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The Hour-long Documentary SEA OF HOPE: AMERICA’S UNDERWATER TREASURES Premieres Sunday, Jan. 15, at 7/6c
Tue Dec 20 2016 22:30:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)

The Two-hour Special OBAMA: THE PRICE OF HOPE
Premieres Sunday, Jan. 15, at 8/7c

(Washington, DC -- Dec. 19, 2016) As the country prepares for Donald Trump to be sworn in as the 45th U.S. president, both critics and supporters believe they’re saying farewell to one of the most memorable presidencies in the nation’s history. On Sunday, Jan. 15, just days before the inauguration, National Geographic commemorates President Obama’s legacy with a night of programming, beginning at 8/7c with the one-hour documentary SEA OF HOPE: AMERICA’S UNDERWATER TREASURES, followed by the two-hour special OBAMA: THE PRICE OF HOPE, premiering at 9/8c.


SEA OF HOPE: AMERICA’S UNDERWATER TREASURES follows iconic ocean explorer and conservationist Dr. Sylvia Earle, renowned underwater National Geographic photographer Brian Skerry, author and environmental activist Max Kennedy and their crew of teenage aquanauts on a yearlong environmental quest. In celebration of the centennial of the National Park Service, their goal is to turn the next 100 years into a blue centennial by protecting vital habitats and underwater natural wonders.


“Change is happening fast: We’re losing coral reefs, we’re losing fish in the ocean and ecosystems are unraveling,” says Earle. “The chemistry of the planet is being affected by what we’re putting into and taking out of the ocean. There should be some places that we leave alone, like national parks.”


The team travels all over the United States — from St. Croix to the Hawaiian Islands — using everything from a simple mask and flippers to submarines to capture images of astonishing underwater ecosystems. Through science and photography, they hope to inspire President Obama to establish blue landmarks across an unseen American wilderness.


The yearlong expedition culminates when President Obama reveals that he created the world’s largest marine preserve in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean. To celebrate these historic achievements, National Geographic captured the first-ever footage of a U.S. president diving underwater.


The February 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine (@NatGeoMag) will also look at marine areas protected by the United States through the presidency of Barack Obama and back to the days of President Theodore Roosevelt. Award-winning environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett takes a look at the history of presidential action in preserving oceans and why oceans are vital to the health of our earth and explores case studies of decline and revival around the world. The story is illustrated by Skerry’s vibrant photography in preserved marine spaces from coast to coast.The February issue will be available online at on Jan. 9 and on print newsstands on Jan. 31.


OBAMA: THE PRICE OF HOPE is an intimate portrait of the Obama administration, which had an indelible effect on the nation and world in light of the significant array of issues the President and his cadre of advisors faced between 2008 and 2016. On the eve of the upcoming inauguration, National Geographic examines the Obama years with unique insider access to the president and his inner circle, including frank interviews with Obama himself. Beginning with his 2008 electoral victory, the energetic Obama made history as the first African-American president and was determined to take on the challenges of governing an increasingly divided country.


Obama was optimistic about his uphill battle and has been quoted as saying, “I’m a black guy named Barack Obama, and I’m the President of the United States. I feel lucky all the time.”


The documentary examines the President’s action against an impending financial collapse and dire unemployment numbers, his historic introduction of universal health care, his positioning on the Arab Spring and his strong stance on foreign policy, all while countering overt resistance from the Tea Party. Filmmakers also depict Obama’s mission to end gun violence and his commitment to racial justice. 


In addition to candid interviews with Obama, filmmakers have multiple conversations with diverse political influencers and those in the President’s inner circle, who provide textural context on the intricate issues. Featured interviewees include the following:


              David Axelrod, Former Senior Advisor to the President

              Hillary Clinton, Former Secretary of State

              Bill Daley, Former White House Chief of Staff

              Mary DeRosa, Former Intergovernmental Affairs Director

              Dick Durbin, Former Senate Majority Whip

              Robert Gates, Former Defense Secretary

              Tim Geithner, Former Treasury Secretary

              Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President

              Jim Messina, Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff

              Cecilia Muñoz, Intergovernmental Affairs Director

              Leon Panetta, Former Director of the CIA

              Nancy Pelosi, Former Speaker of the House

              Tom Perriello, Former Member of the House of Representatives from Virginia’s 5th District

              Harry Reid, Former Senate Majority Leader

              Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor

              Christy Romer, Former Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors

              Phil Schiliro, Former White House Director of Legislative Affairs


OBAMA: THE PRICE OF HOPE weaves in eight years of the President’s objectives, triumphs and struggles, while underscoring his passion to inspire a sense of hope against all odds.


SEA OF HOPE: AMERICA’S UNDERWATER TREASURES is produced for National Geographic by True Blue Films. Academy Award nominee Robert Nixon is producer and director for True Blue Films, and Sarah Guinan Nixon and John Bridgeland are executive producers. Original music is by Will Bates. For National Geographic, Allan Butler serves as executive producer and Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production.


OBAMA: THE PRICE OF HOPE is produced for National Geographic by Brook Lapping Productions in association with Les Films d’Ici 2. For National Geographic, Robert Palumbo is executive producer. For Brook Lapping, Norma Percy, Paul Mitchell and Bran Lapping are executive producers; Mick Gold, Delphine Jaudeau and Sarah Wallis are producers/directors. Serge Lalou and Charlotte Uzu are executive producers for Les Films d’Ici 2.


Media Contacts:

For Sea of Hope: America’s Underwater Treasures:

Stephanie Silva, 202-912-6721,

Madison Bell, 212-656-0674,


For Obama: The Price of Hope:

Tahli Kouperstein, 202-912-6543, 

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