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National Geographic nabs ‘Apocalypse’

Four-part docu series will air in 2014

CANNES — National Geographic Channels Intl. has pre-bought “Apocalypse : World War One,” the latest opus of the blockbuster docu franchise “Apocalypse,” from France Televisions Distribution, the pubcaster’s sales arm.

Announced at Mipcom, the deal covers global non-standard TV rights (excluding France, Canada and the U.S.).

The four-part HD series has been commissioned by France Televisions and will air in 2014, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI.

The Euros 5 million ($6.4 million) series, which is the highest-budgeted documentary series ever commissioned by France Television, will be entirely produced with colorized archival footage, 50% of which is exclusive. Some of the fresh footage comes from home movies made by soldiers on the front. All footage will be restored, colorised, post produced in HD and mixed in 5.1 Dolby.

Each of the four parts depicts WWI milestones, starting in 1914 with an episode called “Rage,” and ending in 1917-1918 with a segment titled “Alive!”

“Apocalypse: World War One” reunites Isabelle Clarke and Daniel Costelle, the helmer-producer duo behind “World War II: The Apocalypse” and “Apocalypse: The Rise of Hitler,” both of which were picked up by National Geographic Channels Intl.

“Both ‘Apocalypse: The Second World War’ and ‘Apocalypse: The Rise of Hitler’ were innovative and provocative productions for National Geographic Channel, giving viewers an unprecedented sense of the realities of war not conveyed by typical black-and-white imagery,” said Hamish Mykura, exec VP and NGCI’s head of international content. “We are pleased to now offer audiences an equally compelling view of WWI with rarely seen and fully colorised footage that serves as a ground-breaking portrait of the war’s complexity.”

Sold throughout the world and scheduled in primetime, the two docs were critically-acclaimed and scored stellar ratings in France and abroad.

“Apocalypse: The Second World War” aired in 171 countries, and “Apocalypse: The Rise of Hitler” was awarded the “best use of archive in a history production” at History Makers this year.

This latest opus is a French-Canadian co-pro between CC&C (Clarke Costelle & Co.) and Ideacom Intl. with the participation of France Televisions and TV5 Quebec Canada.

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