Discovery digs ‘Egypt’ series

Network gives show a six-episode run

Discovery Channel is giving world civilization series “Out of Egypt” a six-episode run over three Mondays beginning Aug. 17 and airing back-to-back episodes at 9 and 10 p.m.

“Egypt” was co-created by archeologist and UCLA professor Kara Cooney with her husband, Neil Crawford. Cooney hosts and serves as lead researcher and writer for the show, which compares and contrasts patterns of far-flung cultures.

Cooney told Daily Variety that the concept for the show sprang from a desire to essentially desensationalize the typical “mysteries of the Pharaohs” approach to ancient Egypt.

Among the peoples and archeological sites profiled are the Mayans of Central America, Incas of Peru and Singhalese of Sri Lanka.

“We didn’t want it to be too much of a setpiece show,” Discovery prexy-g.m. John Ford said. “We wanted it to be clambering around things and moving in and around the structures wherever (Cooney) was, so the style is to be more immersive and less traditional a documentary.”

Cooney said her first experience in television was giving an interview to “Today” about the 2005 King Tut exhibition in Los Angeles, and “Out of Egypt” represents her formal debut on a TV production.Ford said the demographic target for “Out of Egypt” is adults 25-54. L.A.-based Digital Ranch is the production company for the series.

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