Discovery orders ‘MegaQuake’

Darlow Smithson docu to examine Japanese quake, tsunami

Discovery Networks Intl. has commissioned Darlow Smithson Prods. to produce “MegaQuake: Hour That Shook Japan,” a one-hour special examining the recent events that have hit the country.

Announced at Mip TV on Monday, the documentary will bow on Discovery Channel in the U.K. and the U.S. on April 24, and will then roll out to other regions.

Doc will feature exclusive interviews with victims and home footage from those who lived through the 9.0 quake and tsunami.

“This is a perfect example of the type of highly relevant and fast-turnaround documentaries we’re looking for to bolster Discovery Networks’ brand on a global scale,” said Luis Silberwasser, exec VP and chief creative officer of Discovery Networks Intl.”As we continue to watch the devastation unfold, we want to provide viewers with context and access to experts who can help explain the science of the earthquake and tsunami that triggered these events, and what the current situation means for all of us.”

The doc will also study the Pacific Ring of Fire, the region that has been devastated by natural disasters in recent years, and will assess risks of further seismic events through interviews with seismologists and oceanographers.

“A catastrophic disaster such as the recent events in Japan poses many questions that need to be answered,” said Tom Brisley, creative director at U.K. shingle Darlow Smithson. “Through a scientific approach with expert analysis, we get to the heart of the story to reveal the critical chain of events that brought a leading nation to a standstill.”

Discovery Networks Intl. worked with Darlow Smithson Prods. on “The Underwater Bomber — Detroit Bomb Plot.”

Endemol Worldwide Distribution will handle “MegaQuake” secondary rights.Other documentary specials recently announced by Discovery Networks include “The Rising” (working title), a docu series exec produced by Steven Spielberg, chronicling the rebuilding work underway at Ground Zero.

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