National Geographic Channel is in the midst of an image makeover — or remakeover — after its previous management team was swept out earlier this year.
Nat Geo made a splashy presentation at the Television Critics Assn. press tour on Tuesday of unveiling new programs that are in keeping with the high-end, educational thrust of the brand established by the 125-year-old magazine.
Courteney Monroe (pictured), who was promoted from head of marketing to CEO of Nat Geo TV U.S. in April, presided over a nearly three-hour presentation of shows and specials focused on science, history, furry friends and informational material. Nat Geo TV under the direction of its previous CEO and president — David Lyle and Howard Owens, respectively — moved deeper into the reality-entertainment arena with shows like “Church Rescue” that strayed from the brand’s traditional focus.
Among the new programs that got a big push at TCA:
- “American War Generals” — examining the leaders of military battles from the Cold War through Afghanistan
- “Sleepless in America” — a docu on the dangers of the lack of sleep
- “Urban Jungle” — follows Boone Smith, an expert in tracking the migration of wild animals into urban areas
- “Eat: Story of Food” — a docu-miniseries on how food as “defined human civilization.”
- “Eric Greenspan is Hungry” — Celebrity restauranteur searches out unusual meat dishes.
New projects announced included “Mapology,” a show hosted by Kal Penn that uses infographics writ large to tackle complex subjects, and the special “9/10: The Final Hours,” a look at the nation the day before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “Chug” is a series funded by Kickstarter donations to send host Zane Lamprey around the world to try local drinks and drinking customs.