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Nat Geo Channel to Air ‘Mapology’ With Kal Penn, 9/11 Special ‘9/10: The Final Hours’

TCA 2014: The former will debut next spring, the latter airs on Sept. 7

National Geographic Channel unveiled new show “Mapology” with Kal Penn and a 9/11 documentary special at Tuesday’s Television Critics Association panel.

“Mapology” just began production and will premiere next spring. The 9/11 doc, “9/10: The Final Hours,” debuts on Sept. 7. The special, which recounts the day before the now-infamous terrorist attack, is being completed now.

Earlier on Tuesday, Nat Geo announced a “Wicked Tuna” spinoff, which debuts on Aug. 17. The cable channel also revealed that it’s bringing back its “Big Cat Week” in November.

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“Mapology,” produced by National Geographic Studios, will air internationally on National Geographic Channel in 170 countries and 45 languages. The show will use infographics and big data visualizations to demonstrate how things like money, sex, food, sports, crime, weather and animal migrations influence our daily lives.

“We continue to develop new series that demonstrate our commitment to producing cool smart programming that is fun, entertaining and accessible,” Courteney Monroe, chief executive officer, National Geographic Channel, said in a press release. “With ‘Mapology,’ we’re stripping down the layers of the world to discover hidden connections that will enhance our audience’s views of what’s really happening, not only the world at large, but in their small world. And we’re thrilled to have Kal, not only as a credited producer, but also the driving force in the storytelling.”

“I’m excited to be the viewer’s gateway to cartography and statistics,” added Penn. “National Geographic has a legacy of transporting people to amazing places and with ‘Mapology,’ we’re going to establish connections made through statistics and data, and reveal how the bigger picture affects the real world, throughout history, across societies and into our hearts and brains.”

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Docu-special “9/10: The Final Hours” follows the day before Sept. 11, 2001, and the seemingly rudimentary actions of the terrorists, victims and survivors on that Monday. Some seemingly everyday decisions saved lives, while others ultimately cost them.

The special is directed and executive produced by Erik Nelson for Creative Differences Productions. For National Geographic Channels, Kathleen Cromley is the executive producer, Kevin Mohs is vice president of development and production and Heather Moran is executive vice president, programming and strategy.

“So many films have told the story of the unfolding tragedy of Sept. 11 that we decided to explore what happened on the eve of that moment — a new look at the life, and not the death, of the World Trade Center and the men and women who worked there,” Nelson said in a statement. “Sept. 10, 2001, was just a day like any other, but of course, it was so much more than that. We’ve tried to construct a time portal back to that day, back to this now lost world.”