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[03/30/11 - 10:44 AM]
History Premieres New Series "How the States Got Their Shapes" on Tuesday, May 3 at 10 p.m.
The newcomer is a follow up to last year's two-hour special of the same name.

[via press release from History]

There's a lot of history hidden in the map of The United States, and every line tells a surprising story. Brian Unger hits the road to find out...

HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES

New Series Premieres Tuesday, May 3 at 10 p.m. on HISTORY(R)

New York, March 30, 2011 - Why does Montana look like it took a bite out of Idaho? Why is Georgia plotting to re-draw its border with Tennessee? Why does Florida have a panhandle? Why isn't Chicago in Wisconsin? The map of the United States is a jigsaw puzzle of crooked lines, right angles and odd shapes. Some pieces are outsized; others are minuscule. The reason for our jagged geography? American history.

On HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES, a new one-hour series premiering Tuesday, May 3 at 10 p.m. on HISTORY, journalist and former Daily Show correspondent Brian Unger criss-crosses the nation in search of the stories behind our boundaries - and discovers not only how the states got their shapes, but how the states have shaped us.

When the founding fathers drew the first map of America, they confronted many of the same challenges that unite and divide us today. HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES explores how our borders evolved - and continue to change - in response to religion, transportation, communication, politics, culture clashes and even Mother Nature.

This is no textbook-style documentary series. Local experts and everyday folks lead Unger to insights about some of America's most baffling questions. How are flying fish threatening to re-draw the shape of Illinois? What does the use of cell phones by Pennsylvania's Amish have to do with the shape of their state? How is the phrase "sold down the river" linked to the shape of what might be our 51st state? Why did the invention of air conditioning change how America picks its Presidents? Unger uncovers the answers, hidden in our map.

HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES combines the spirit of a cross-country road trip with lively graphics and the fun of an interactive game show. Viewers can answer multiple-choice challenges by text and receive live reports about which state responds with the most correct answers.

About the host

Broadcast journalist, actor and comedian Brian Unger started as an intern at Late Night with David Letterman, later becoming a producer at CBS News and a commentator at NPR. He is best known as one of the first correspondents and producers on The Daily Show for Comedy Central. His host and guest-hosting stints include E!'s Talk Soup, MSNBC's Countdown, Fox's World's Craziest Videos and NPR's Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. The Unger Report ran on NPR's Day to Day for six years, and his occasional commentary can be heard on All Things Considered. As a comedian, he has corresponded for The Tonight Show and as an actor appears as a recurring character in F/X's It's Always Sunny in Philadephia.

HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES is produced for HISTORY by Half Yard Productions. Executive Producers for Half Yard Productions are Sean Gallagher, Abby Greensfelder and Ann Carroll. David McKillop and Paul Cabana are Executive Producers for HISTORY.

HISTORY(R) and HISTORY HD(R) are the leading destinations for revealing, award-winning original non-fiction series and event specials that connect history with viewers in an informative, immersive and entertaining manner across multiple platforms. Programming covers a diverse variety of historical genres ranging from military history to contemporary history, technology to natural history, as well as science, archaeology and pop culture. Among the network's program offerings are hit series such as American Pickers, Ax Men, Brad Meltzer's Decoded, Ice Road Truckers, Top Gear, Pawn Stars and Top Shot, as well as acclaimed specials including America the Story of Us, WWII in HD, 102 Minutes That Changed America, The President's Book of Secrets and Life After People. HISTORY has earned four Peabody Awards, seven Primetime Emmy(R) Awards, 12 News & Documentary Emmy(R) Awards and received the prestigious Governor's Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for the network's Save Our History(R) campaign dedicated to historic preservation and history education. Take a Veteran to School Day is the network's signature initiative connecting America's schools and communities with veterans from all wars. The HISTORY website, located at www.history.com, is the leading online resource for all things history, featuring over 20,000 videos, images, audio clips, articles and interactive features that allow visitors to dig deeper into a broad range of thousands of historical topics.





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