BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., July 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars — a mysterious, indelible part of our zeitgeist. And now National Geographic Channel (NGC); Academy Award- and Emmy-winning producers Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment; and Justin Wilkes and Dave O'Connor of RadicalMedia have joined forces to launch us into outer space with the global event series Red Planet.
Slated to premiere on the National Geographic Channel in 171 countries and 44 languages in 2016, Red Planet — which is set in 2032 and the present day — will be a unique hybrid of scripted and unscripted elements. The series will tell the epic story of the thrilling quest to colonize Mars and the first manned mission in 2032 with dramatic scripted drama and feature film-caliber visual effects, intercut with documentary verité and interviews from present-day scientists and innovators who are leading the research and development of space technology, preparing the way for our 2032 mission.
"With Imagine and RadicalMedia, we plan to tell a deeply human story of the first manned mission to Mars, that is cinematic in both scope and storytelling," said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Channels. "We hope to spark the curiosity of viewers by not only transporting them to another planet, but by embedding them with today's leaders who are revolutionizing space technology."
"We stand on the grandest stage of all time — the dark void of interplanetary space — with the brightest 21st century visionaries to light our way," said Grazer. "By blending awe-inspiring imagery and narrative with present-day footage and interviews, we hope that Red Planet will change the way we see our place in the cosmos and the mysteries that lie beyond."
"As humans, we possess boundless curiosities and an unparalleled spirit of adventure," said Howard. "These intrepid explorers — following in the footsteps of pioneers before them — will spark our imaginations as we weave together the stories of both the past and the present Mars visionaries, along with the historical perspective on Mars."
"How we'll get to Mars, why we're going and what happens when we get there are questions playing out in the minds of today's greatest innovators, technologists and dreamers," added RadicalMedia President Wilkes. "Our cameras will be there to capture the cutting-edge technology, design, science and ideas at the cusp of transforming not only Mars, but our own world as well."
Red Planet will be produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg will be executive producers. For RadicalMedia, Justin Wilkes and Dave O'Connor will be executive producers. For NGC, Robert Palumbo will be executive producer; Matt Renner is vice president, production; Alan Eyres is senior vice president, development; and Tim Pastore is president, original programming & production.
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 more than 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 www.natgeotv.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, 8 Mile, 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, 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. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash, and continue to run Imagine Entertainment as chairmen.
Since 1993, RadicalMedia has produced numerous films and television programs that tell nuanced, multi-faceted stories including: the Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award-winning documentary The Fog of War; Academy Award nominated documentary, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory; Grammy-winning Concert for George; Under African Skies, the Emmy Award-winning documentary examining the making of the groundbreaking and controversial Paul Simon record Graceland; The Ron Howard-helmed, Jay-Z documentary, Made In America; The United States vs. James J. Bulger, Joe Berlinger's latest film that chronicles the trial of crime boss, Whitey Bulger; and the recent Liz Garbus documentary, What Happened, Miss Simone? for Netflix. Recent television credits include five seasons of the Emmy nominated series, Oprah's Masterclass for OWN; six seasons of Iconoclasts for Sundance Channel; David Blaine: Real of Magic for ABC; You Don't Know Bo for ESPN; the Emmy nominated Park Bench with Steve Buscemi for AOL; and the Emmy-winning series 10 Days that Unexpectedly Changed the World for History Channel.
SOURCE National Geographic Channel