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[09/10/09 - 07:26 AM]
Discovery Communications Launches Landmark Original Series: "Curiosity: The Questions of Our Life"
The five-year, multi-million dollar project will address 12 questions over 12 one-hour episodes each year.

[via press release from Discovery]

Discovery Communications Launches Landmark Original Series: "CURIOSITY: The Questions of Our Life"

-- Unprecedented 60-episode television series spearheaded by Discovery Founder and Chairman John Hendricks �

-- Five-year, multi-million dollar, multi-platform global programming initiative to tackle fundamental questions and underlying mysteries of our time --

---Companion initiative in K-12 schools to drive engagement in STEM education nationwide--

(Silver Spring, Md.) Discovery Communications today announced the development of "CURIOSITY: The Questions of Our Life," a landmark, 60-episode television series designed to tackle the fundamental questions and underlying mysteries of our time in fields such as space, biology, geology, medicine, physics, technology, nature, archaeology, history and the human mind. The five-year, multi-million dollar project will address 12 questions over 12 one-hour episodes each year, and be lead by Discovery Communications Founder and Chairman John Hendricks. CURIOSITY will begin airing on the Discovery Channel Sunday nights at 8:00 PM beginning in January 2011.

In addition to the television series, the CURIOSITY initiative will also feature standards-aligned K-12 educational content, including custom-created classroom tools for educators, teacher guides and other supplemental materials delivered through Discovery Education. Serving more than half of all U.S. schools with curriculum solutions that are scientifically shown to improve student achievement, Discovery Education will launch a companion initiative engaging the nation's students in the critical disciplines of science, technology, engineering and math. It also will feature lifelong learning programming for adults, including multiple hours of "deep-dive" online content to accompany each episode and related learning retreats with experts featured in the series.

"Satisfying curiosity has been at the heart of Discovery since the launch of the Discovery Channel in 1985, and this landmark series is the next investment in fulfilling the breadth and ambition of that very powerful mission," said John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of Discovery Communications. "CURIOSITY also will be multi-platform and multi-generational by extending beyond the series to include deep-dive online content for adult lifelong learners who a desire a greater understanding of these fundamental questions, and through supplemental video for K-12 classrooms to engage students of all ages to pursue studies in science and mathematics. science is more essential for our quality of life than ever before, and CURIOSITY represents Discovery's ongoing commitment to engage adults and children with compelling content that teaches and engages them about science."

CURIOSITY is a joint production between Discovery Communications and Experius Academy, an organization also founded by John Hendricks. Production of the television series will be managed by Discovery Studios, Discovery's internal production studio unit. CURIOSITY will serve as a core element of the Discovery Channel's global program offerings and also will include co-productions, cross promotion, and expanded content across Discovery's portfolio of U.S. networks, including the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, Planet Green and HD Theater. CURIOSITY will air across many of the company's 120 networks reaching 175 countries around the world.

"We've learned from our viewers that many rely on Discovery's television programming to help support and supplement their education," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. "Coming from the vision of John Hendricks, who helped create iconic programming such as PLANET EARTH, CURIOSITY will be television's most ambitious attempt to convey knowledge about the world around us. Only Discovery could undertake a project of this scope, and I look forward to mobilizing Discovery's global platform to produce and promote this unprecedented programming commitment."

"In its very essence, Curiosity speaks to the millions of students each day raising their hands in class and asking questions," explained Discovery Education President Bill Goodwyn. "Our natural desire to explore the world around us is the engine that drives learning. Discovery Education looks forward to sharing this incredible work with America's students and fueling their search for knowledge and academic achievement."

In developing CURIOSITY, Discovery is engaging with high-profile nonfiction producers, as well as experts from leading universities for assistance in formulating the list of 60 fundamental questions to be addressed by the series and identifying experts who can appear on camera and at the lifelong learning retreats.

"Satisfying curiosity has been at the heart of Discovery since the launch of the Discovery Channel in 1985, and this landmark series is the next investment in fulfilling the breadth and ambition of that very powerful mission," said John Hendricks, Founder and Chairman of Discovery Communications. "CURIOSITY also will be multi-platform and multi-generational by extending beyond the series to include deep-dive online content for adult lifelong learners who a desire a greater understanding of these fundamental questions, and through supplemental video for K-12 classrooms to engage students of all ages to pursue studies in science and mathematics. science is more essential for our quality of life than ever before, and CURIOSITY represents Discovery's ongoing commitment to engage adults and children with compelling content that teaches and engages them about science."

CURIOSITY is a joint production between Discovery Communications and Experius Academy, an organization also founded by John Hendricks. Production of the television series will be managed by Discovery Studios, Discovery's internal production studio unit. CURIOSITY will serve as a core element of the Discovery Channel's global program offerings and also will include co-productions, cross promotion, and expanded content across Discovery's portfolio of U.S. networks, including the Discovery Channel, the Science Channel, Planet Green and HD Theater. CURIOSITY will air across many of the company's 120 networks reaching 175 countries around the world.

"We've learned from our viewers that many rely on Discovery's television programming to help support and supplement their education," said David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications. "Coming from the vision of John Hendricks, who helped create iconic programming such as PLANET EARTH, CURIOSITY will be television's most ambitious attempt to convey knowledge about the world around us. Only Discovery could undertake a project of this scope, and I look forward to mobilizing Discovery's global platform to produce and promote this unprecedented programming commitment."

"In its very essence, Curiosity speaks to the millions of students each day raising their hands in class and asking questions," explained Discovery Education President Bill Goodwyn. "Our natural desire to explore the world around us is the engine that drives learning. Discovery Education looks forward to sharing this incredible work with America's students and fueling their search for knowledge and academic achievement."

In developing CURIOSITY, Discovery is engaging with high-profile nonfiction producers, as well as experts from leading universities for assistance in formulating the list of 60 fundamental questions to be addressed by the series and identifying experts who can appear on camera and at the lifelong learning retreats.

Dr. Shirley Tilghman, President of Princeton University, said: "Learning about Discovery's CURIOSITY series from John Hendricks was music to my ears. We are living in a golden age of discovery, in which scientists are beginning to peer further back in time to the origins of the universe, unravel the extraordinary complexity of the human brain, and explain the immense diversity of living organism that have evolved on earth. As educators as well as scientists, faculty at Princeton are eager to communicate the excitement and importance of these discoveries as broadly as possible. We are delighted to assist in the identification of topics for the CURIOSITY series as well as leading experts who can serve as guides for these unique television explorations."

Dr. Nancy Cantor, Chancellor of Syracuse University, stated: "Perhaps as never before, the citizens of our country as well as people around the world need to become literate on the fundamental science and engineering breakthroughs on which the progress of civilization depends. Discovery's bold attempt to take on this ambitious task of public education through the 5-year CURIOSITY project is a refreshing development for all of us in higher education."

John J. DeGioia, President of Georgetown University, added: "Discovery' s CURIOSITY project, with its unique combination of global television, online delivery, and lifelong learning retreats presents a valuable opportunity for our faculty to participate in an educational outreach effort that truly has the power to make a positive difference in public understanding of significant and diverse topics ranging from molecular biology to the future of democracy."

Dr. Nariman Farvardin, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at the University of Maryland said: "Discovery's plans for the groundbreaking CURIOSITY series struck a responsive chord with our Deans and select faculty members as we heard John Hendricks explain television's first attempt to organize and present knowledge through the exploration of 60 key questions over 5 years. Discovery's ability to reach people of all ages through television, online services, and lifelong learning retreats is a valuable opportunity for our scientists, engineers, and scholars to explain the implications of their work in a compelling and accessible fashion to a global audience."

Dr. Arthur Garson, Jr., Executive Vice President and Provost at the University of Virginia, added: "The founder of Discovery, John Hendricks, has captured our imagination with the opportunity for our faculty and research teams to share advancements in all fields of knowledge including valuable human pursuits such as 'innovation'. CURIOSITY represents a milestone in television with its attempt to address so many core subjects in an in-depth manner."

Stephen Cohen, Executive Vice Dean and Associate Provost, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, stated: " Here at Cornell, we are assembling experts within the Weill Medical College, to participate in Discovery's ambitious effort to present complex subjects in medicine and other sciences in a manner that is both engaging and understandable. Framing the 60 fundamental questions, each of which will serve as the singular topic of a television, episode is an interesting academic challenge in its own right. This is a landmark undertaking in television and media and one in which we are delighted to participate."

Experienced science documentary producer, Chris Haws, is coordinating the input of universities for the CURIOSITY series and serves as Executive Producer for Experius Academy's lifelong learning content derived from CURIOSITY.

"CURIOSITY will reinvigorate the inherent capacity of television to simultaneously entertain and inform. With its unmatched scope, the series will engage viewers at every level � promising a unique experience representing the absolute best of Discovery," said Carole Tomko, President of Discovery Studios.

Potential subjects to be explored include:

"What is consciousness?"

"What is our Universe made of - and why?"

"Where will artificial intelligence lead?"

"Where are the aliens?"

"How many people can our planet support?"

"What will our understanding of genomics mean for future generations?"

"How will Nanotechnology change the future?"

"This blue-chip series will reward viewers with impeccable storytelling, compelling visuals, and surprising answers to life's most fundamental questions. Curiosity will be a feast for the mind and the soul, and we're delighted to be serving it to the Discovery audience," said John Ford, President and General Manger of the Discovery Channel

About Experius Academy

For the last five years, John Hendricks has explored the demand for lifelong learning solutions for adults beyond television and developed the Experius Academy, a retreat destination based in the red rock canyon country of western Colorado. Experius Academy is for curious adults who want to personally interact with leading academic experts in an informal and relaxing vacation environment. Nancy Stover, former Senior Vice President of Discovery Educational Television, serves as President and CEO of Experius.

About Discovery Studios

Discovery Studios is a full-service production house that develops and produces innovative, high-quality original programming in any format for any platform. From multi-part series and award-winning theatrical documentaries, to short form pieces, blue chip specials and more, Discovery Studios offers unique access to the talent, reach and unrivaled expertise of Discovery. Discovery Studios is also home to a robust Footage & Music Services division offering an outstanding multimedia library for use in productions around the world.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Communications revolutionized television with the Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the #1 non-fiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com . For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.





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· CURIOSITY (DISCOVERY)





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