NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BEGINS FILMING SEASON 2 OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SERIES MARS; ANNOUNCES NEW AND RETURNING MARS CREW AND REAL-WORLD BIG THINKERS IN SIX-EPISODE ARC
Executive Produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Season Two Delves Under The Martian Surface and Confronts the Demands, Perils and Advantages of Colonizing The Red Planet Genre-busting Series MARS Taps into World-renowned Experts in Human Exploration, Including Elon Musk, Michio Kaku, former NASA Chief Ellen Stofan And Author Jared Diamond
Tue Jul 25 2017 20:00:00 GMT+0000 (UTC)
(Beverly Hills, Calif., July 25, 2017) – Filming began this week in Budapest on the second season of National Geographic’s MARS. The series, which was lauded for its unique hybrid of futuristic dramatization and documentary sequences, once again looks at what life will be like when we are an interplanetary species. Hailed by critics as “thought provoking, “visually stunning,” “ambitious,” “wonderfully innovative, imaginative and intriguing,” MARS season two is set to premiere in Spring 2018 on National Geographic in 171 countries and 45 languages.
The network partners once again with Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment and co-creator and executive producer Justin Wilkes and executive producer Jon Kamen of RadicalMedia. Veteran Showrunner Dee Johnson (Nashville, ER) is taking the helm this season. Stephen Cragg (Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder) and Ashley Way (Doctor Who, Homeland) join returning director Everardo Gout (Days of Grace) for season two.
This second season’s six-part arc jumps ahead several years into the future after the Daedalus astronauts have built a full-fledged colony -- Olympus Town. Having established humankind as an interplanetary species, MARS examines the impact that humans have on the Red Planet and the consequences the planet has on us.
This season, MARS announces its new international crew of interplanetary travelers and moguls: Esai Morales (Ozark, NYPD Blue) as Roland St. John, CEO of private enterprise Lukrum Corporation; Roxy Sternberg (Emerald City, Chewing Gum) as Jen Carson, operation forewoman at the Lukrum mining colony; Gunnar Cauthery (Genius, War Horse) as Lieutenant Michael Glenn, the newest addition to Olympus Town and second in command; Levi Fiehler (The Fosters, Mission Control) as Cameron Pate, a molecular biologist tech in Olympus Town; Evan Hall (Orange is the New Black, The Following) as Shep Master, the wildcard of the Lukrum crew; Akbar Kurtha (24, Syriana) as Dr. Johar, a psychologist bringing his expertise to Olympus Town; and Jeff Hephner (Chicago Med, Code Black) as Kurt Hurrelle, leader of the Lukrum mining colony.
Reprising their roles from season one are JiHAE (Mortal Engines) as Hanna Seung, mission pilot and twin sister Joon Seung, capsule communicator of mission control; Sammi Rotibi (The Darkest Minds, Once Upon a Time in Venice) as Robert Foucault, Nigerian mechanical engineer and roboticist; Alberto Ammann (Narcos, Apaches) as Javier Delgado, hydrologist and geochemist; Clémentine Poidatz (Marie Antoinette, Shut in) as Amelie Durand, French mission physician and biochemist; Anamaria Marinca (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, Fury) as Marta Kamen, Russian exobiologist and geologist; and Cosima Shaw (The Danish Girl, Dirk Gently) as Leslie Richardson, British nuclear physicist.
“This season takes us literally into new territory,” says showrunner Johnson. “With no laws, no government and no safety nets of any kind, what is it like to be among the first settlers of Mars? Not only do we explore dangers and mysteries of this brand-new world, but we also explore what it means to be human in a place where so few exist.”
“The struggle between private industry and scientific exploration is going to come to a climax on the Red Planet just as we have seen it happen on Earth,” adds Wilkes, co-creator and executive producer for RadicalMedia. “In fact, the fundamental question we ask this season is can we learn from past mistakes, or are we doomed to make the same flawed decisions on another planet?”
Informing the future dramatic sequences at Olympus Town, MARS once again assembles the world’s most brilliant, diverse and contemporary experts within its documentary passages, including Elon Musk, founder and CEO of SpaceX; Michio Kaku, preeminent theoretical physicist and futurist; Ellen Stofan, former NASA chief; and international bestselling author Jared Diamond (Collapse and Guns, Germs and Steel). But this season, the documentary sequences go beyond the world’s leading experts to reveal even more dramatically the potential challenges that we could confront on MARS with real-world scenarios we are facing today on Earth.
Coinciding with the network’s largest global rebrand in its history, the first season of MARS holds the title as the second-most-watched series in National Geographic history. Reaching more than 36 million viewers globally, MARS also became the most DVR-ed show in network history. MARS generated nearly 300MM social media impressions, 35MM video views and 4MM engagements. The MARS November National Geographic Magazine cover story was one of the best-selling issues, and more than 20K units of the English-language version of the MARS book, written by Leonard David, have been sold.
MARS is produced by Imagine Entertainment and RadicalMedia for NGC. For Imagine Entertainment, Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg are executive producers. For RadicalMedia, Justin Wilkes is co-creator and executive producer, and Jon Kamen is executive producer. For NGC, Matt Renner is vice president, production; and Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production.
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About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
Imagine Entertainment was founded in 1986 by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer to create independently produced feature films, television programs and other original programming. Imagine Entertainment has been honored with more than 60 prestigious awards, including 10 Academy Awards and 40 Emmy awards. Past productions include Academy Award Best Picture winner A Beautiful Mind, as well as Apollo 13, American Gangster, The Da Vinci Code, 8 Mile, Liar, Liar, Backdraft and Parenthood, to name a few. Upcoming films include Inferno, the third installment of the Dan Brown franchise; American Made, starring Tom Cruise; and The Beatles: 8 Days a Week - The Touring Years, a documentary about The Beatles. Current television productions include Fox’s Empire, Shots Fired! and 24: Legacy, as well as National Geographic Channel’s series BREAKTHROUGH and GENIUS. Past television productions include NBC’s Parenthood, NBC’s Friday Night Lights, Fox’s 24 and 24: Live Another Day, Fox and Netflix’s Arrested Development, as well as HBO’s From the Earth to the Moon, for which Howard and Grazer won the Emmy for Outstanding Mini-Series. Ron Howard and Brian Grazer began their collaboration in 1985 with the hit comedies Night Shift and Splash.
RadicalMedia is an Oscar-, Emmy-, Peabody- and Grammy Award-winning studio, with recent credits that include MARS and Emmy-nominated YEAR MILLION for National Geographic; ESPN’s Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 documentary, Doc & Darryl; Stan Against Evil for IFC; Hamilton’s America for PBS’ Great Performances; Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design, which had its world premiere at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival; and May It Last: A Portrait of the Avett Brothers,” which won an audience award at the 2017 SXSW festival and will have its theatrical run in September 2017. RadicalMedia's vast body of work also includes the Oscar-winning documentary The Fog of War; Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning What Happened, Miss Simone? for Netflix; Morgan Neville’s Keith Richards: Under the Influence for Netflix; Epix docuseries America Divided executive produced with Common, Norman Lear and Shonda Rhimes; as well as numerous Joe Berlinger directed and produced projects, including the Oscar- and Emmy-nominated Paradise Lost: Purgatory for HBO, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Under African Skies for A&E, Whitey: The US vs. James J. Bulger for CNN, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru for Netflix, Killing Richard Glossip for Investigation Discovery; and two documentary features that world premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival: Intent to Destroy and FROM THE ASHES, which aired globally on National Geographic in June 2017. More at RadicalMedia.com and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Tahli Kouperstein, National Geographic Channels, 240-401-9674, Tahli.Kouperstein@natgeo.com
Nadia Aziz, National Geographic Channels, 202-704-6727, Nadia.Aziz@natgeo.com