This award-winning series presents compelling untold stories and covers a wide array of provocative subjects. "Explorer" aired for 25 years -- the longest-running documentary series in cable TV history -- before being relaunched in 2015 after a five-year hiatus. Each monthly episode of the new "Explorer" takes a similar deep dive inside a story from the pages of a recent National Geographic magazine issue, taking viewers not only to the most remote corners of the globe but also to the furthest reaches of the mind and deepest crevices of history -- on urgent missions of discovery.
Oscar winners Ron Howard and Brian Grazer put their storytelling acumen to work as executive producers of "Breakthrough," a series of hourlong documentaries highlighting the stories, people, and technology behind the world's most cutting-edge scientific innovations. After considering more than 100 scientific topics for the series, the pair -- helped by National Geographic archives and research, along with the scientific resources of partner GE -- selected biotechnology, neuroscience, anti-aging technology, alternative energy, water conservation, and global pandemics. Each episode is directed by a prominent Hollywood star -- Howard himself helms "The Age of Aging," joining actors Angela Bassett ("Water Apocalypse") and Paul Giamatti ("More Than Human"), directors Peter Berg ("Fighting Pandemics") and Brett Ratner ("Decoding the Brain"), and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman ("Energy From the Edge").
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.
"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, in a departure from the type of material he is best known for, pays homage to Carl Sagan's award-winning and iconic "Cosmos" with this docuseries. Through stories of humankind's quest for knowledge, viewers travel across the universe. Scientific concepts are presented clearly, with both skepticism and wonder, to impart their full impact. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts, and Sagan's original creative collaborator, Ann Druyan, serves as an executive producer.
Could you be a boss? Are you a liar? How tough are you? Do you live on the edge? Those questions and others like them are asked and then answered by data scientist Jake Porway to reveal surprising information. Porway recites mind-bending stats, conducts entertaining man-on-the-street experiments, and takes part in interactive games, all in the name of providing insight into life's mysteries in a fast-paced, engaging way.
Rituals and customs accepted in one culture may be thought of as downright bizarre in another. "Taboo" delves into that dichotomy, taking viewers across cultural borders to explore traditional beliefs and deliberate lifestyle choices, ranging from body modification and gender decisions to nudity and spiritual quests that test the limits of the human body.