LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The National Geographic Channel will pursue its interest in exploration and expeditions into the unknown with a slate of six new specials centered on such topics as dinosaur fossils, mummies found in China and the mystery of Stonehenge.
Also among the topics are an investigation of Egypt’s Nefertiti and her husband, Akhenaten, and a collection of ancient human remains discovered in the Pacific Ocean that could signal a new species of humans.
Steve Schiffman, the channel’s acting general manager, said the network has been airing expedition-centric programming since its launch seven years ago but now is giving it even more of an emphasis.
“Expeditions are very much part of our DNA,” he said. “Since 1888, the National Geographic Society has funded over 8,000 research projects around the world. For the channel to embrace expedition as part of our programming approach is like breathing. It’s who we are.”
The specials, all of which have been or are being shot in high definition, are:
* “Nefertiti and the Lost Dynasty” (9 p.m. Monday), narrated by Alfre Woodard, which investigates what happened to Nefertiti and Akhenaten, the radical king and likely father of King Tut.
* “Explorer: China Mummies” (9 p.m. September 26), which examines human remains up to 3,000 years old that were found in Northwest China’s Tarim Basin to determine where they really came from.
* “Dino Autopsy” (December), which examines a virtually intact dinosaur mummy. According to National Geographic, the paleontologists involved believe that this could be one of the most important dinosaur discoveries ever.
* “Dino Death Trap” (December), which examines hundreds of well-preserved dinosaur fossils — many never seen before — that were found stacked on top of one another in the Junggar Basin in western China.
* “Lost Tribes of Palau” (fourth quarter), centering on a find in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where an expedition has unearthed a collection of ancient human remains that they believe is the discovery of a new species.
* “Stonehenge Revealed” (2008), which investigates new physical evidence that could unlock the mystery of why Stonehenge was built.
National Geographic is expected to announce the specials Thursday (July 12) during its portion of the Television Critics Assn. summer press tour at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills.