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National Geographic greenlights specials

'Autopsy' highlight of upcoming schedule

The National Geographic Channel’s paleontologists have excavated for the first time ever a fully mummified dinosaur, which they’ll analyze and discuss on “Dino Autopsy,” a primetime special in production for the 2007-08 season.

“Dino Autopsy” is the highlight of a batch of original TV series and CG-stuffed specials National Geographic has scheduled for 2007. Michael Cascio, senior VP of special programming, said the specs are geared to keep “our palpable ratings momentum continuing through the end of the year and beyond.”

For the first quarter to date, cabler has harvested the best primetime Nielsen ratings in its six-year history, averaging a 0.5 household rating and scoring more than a 1 rating with 10 separate programs.

Other specials given the go include “The Incredible Human Machine,” chockfull of facts such as the number of glasses of milk an average human being consumes in a long lifetime (26,462); “Fight Science II,” a sequel that will use CG visuals to anatomize the way U.S. special forces and other elite warriors take down their enemies; “Mother of All Dogs,” dealing with “100,000 years of dog evolution and 15,000 years of canine/human interaction”; and “Seven Wonders of the Cosmos,” a CG tour of the universe that examines the rings of Saturn and the volcanoes on Mars, among other phenomena of our solar system.

The series in production are “Man Made,” “Naked Science,” “NGC Sci-Tech,” “The Building,” “Situation Critical” and “Taboo.”

“The Dog Whisperer,” the net’s most popular series ever, has landed an unprecedented renewal commitment of 35 hourlong episodes. In the title role, Cesar Milian will take the show on the road, employing his headshrinker’s skills on dogs and their owners in cities including New York, San Francisco, Miami and Minneapolis.

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