National Geographic, Electus in TV deal
At least one of three series will get greenlight
By Sam Thielman – Variety –
The National Geographic Channel has signed an unconventional deal with Ben Silverman banner Electus -- the shingle will develop three shows for the News Corp./National Geographic Society joint venture, with a guarantee that one will get a series greenlight.
Electus is keeping two of its three contracted projects a secret, but the third will be what the shingle calls "an immersive reality series" re-creating the trans-Atlantic voyage of the Mayflower in 1620 to what is now Massachusetts.
"All of us to some extent have an understanding of the Mayflower voyage, but to be able to re-create that actual 66-day journey provides the ultimate sort of action-adventure," said Electus CEO Chris Grant. "But it's also based in historical relevance."
There's no single exec producer leading the charge on the Mayflower project, Grant told Variety. "We figured it out during a big group session -- a whole day spent. We all went out to dinner and talked it out."
Grant said that the other two projects aren't public yet because he doesn't want to see another company jump on either of the ideas before Electus can fully realize them.