National Geographic Channel Announces Year-End Programming Blitz With New Specials and Premieres
By National Geographic Channel
Nov 9, 2004, 18:32

From Aliens to Con Artists, Super Casinos to Implosions, Tycoon Toys to DaVinci's Code, Dare to Explore the Serious, Mysterious and Adventurous

WASHINGTON, D.C -- On the heels of its most successful fall season to date, National Geographic Channel (NGC) announces a month long programming blitz with original specials and premiere episodes beginning November 24, 2004. The aggressive year-end schedule builds on the unprecedented success the network has experienced this year. NGC's ratings were the fastest growing of all ad-supported cable networks, and the critically acclaimed special Inside the U.S. Secret Service brought NGC its largest audience to date, with more than 3.7 million viewers.

These specials and premieres offer a broad range of fascinating subjects from searching the heavens for extraterrestrial life to searching the world to nab an environmentalist turned murderer. We'll take you inside the construction of a billion dollar super casino and then show you how whiz kids from M.I.T. used their brains to beat casinos at their own game. We'll introduce you to the first family of implosions and give you a front row seat as they reduce landmarks to rubble. And then we'll reveal the sources behind the phenomenal best-selling thriller "The DaVinci Code."

And on a more serious note, NGC investigates the new face of terror in Explorer Special Edition: "Female Suicide Bombers." Why are these women dying to kill? And how do their motives differ from men? Explorer host Lisa Ling journeys to the war-torn streets of Chechnya and Israel's occupied territories and hears from all sides of the anger, despair and hopelessness fueling these acts of terror. A new season of Explorer premieres on NGC Sunday, January 9 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Programming highlights include:

Naked Science: "Alien Contact" (Wednesday, November 24, 10 p.m. ET/PT) Today, some scientists are convinced we are in fact not alone in the universe, and that we are on the verge of finding other life forms that inhabit the cosmos. Naked Science: "Alien Contact" explores the latest developments in the search for extraterrestrials. Meet some of the greatest minds dedicated to the search for intelligent life, including a new breed of scientists -- planet hunters -- who have discovered over 130 planets outside our solar system. One astronomer who is leading the search for extraterrestrials thinks it is likely that "we're going to hear from extraterrestrials by the year 2025."

Interpol Investigates: "Fatal Compulsion" (Tuesday, November 30, 10 p.m. ET/PT)

A locked trunk inside a locked closet reveals a mummified body to Philadelphia police when they enter the home of the well-known '60s peace activist, Ira Einhorn. The gruesome discovery sets off a 16-year-long manhunt, requiring the cooperation of Interpol and police in six different countries to bring the murderer to justice.

MegaStructures: "Inside a Super Casino" (Wednesday, December 1, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

The price tag starts at one billion dollars. It is an architectural and technological achievement. It is the largest hotel in New Jersey history. Go inside the creation of a world class "Super Casino" as MegaStructures follows the construction of the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, from the groundbreaking ceremony to the first guest pulling the lever of a brand new slot machine.

Beating Vegas (Sunday, December 5, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Whiz kids at M.I.T. devise a method of card counting that takes the gambling world by surprise. It is a huge score ... high times ... money by the truckload ... and then it begins to slip away as greed leads to betrayal. As documented in Ben Mezrich's best-selling book "Bringing Down the House," see how they beat the casinos at their own game, and how the casinos finally got even.

Con Artist (Sunday, December 5, 10 p.m. ET/PT)

It is the portrait of a picture-perfect con artist. A masterful artist and crafty art dealer orchestrate an ingenious scam, selling almost undetectable forgeries as "undiscovered" works of modern masters for huge sums of money. How will one of the greatest cons in the art world be discovered, and what are the repercussions?

Demolition Dynasty (Thursday, December 9, 8 p.m. ET/PT)

Imagine getting paid to implode all types of structures all around the world. That's exactly what the Loizeaux family has been doing for nearly half a century. From the patriarch to his granddaughter, meet the "First Family" of implosions, and come along as they implode buildings, towers, stadiums and every other structure imaginable while they explain the science needed to implode a building with pinpoint accuracy.

Bounty Hunters (Thursday, December 9, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Explore the elite world of bounty hunters as two of the most successful in the business hunt down "big money" fugitives. But see what happens when these heavyweights have a falling out and end up competing against each other. Bounty Hunters, narrated by Val Kilmer, takes you deep inside this unique and dangerous line of work.

World's Best Implosions (Sunday, December 12, 8 p.m. ET/PT)

From a war-torn hotel in Beirut, Lebanon to a gigantic department store in downtown Detroit, Michigan to a massive bridge in Norfolk, Virginia, follow the Loizeaux family across the globe as they expand their implosion empire. With four Guinness Book of World Records to their credit, the "First Family" of demolitions is always looking for a new challenge -- and will go to any location in the world to find it.

Exploding Las Vegas (Sunday, December 12, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ... especially when you bring it to the ground in a breathtaking explosion. Take an exclusive look deep inside the archives of the Loizeaux family, and follow the implosions of some of Vegas' most well known landmarks from the very first inspection to the placement of the last explosive.

Explorer Special Edition: "Female Suicide Bombers" (Monday, December 13, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

A new kind of terrorist is on the rise: female suicide bombers. More difficult to spot than male terrorists, and more difficult to understand, these women are the new face of terror. From Russia to Sri Lanka to the Middle East, women are increasingly turning their bodies into bombs, blowing up markets, schools, even jetliners. Who are these women, and why are they dying to kill? Are they driven by different motives than men? Explorer host Lisa Ling journeys to the war-torn streets of Chechnya and Israel's occupied territories to investigate.

Tycoon Toys: "Tanks" (Wednesday, December 15, 9 p.m. ET/PT)
Tycoon Toys: "Fighter Jets" (Wednesday, December 15, 10 p.m. ET/PT)

What would you play with if money were no object? Forget about high speed Ferraris or luxury yachts this holiday season. For a new breed of multimillionaire, their wish list includes the ultimate in tycoon toys like supersonic fighter jets and combat tanks. From MiGs to Sherman tanks, come out to play with these unusual owners and take a thrilling ride on their extraordinary machines.

Titanic Revealed (Thursday, December 16, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Almost two decades after discovering the sunken wreck of the Titanic, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Robert Ballard returned this past June to lead a scientific expedition on a quest to determine the factors hastening the ship's deterioration. Ballard and scientists recorded countless crystal-clear images of the ship as well as the ensuing effects of visitors and salvagers over the years. Now, in this follow-up special, Ballard outlines their findings, and presents his vision of a Titanic museum through telepresence, which would make it available to all without making a trip to the bottom of the ocean.

Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story (Sunday, December 19, 9 p.m. ET/PT)

Dare to explore the facts behind the best-selling book when the NGC presents "Unlocking DaVinci's Code: The Full Story." This two-hour special provides the most in-depth examination ever brought to television, including exclusive interviews with author Dan Brown who reveals the sources of his controversial assertions. The show also takes viewers on a guided tour inside locations claimed to hold the keys to the mystery. Was Mary Magdalene the wife of Jesus Christ -- and perhaps even the mother of his child? And are their descendants still alive today? Was this startling revelation protected by a secret society that included the likes of Leonardo DaVinci and Sir Isaac Newton? And did Leonardo leave hints hidden within his masterpieces?

Expeditions to the Edge: "Family Adrift" (Tuesday, December 21, 8 p.m. ET/PT)

A family sailing around the world suddenly faces their worst fears when they are attacked by killer whales, and their boat sinks within an hour. With only enough food to last a week, the family fights for survival for over a month in rolling seas.

Based at National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Television & Film (NGT&F) and Fox Cable Networks. National Geographic Channel debuted to an initial 10 million homes in January 2001, and has been one of the fastest growing networks in history. The Channel has carriage with all of the nation's major cable and satellite television providers, making it currently available to 52 million homes.


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