National Geographic Channels International will be exploring the amazing powers of the human mind in four new commissions announced today. NGCI is partnering with Blink Films on the three-part series Ape Man, which will air in the U.S. and internationally in early summer. NGCI has also commissioned Blow Your Mind (1x60) from Two four, Card Shark (1x60) from Windfall Films and So Shoot Me TV, and the two-part special Street Smart (working title) from Renegade Pictures. The programmes serve as companion specials to NGCI's highly rated series Brain Games, season two premiering on Wednesday 18th of September at 20:55 on National Geographic Channel on DStv Channel 181.
"These new series and specials investigate the way our brains and bodies really work, and all is revealed using mind-bending experiments and interactive stunts to boggle the eye and bewilder the senses. There will be astonishing revelations, humour and plenty of hard science, too", said Hamish Mykura, Executive Vice President and Head of International Content for NGCI.
While humans may fancy themselves as a highly sophisticated species, much of our behaviour is distinctly primal. With the help of Peter Elliot, whose career in Hollywood has seen him become the go-to actor in movie roles as Apes and Primates, Ape Man is a 3x60 series that introduces viewers to their inner apes to expose our most basic instincts, and their origins in the primate world. Each episode focuses on a different relationship between human/ape behaviour – from how office politics can mimic alpha male hierarchies in the primate world to why humans have an overwhelming desire to be accepted by our peers. And, even how men can learn a thing or two from their ape cousins about making a great first impression, an irresistible first move, and going on a fool-proof first date.
Hosted by TV personality Robert Llewellyn, Blow Your Mind uses a mixture of mind-melting experiments, hidden camera stunts and try-at-home tests to uncover just how much the unconscious parts of our brains control our bodies. How do you make a professional football player forget how to kick a ball? Could our automatic reaction times beat the world's fastest man out of the starting gate? Blow Your Mind reveals the army of neural processes that are operating just outside your control, making you do what you do every day without even realising it.
In Card Shark, professional magician Drummond Money-Coutts looks at the long-established role of playing cards in tricking our perceptions. He criss-crosses continents to explore the secrets behind advanced card play, card cheating, card magic, and one of the oldest card cons in the world: the Three Card Monte. Exchanging methods with some of the top card sharks, masters and performers in the world, Drummond examines the psychology behind their techniques, and tests his own skills at reading people with a challenging interpretation of the Three Card Monte – in a Muay Thai boxing ring.
Featuring TV presenter and NGCI's Car SOS host Tim Shaw, Street Smart uses a series of incredible, mind-bending experiments to quiz our critical thinking – and common sense – and demonstrate how seemingly impossible outcomes are jaw-droppingly possible. Street Smart lets the public guess what is going to happen next – and then sees how right or wrong they were with some spectacular experiments, tests and CGI. The two-part special will premiere on National Geographic Channel internationally and in the U.S.
These companion specials follow closely on the heels of the U.S. premiere of Brain Games season 2, whose April 2013 series launch was the highest in National Geographic Channel's history in the U.S. The series set a ratings record, reaching 1.5 million total viewers.