“Nothing is out of bounds”: David Lyle, Chase Carey, and the drumbeat from News Corp headquarters

David Lyle, CEO of the National Geographic Channel, just announced his upfront slate for 2012-2013 (via RealScreen):

David Lyle

New series include 

  • Jersey Combat (10 x 60 minutes, airing globally), which follows the action in the world’s largest military warehouse, located in New Jersey
  • Bid & Destroy (12x 30 minutes, U.S. only), which documents the activities of the Danley Demolition Company, which looks for hidden treasures in demolition sites
  • Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? (6 x 60 minutes, U.S. only). Here, adult “civilians” will compete with actual boy scouts in challenges pulled from the Scouts handbook.
  • Brain Games, a mix of interactive experiments and brain teasing challenges as a 12 x 30-minute series, produced by National Geographic Television (NGT), and airing globally
  • American Chainsaw (8 x 30 minutes, global), and featuring chainsaw sculptor and hard rock frontman Jesse “The Machine” Green

Returning series include

  • Alaska State Troopers
  • Border Wars
  • Doomsday Preppers
  • Hard Time
  • Locked Up Abroad
  • Rocket City Rednecks
  • Taboo

Specials include

  • the 120-minute Deepsea Challenge, which follows filmmaker and adventurer James Cameron as he takes the plunge 6.8 miles to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in a single-pilot submersible. (Cameron successfully completed the voyage last night.)
  • America vs. Iraq features interviews with Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and other pivotal figures in the Iraq War
  • Inside the Afghanistan War features ground-level footage taken during the conflict
  • a celebration marking the 125th anniversary of the National Geographic Society
  • Dragon Wars: Fire and Fury
  • Maya Underworld: The Real Doomsday
  • The Secret Life of Predators
  • the return of the National Geographic Bee, hosted by Alex Trebek
  • Sex – How it Works
  • When Earth Attacks

Event programming on the way for NGC includes:

  • The 80s: The Decade that Made Us
  • Killing Lincoln, based on a book by Bill O’Reilly [of Fox News]
  • ‘Treasure Week,’ designed to document the exploits of explorers and archaeologists
  • ‘Secret Access Week,’ which promises “unprecedented access to everything you never knew existed”

… Lyle says the upcoming slate should provide ample evidence to producers that both NGC and Nat Geo Wild are extending their reaches and adopting a “nothing is out of bounds” attitude.

That attitude may seem like an odd one for the National Geographic Society, which has long had a sense of “in bounds” and “out of bounds.”

Chase Carey, COO of News Corp

But the National Geographic Channel is a News Corp property. Here’s Chase Carey — the COO of News Corp and Rupert Murdoch’s right-hand man — who recently addressed an investor conference in Palm Beach, Florida (via The Hollywood Reporter):

Amid a discussion about News Corp.’s cable networks, Carey said that the National Geographic Channel has a lot more upside. Compared to non-fiction juggernaut Discovery, “we are not even close,” he said. The goal must be to get the right programming for the network, Carey added.

Why doesn’t John Fahey, Chairman & CEO of the National Geographic Society, publicly address what the Channel should be showcasing? Why doesn’t he stand up and say: “Actually, boys, some things are out of bounds.”

Because the National Geographic Society doesn’t control the National Geographic Channel; News Corp does.

John Fahey National Geographic

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