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From the producers of the multiple-award-winning miniseries "The Men Who Built America," National Geographic Channel chronicles competitions in innovation that pit history's brightest minds in the race to lay claim to the future. For them, the greatest challenge wasn't beating the odds -- it was beating their adversaries. From Steve Jobs vs. Bill Gates to William Hurst vs. Joseph Pulitzer, each hourlong episode focuses on a specific rivalry, delving into fierce power struggles, deceit, fluke timing and raw ambition out of which great ideas turned into reality. The conflicts play out through re-enactments that feature interviews with modern-day visionaries like Bill Nye, Steve Wozniak, Jack Welch, Steve Wynn and Michio Kaku.

Latest episodes

aired 948 days ago
Insight into the heated rivalry between the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss in the race for flight that laid the groundwork for modern aviation.
aired 949 days ago
The struggle between America and the Soviet Union in a race to conquer the moon; a competition that resulted in brilliant feats of engineering and unparalleled technological advancements.
aired 956 days ago
A look at the battle between inventors Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to dominate a new age and bring the personal computer to all.
aired 970 days ago
The newspaper's rise to prominence was born out of a bitter rivalry between publishers William Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, who changed the media world by pushing journalism to the limits, compromising in order to keep their empires afloat.
aired 971 days ago
The gritty competition between American inventors David Sarnoff and Philo Farnsworth, the results of which forever changed the world of media.
aired 977 days ago
Physicists Werner Heisenberg and Robert Oppenheimer strive to harness the laws of physics in order to create the most powerful weapon the world has ever seen, the atomic bomb.
aired 991 days ago
Inventors Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison compete to harness the power of electric current in a war that would determine who would power the world's future.
aired 998 days ago
American inventors Samuel Colt and Daniel Wesson race to create the perfect revolver, resulting in patents that would revolutionize the firearm industry and change how wars are fought.

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Julia Child melded TV and food 50 or so years ago. Now with scads of celebrity chefs, cooking shows, and networks devoted to it, cuisine is even more popular. National Geographic Channel's six-hour miniseries salutes its history, science and culture. Each episode tackles a central theme: revolutionaries, meat, sugar, seafood, junk food, and grains -- with stories and reflections by a smorgasbord of chefs, authors, scientists, etc. Interviewees include Padma Lakshmi, Nigella Lawson, Simon Majumdar, Rachael Ray, Marcus Samuelsson, Anna Boiardi and Graham Elliot.
This documentary series focuses on extreme construction projects -- be they the biggest, tallest, longest or deepest in the world -- and the machines used to create extraordinary structures. Episodes include the people responsible for the cutting-edge design and engineering of each build, talking about how concept transformed to reality. The processes that go into staffing and operating the modern marvels once they are completed are also covered.
The 1990s had remarkable highs and lows: Technology paved the way for a digital world, and the ranks of billionaires grew fast. But the Columbine massacre, al-Qaida threat, and Clinton scandals also happened. On the heels of its popular miniseries deconstructing the 1980s, National Geographic Channel delves into 10 years when the Web was wide open but before global terror hit hard. "The '90s: The Last Great Decade?" features 120 original interviews -- from unsung heroes of riveting stories, to notables in many fields -- and memorable clips of a time between the end of the Cold War and the approaching War on Terror.
How did we get here? How did humankind evolve from apes swinging in trees to astronauts walking on the moon? National Geographic's eight-part time-travel adventure series delves deep into history to highlight pivotal "origin" moments that fundamentally and irrevocably created modern living. Host Jason Silva ("Brain Games") guides viewers through a dazzling audio-visual portal to explore these events, such as the discoveries and applications of fire, medicine, money and transportation, while experts across each field inject commentary. The series also incorporates scripted storytelling and documentary sequences.
From the award-winning team of filmmaker Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") and producer Jane Root ("America the Story of Us"), this 10-part cinematic event series explores the fragility and wonder of planet Earth -- one of the most peculiar, unique places in the universe. Host Will Smith guides viewers on an unprecedented exploration, bolstered by an elite group of eight astronauts who provide unique perspectives and relate personal memoirs of the planet seen from a distance. Hourlong episodes delve into monumental events such as genesis, cosmic violence, human intelligence and alien life, oxygen, and survival vs. destruction.
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You're familiar with their names and many of their stories, but there's more to most historical figures than what's in the basic textbooks. "Mystery Files" has modern historians, scientists and scholars investigate ancient artifacts, documents and locations in search of answers to age-old questions about history. Episodes look for proof that explorer Marco Polo existed, an explanation for how Joan of Arc overcame hardships to become a legendary saint, details about Abraham Lincoln's dark past, and an end to the debate about English soldier T.E. Lawrence, the inspiration for the film "Lawrence of Arabia."
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Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Charles Goodyear are among the visionaries who have come up with inventions that have changed people's lives for generations. Those three are among the inventors profiled on this documentary series that tells the story behind major innovations and the people behind them, some more famous than others. Each hourlong episode -- focused around a theme such as speed or crime -- takes a look at the history of four inventions, including what it took for them to be brought to life and the legacy each has left on the world. In addition to creations from well-known people, innovations from more obscure individuals -- one-hit wonders, to borrow a term from the music industry -- are also included. An example of a lesser-known individual is underwear manufacturer LaMarcus Thompson, who helped bring about the advent of roller coasters through his ideas.
Actor Kal Penn is producer/host of a series that attempts to explain how things like money, sex, food, sports and crime influence daily lives. The consequences are shown by analyzing data maps, and episodes investigate different themes through data mapping, creative visualization of information and in-depth personal stories involving fascinating characters. As well, documentary vignettes tell stories that personalize the number crunching, introducing real people who live and work at key intersections of each theme being explored. Penn serves as guide, making the information relatable to viewers.
Given how rapidly technology and intelligence have advanced humankind in the past 10 years, one can't help but wonder how different the world may be in another 10 years. National Geographic, however, is thinking big. The six-part docudrama "Year Million" paints a visual story of what it will be like to be a human 1 million years into the future. Narrated by Laurence Fishburne, the series features top futurists, scientists, scholars and notable science-fiction writers guiding viewers through the latest advances in technology, ideas and innovations and to an existence where we're living beyond our bodies, beyond our planet and beyond our solar system. Illustrative, imaginative storytelling describes humanity's fate through the lens of a typical futuristic American family, which includes an android daughter.