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History Announces New Shows About Stats, Inventions, Jousting

Network unveils upfronts slate

History announced Tuesday that it has greenlit new shows about stats, inventions, and jousting.

The network's upfront presentation to advertisers also included "The Men Who Built America," a miniseries in development about "influential builders, dreamers and believers."

The slate shows that History — which pitches itself as "the #1 factual entertainment network" — remains committed to new, original programming, said Nancy Dubuc, President and General Manager for HISTORY & Lifetime Networks.

"HISTORY's investment in original programming has paid off, making us a leader in the market. Unlike our competitors, who rely largely on sports and off-network programming, HISTORY has catapulted to the top on the strength of all original programming," she said in a statement.

Here's the slate, as described by History:

SERIES IN DEVELOPMENT

THE MEN WHO BUILT AMERICA (special event)

THE MEN WHO BUILT AMERICA, a new miniseries, is in development at HISTORY for broadcast in 2012. The miniseries shines a spotlight on the influential builders, dreamers and believers whose feats transformed the United States, a nation decaying from the inside after the Civil War, into the greatest economic and technological superpower the world had ever seen. THE MEN WHO BUILT AMERICA is the story of a nation at the crossroads and of the people who catapulted it to prosperity. Produced for HISTORY by Stephen David Ent., INC.

GREENLIT SERIES

INVENTION USA

It is often the common man inventing his dream that has changed history. INVENTION USA focuses on Riechart Von Wolfshield and Garrett Lisi, two brilliant tech and science experts who travel America, devoted to finding the next great thing in the haystack of prototypes presented to them by amateur inventors. Produced for HISTORY by T Group Productions.

FULL METAL JOUSTING

In FULL METAL JOUSTING, a maverick group of fighters compete for top honors in the most dangerous competition in history. Far from the contrivances of the Renaissance Fair, this is authentic, full-contact jousting, with two competitors on horses charging towards each other at 30 miles an hour. Gone is the traditional armor, replaced by state-of-the-art protective gear. Each week's episode features full-contact trials and preparations that will ultimately determine the champion-king of the joust. Produced for HISTORY by Pilgrim Films & Television.

UNITED STATS OF AMERICA

Numbers tell amazing stories. Every second we record raw data on everything from the calories we eat to the energy we use, from the number of texts we send to the amount of money we make. Using innovative graphics, UNITED STATS OF AMERICA will crunch all this data and visualize these surprising facts about who we are in a surprising new way. Produced for HISTORY by Left/Right Productions.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED SERIES

AMERICAN RESTORATION

At Rick's Restorations in Las Vegas, customers bring in their own pieces of history; classic American artifacts beyond repair – perhaps a 1960s NASA helmet or a 1900s cash register – and come away with a restored collectible that looks and performs like new. On AMERICAN RESTORATION, business owner Rick Dale sees every new project as a unique challenge. It takes equal parts of craftsmanship and improvisation to transform run-down old eyesores into works of art with their own unique history.  These treasures make up the tapestry of American culture; for every piece that gets refurbished, a bit of history comes back to life.  Produced for HISTORY by Leftfield Pictures. 

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 WAYS

In this groundbreaking new series, all forms of transportation will be celebrated as our adventure-seeking hosts "Boston Rob" Mariano (Survivor, The Amazing Race) and Dennis Anderson (creator of the monster truck Gravedigger) battle each other, as well as the elements, in a go-for-broke race around the globe. The catch? The two rivals will have to use 80 uniquely different modes of transportation throughout the race, along the way giving a unique glimpse at how far transportation has come and where it’s headed.Produced for HISTORY by Thom Beers'Original Productions, a FremantleMedia company. 

HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES

In the new one-hour series premiering in May, 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. It's the history hidden in our map. Produced for HISTORY by Half Yard Productions.

RETURNING SERIES

AMERICAN PICKERS – produced by Cineflix

ANCIENT ALIENS – produced by Prometheus Entertainment

AX MEN produced by Original Productions.

BRAD MELTZER’S DECODED – Produced by Go Go Luckey and Berman Braun

ICE ROAD TRUCKERS produced by Original Productions

IRT: DEADLIEST ROADS– produced by Original Productions

MODERN MARVELS – produced by Actuality Productions

ONLY IN AMERICA WITH LARRY THE CABLE GUY – produced by Pilgrim Films & Television and Parallel Entertainment

PAWN STARS – produced by LeftField Pictures

STAN LEE’S SUPERHUMANS – produced by Off the Fence

SWAMP PEOPLE – produced by Original Media

THE UNIVERSE – produced by Flight 33 Productions

TOP GEAR– produced by BBC Worldwide Productions

TOP SHOT– produced by Pilgrim Films and Television

GREENLIT SPECIALS

HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN TWO HOURS

From the producers of Life After People and The Universe, this CGI-driven special will give viewers a rapid fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. The special will delve into the key turning points: the formation of earth, emergence of life, spread of man and the growth of civilization. Each beat in the story will reveal a surprising connection to our world today. Produced for HISTORY by Flight 33 Productions.

9/12: THE DAY AFTER

From the moment the Twin Towers fell, 9/11 was seen as a watershed, a historical turning point of epic, irreversible proportions.  9/12: THE DAYAFTER builds upon the foundation laid by the Emmy-Award winning 102 MINUTES THAT CHANGED AMERICA – chronicling the days, weeks and decade after the worst terrorist attack in our history – to examine the legacy of 9/11. With exclusive and rarely seen, unexpected archival material from around the world, the special will construct an evocative, engaging and immersive narrative capturing the themes and threads that define life after 9/11. The result is an authentic, unflinchingly honest look at what happened after the tragedy – a chronicle of life in a changed world. Produced for HISTORY by New Animal Productions.

VIETNAM IN HD

Following up to the Emmy Award winningWWII in HD, HISTORY is currently in production onVIETNAM IN HD. Once again, the network has embarked on a worldwide search to bring never-before-seen footage and gripping personal accounts to the story of the Vietnam War.  As the United States’ first “television war”, thousands of hours of uncensored footage detail every critical moment both overseas and at home. First person accounts from those who served will immerse viewers into their experiences in the terror of battle as well as their mixed emotions on returning home. The series tells the story of a war that was won on the battlefield but lost at home. Produced for HISTORY by Lou Reda Productions.