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History takes Nutopia’s ‘Mankind’

Docu series to be adapted to local markets

LONDON — Nutopia, the shingle formed by former Discovery and BBC topper Jane Root, hopes to cement its reputation for ambitious docus aimed at the international market with its new commission for History, whose working title is “Mankind: The Story of All of Us.”

Greenlit by the U.S. web, the 12-hour show will debut later this year, with different versions made for individual local markets, a first for History.

The channel, which has reinvented itself by screening more reality shows and fewer traditional history programs, claims worldwide distribution of more than 300 million homes.

The new project kicks off with the Big Bang and traces the development of humans on a planet where most species end up extinct, said Root.

She described the show as a “real action-adventure,” encompassing astronomy and geology as well as the history of mankind.

Planned as a 12-hour, six night TV event, the docu is produced by the same team as “America: The Story of Us,” led by executive producers Root and Ben Goold.

Screening is planned for later this year.

Filming is up and running in such locations as China, South Africa, Morocco and the U.K.

Root said: “There is a huge appetite throughout the world for documentaries such as this that tackle the biggest subjects on our planet in an entirely new epic style that combines extraordinary drama, CGI and interviews.”

Nancy Dubuc, prexy and general manager, History, added: “‘Mankind: The Story of All of Us’ has the same spirit of bold storytelling that made ‘America the Story of Us’ such a phenomenal success. But this time we’re going even bigger.”

Nutopia is currently prepping upcoming Discovery skein “How We Invented the World,” a five-part show examining technological breakthroughs such as the automobile and the cell phone, and also localized for individual markets.

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