TCA coverage by RCR Entertainment Reporter Amy Cassandra, Follow her on Twitter at @AmyCassandraM
Saturday, January 13th, proved to be very lucky for everyone at the National Geographic portion of the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena, California. While celebrating their 130th birthday, National Geographic celebrated with champagne and nicely decorated cupcakes. NatGeo kept the celebrating by revealing little “nuggets” of information throughout the late morning into the early afternoon.
National Geographic’s Season 2 of Genius will focus on Picasso’s art and his life. Picasso will be played by Antonio Banderas who shared this is the most exciting project he’s ever worked on. Antonio Banderas, Clémence Poésy, who plays Françoise Gilot, Ken Bill – showrunner, writer, executive producer and director of the season premiere, Alex Rich, who plays younger Pablo Picasso and Samantha Colley who plays Dora Maar all joined the panel via satellite from Budapest where Genius: Picasso is currently filming. The cast and crew revealed they’re currently zeroing in on a woman for season 3. Showrunner Ken Bill shared “The goal of the show is to explore a very complex, complicated individual and everyone around them.” The 10-part event series will premiere with season 2 on April 24.
One Strange Rock is a 10-part series hosted by Will Smith will give viewers a different perspective on earth. The panel consisted largely of astronauts, each of whom shared their experiences being in space and just how eye-opening it was. Astronaut Jerry Lineger said, “One Strange Rock, one magnificent rock. It’s hard to convey but this series does it. The fabric of life and the universe come together here — I’m in awe of it. Darren Aronofsky, one of the show’s executive producers, shared that the visual language will appeal to “stoners”. For advice on how to watch One Strange Rock, here is what astronaut Nicole Stott said: “I’d watch this in awe like I did looking out of the window of the spaceship.” One Strange Rock premiers on March 26 on National Geographic.
America Inside Out with Katie Couric is a 6-part documentary series revolving around different issues facing America. The topics that will be discussed are Muslim in America, Confederate statues and monuments, new rules of political correctness, effect of technology and gender inequality in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and beyond. As for what Katie Couric learned during this project, she joked that it’s hard to learn anything at this point because she’s been reporting for so long but she said that “it’s important to get out of your bubble” she expanded in saying that people usually associate with like-minded people but it’s important to get different perspectives. She hopes this helps people “get a new perspective… and really help them have a deeper understanding rather than just reacting to the latest news or trend.” America Inside Out with Katie Couric premieres on April 11 on National Geographic.
At this point in the day, National Geographic went WILD – National Geographic Wild to be correct. Ross Matthews walked out on stage with Meryl Sheep and shared some news! Nat Geo Wild’s first ever awards pre-show from the red carpet premieres on March 4. Hosted by Ross Matthews and Sarina, Nat Geo WILD from the Red Carpet will feature some of Hollywood’s biggest stars – Meryl Sheep, Cobra Winfrey, Cat Blanchett and many more.
The final National Geographic panel of the day entered the stage. On-air analyst for the Westminster Kennel Dog Show, Gail Miller-Bisher, dog owner and Westminster contender Remy Smith Lewis, dog owner, handler, and Westminster contender, Brandi Ritchie and executive producer David Leepson all shared their experiences of working in this field. Ritchie said it’s such an honor to be able to compete with her dog after thirty years of hard work. Two dogs, Donkey Kong and Maude were also on stage during this time. This 140-year-old tradition still excites modern audiences and handlers alike. The Road to Westminster Dog Show airs Sunday, February 11 on Nat Geo WILD.
Morgan Freeman phoned into the TCA Tour to help announce the return of The Story of God, which will be in its third season, on National Geographic. He experienced delays on his flight from Mississippi and made it all the way to California only to be stuck in LA traffic. His voice echoing in the ballroom was definitely a nice touch though that everyone appreciated.
A 20-piece orchestra played music as the announcement for another special was revealed Symphony for our World airs on April 22.
Host, producer, author, and philanthropist Phil Keoghan will be hosting NatGeo’s Explorer. He said when he arrived in America from New Zealand 25 years ago, one of the shows he wanted to be on was Explorer. He felt like it was “meant to be”. Keoghan will be in the Everglades in the first episode.
Neil deGrasse Tyson will be making a return to Cosmos. Season 2 premieres in Spring 2019 on FOX and National Geographic.
12 Days of Dr. Pol delivered best two weeks of rating on National Geographic Wild ever. A new season is on now — Saturdays at 9/8c.