×

Nat Geo Takes Michael Palin’s North Korea Special to the U.S. (EXCLUSIVE)

Amid glimpses of possible progress in U.S.-North Korea relations, National Geographic has picked up U.S. rights to Monty Python star Michael Palin’s documentary special shot inside the secretive Asian country.

Nat Geo plans to air “North Korea From the Inside With Michael Palin” in the U.S. on Sunday. The two-hour special will also play on Nat Geo’s international channels.

Nat Geo scooped the special from ITN Productions, which made the revealing two-hour documentary for Viacom’s U.K. network Channel 5. In Britain, the show is running in two one-hour installments under the title “Michael Palin in North Korea,” with the second part scheduled to air Thursday. The first episode was Channel 5’s top-rated program of the year, and highest-rated since 2014 aside from “Big Brother.”

Palin is a seasoned traveler and has made numerous travelogues for British TV. The  first part of his North Korea show, which he described as as “the most revealing journey of my life,” was well-reviewed in the U.K. In the show he travels more than 1,300 miles across the enigmatic nation meeting North Koreans from all walks of life.

Filming coincided with the meeting of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, giving Palin a view of the historic event through the eyes of local residents.

“To visit North Korea was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down,” Palin said. “For somewhere that is so often in the forefront of the news, it remains a complete mystery to most of us. That we were able to travel across the country and get some sense of everyday life was enormously exciting.”

Will Smith, head of factual for ITN Productions, said the show took two years to come to fruition. “Given the constantly shifting political landscape between North Korea and the rest of the world, this insight into life for ordinary people in what is often dubbed a ‘hermit kingdom’ could not be more relevant,” he said.

More TV

  • How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    How Cooking-Travel Shows Are Changing TV

    Toyo hunches over his street food stove, cooking tuna with a blow torch, stopping to light his cigarette with it and produce a cheeky grin. The Japanese chef, who owns a roadside stand in the city of Osaka, is one of many highlighted in the Netflix series “Street Food.” Over the course of 30 minutes, [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Leaders Approve Proposal for New Film-TV Contract

    The SAG-AFTRA national board has approved proposals for a successor deal to its master contract covering feature film and primetime television — a key step in the upcoming negotiations cycle with companies. The board approved the package Saturday with the performers union declining to reveal any specifics — its usual policy. The board established the wages [...]

  • Shannen Doherty'Jennie Garth: A Little Bit

    Shannen Doherty Joins 'Riverdale' Season 4 in Luke Perry Tribute

    “Riverdale” is planning to make a special tribute to Luke Perry. The show’s executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced at Comic-Con that Shannen Doherty, Perry’s longtime friend and “Beverly Hills 90210” co-star, will guest star in the season 4 premiere. The tribute episode will “reflect Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character” Fred Andrews [...]

  • Supernatural CW

    'Supernatural' Team Gets Emotional Final Season Sendoff at Comic-Con

    The cast and creative team of “Supernatural” bid a fond farewell to the attendees of San Diego Comic-Con on Sunday. At the show’s final panel in the gargantuan Hall H, the team thanked the fans for all of their support over the years as the series prepares to enter its final season. “I’m trying not [...]

  • Alicia Rodis photographed by Alicia Rodis

    SAG-AFTRA Moves to Standardize Guidelines for Intimacy Coordinators

    SAG-AFTRA is moving to standardize guidelines for intimacy coordinators as part of an effort to establish policies for union members when their work involves nudity and simulated sex. “Our goal is to normalize and promote the use of intimacy coordinators within our industry,” said SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris. “Intimacy coordinators provide an important safety net for [...]

  • SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases

    SDCC TV News Roundup: Syfy Releases 'The Magicians' Season 5 Clip (Watch)

    In today’s SDCC TV news roundup, Syfy shares a clip from “The Magicians” Season 5, and Amazon sets the Season 4 premiere of “The Expanse.” CASTING Julie Gonzalo and Staz Nair have joined the cast of “Supergirl” for its upcoming fifth season. Gonzalo will portray iconic DC character Andrea Rojas aka Acrata, a polished businesswoman [...]

  • Doom Patrol -- Ep. 101 --

    'Doom Patrol' Renewed, Season 2 to Stream on DC Universe and HBO Max

    “Doom Patrol” has been renewed for a second season and will soon be available outside of DC Universe. At San Diego Comic-Con, series executive producer Jeremy Carver and star Diane Guerrero announced not only that the show will be back for another season but also that it will be available on HBO Max, the upcoming [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content