evidence they have — the corpse of an animal they've never seen before. With each new discovery, the mystery deepens as they try to discover the exact species of this animal.
Secrets of the Lost Gold
Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
NGC obtained exclusive access to one of the most important ancient discoveries of modern times: the amazing story of how an amateur metal-detecting enthusiast discovered a gold hoard of more than 3,000 artifacts dating back nearly a millennium, and valued at more than $5 million. Now, an international team of experts is on a global quest to unearth the hoard's secrets.
The 400 Million Dollar Emerald
Friday, June 21, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Thought to be the world's largest emerald — 840 pounds' worth — is unearthed in Brazil in 2001. The resulting tale of deceit, obsession and folly is almost too bizarre to be believed. A California businessman claims to have bought it in Brazil for a mere $60,000, only to see his proof of purchase vanish in a house fire. A businessman obtains title to the emerald, only to lose it in a diamond deal that falls through, he says, because he was kidnapped by the Brazilian mafia. In between, the emerald spends weeks submerged underwater in a New Orleans vault after Hurricane Katrina floods the city. By the time the stone finds its way into the California judicial system in 2008, no fewer than eight claimants are tussling for control of a specimen appraised at around $400 million.
Journey to the Edge of the Universe
Friday, June 28, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
In one single epic camera move, we journey from two people studying the night sky, accelerate up through the atmosphere, past the moon and neighboring planets, and out of our solar system to the stars, galaxies and beyond. Traveling all the way to the edge of the universe itself, NGC goes on a breathtakingly grand tour of the cosmos to explore newborn stars, distant planets, black holes and galaxies beyond. With the help of the world's most famous telescope and cinema-quality computer-generated images, we'll journey to the edge of time to visualize the powers that forged and constantly renew the universe.
Waking the Baby Mammoth
Friday, July 5, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Mammoth: Back From the Dead
Friday, July 5, at 9 p.m. ET/PT
It's a mammoth doubleheader for this week's Night of Exploration, starting with Waking the Baby Mammoth at 8 p.m. Lyuba, a 1-month-old baby that walked the tundra about 40,000 years ago before dying mysteriously, is the most perfectly preserved woolly mammoth ever discovered. She has mesmerized the scientific world with her arrival, creating headlines across the globe. NGC sets out around the world on a cutting-edge forensic investigation into her life and death, 10,000 years after her species began to die out. In the second hour, Mammoth: Back From the Dead, we follow a team of international scientists on an ambitious quest to clone a mammoth. The Russian government has granted leading cloning scientists from South Korea access to the best mammoth graveyards on the planet and permission to take frozen samples directly from the permafrost to a high-tech lab in Seoul. If the samples remain frozen on their journey, work can begin on finding the DNA necessary to try and resurrect the iconic ice age mammoth.
Touching the Dragon
Premieres Friday, July 19, at 8 p.m. ET/PT
Photojournalist Roger Horrocks has long felt connected to and fascinated by crocodiles. After an experience in Africa brought him very close to one crocodile that almost seemed to welcome the human presence, Roger wondered if it was possible for a crocodile to form a bond with a human. This simple thought took him halfway around the world to Costa Rica on a mission to find Chito, a man many referred to as the "crocodile shaman." Many years ago, Chito nursed an injured crocodile, which he calls Pocho, back to health. Since then, the two formed an unthinkable bond. Touching the Dragon examines this astonishing relationship between the earth's most ancient predator and a unique man, one that defies the boundaries of the natural world.
About National Geographic Channel
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 85 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.
SOURCE National Geographic Channel