Today is the first full day of the Cable portion of the Television Critics Association press tour, and we will be live-blogging throughout the day to tell you what you might not have gotten to see at home.
The morning started with breakfast and a report from the Nielsen company about their plans to expand to include mobile viewing as well as multiple other platforms when reporting the ratings. Changes are coming, and we will see those numbers incorporated into the ratings on a gradual basis.
After that? Here’s what was presented:
Young Marvels — The first presentation for Ovation focused on Young Marvels, a series focusing on some very talented young people. 12-year-old singer Mae Ya did a singing performance, belting out a powerful voice far beyond her years. 12-year-old cellist Charlie also performed and showed how he, too, is a young prodigy. Young Marvels premieres July 16.
A Young Doctor’s Notebook And Other Stories – Ovation presented the second season of a four-episode limited series starring Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). Radcliffe plays a young doctor battling an addiction to morphine who is under the critical gaze of his older self, who is played by Hamm. Radcliffe spoke to the press via satellite from New York City.
TVGN sponsored a lunch where new shows about Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Alan Thicke, and the New Kids On The Block were shown in clips.
Al Jazeera America
The award-winning Al Jazeera showed a preview of an interesting looking documentary called Edge of Eighteen and talked about the network’s general goal of telling stories from a human level. The panel has been pleasantly surprised by the reaction to the channel within the first months. “We are building it to last for the long run,” president Kate O’Brian said.
National Geographic Channels
The strong and trusted brand with the yellow border showed off the programming that they have planned for the coming year. They take pride in their smart programming including Cosmos, Brain Games and more.
NatGeo has announced a new show called Mapology hosted by Kal Penn. It will tell stories – with maps – about things that everyone can identify with. Production has recently started.
Wicked Tuna recently finished its third season to great ratings, and Season 4 has now been announced. Wicked Tuna: North vs. South, a spin-off, premieres August 17.
The network has also announced a special that will air Sunday, September 7 called 9/10: The Final Hours, talking about the night before September 11, 2001, when the world changed forever. Following a preview of 9/10, which features interviews with people who were there, things cut into individual panels.
American War Generals – This special features interviews with some of the greatest generals of the U.S. military in recent decades, and the conflicts that they faced. Four-star General Barry McCaffery was on the panel, alongside Executive Producer Tresha Mabile.
Sleepless In America – This is the “ultimate documentary on sleep.” The documentary talks about how so many accidents and health issues happen as a result of a lack of sleep.
NatGeo Wild – The Incredible Dr. Pol is getting great ratings, and new programs like Kingdom of the Apes with Jane Goodall are on the way. Kingdom of the Apes has no CGI like that movie that’s soon to come out. Destination Wild will be heading to some “amazing” places.
The Secret Life of Cats is a documentary about the feline species, and a ten week old cute kitten named Sophie was brought out, certainly the cutest thing to be shown at this press tour. The show premieres September 21.
A new “Big Cat Week” will be happening in November. Dinner With Big Cats is one of the anchor programs featured in the week.
Urban Jungle will be a simulcast event between the National Geographic Channel and NatGeo Wild about how animals adapt to our ever-expanding human footprint.
Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER features a veterinarian, Dr. Susan Kelleher, who deals not with dogs and cats, but instead with exotic animals.
Life Below Zero shows people who live in very lonely areas of a very cold place – Alaska, to be more exact. Cast members from the series spoke on a panel.
Going Deep with David Rees is a how-to show on things you might see as mundane: Tying shoes, opening doors… and making paper airplanes. Rees demonstrated a better way to make a paper airplane, though it might have been more complicated than many can handle. Rees adds a humor to the proceedings which should make for a fun TV show.
Finally, NatGeo presented Eat: The Story of Food and Eric Greenspan is Hungry. The Story of Food looks at the importance of food in our lives (much like sleep earlier!) Greenspan’s show looks for the greatest recipes around.