Imagine Entertainment’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are doing something different with their upcoming National Geographic Channel series, “Breakthrough.” But the longtime producing partners say that might be exactly what the TV industry needs.
In the era of “too much TV,” Grazer argues that people taking risks is what will help the industry survive. “People just have to make quality programs,” he said in an interview with TheWrap. “Taking chances usually will produce some trend creation that is really valuable to our business.”
Howard added that because “Breakthrough” has the potential to stand out.
“In reality, I don’t really agree that there’s too much, but there’s never enough good stuff that really does break through,” he said. “And it’s getting harder and harder to get fresh ideas, but I think that in all honesty, something like Brian and I coming in and doing this kind of science series offers that potential. Because it’s a different mindset creating this kind of content.”
The series — executive produced by Howard and Grazer with Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Mark Dowley and Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg — documents leading explorers’ cutting-edge innovations and advancements and how those achievements will impact lives in the future, specifically focusing on discoveries in brain science, longevity, water, energy, pandemics and cyborg technology.
Howard directed and narrated the fourth episode, “The Age of Aging,” about scientists studying the aging process. Other episodes are directed by Peter Berg, Paul Giamatti, Brett Ratner, Akiva Goldsman and Angela Bassett.
“The episodes themselves were kind of like ’30 for 30’ on ESPN,” Grazer explained. “But they’re in the world of science. So they’re human stories that are orienting audiences to a problem, then the human being inside of that story is someone that is on the journey, or on the path, to that solution.”
“Breakthrough” premieres Sunday, Nov. 1 at 9 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.