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Knowledge & Exploration, National Geographic Channel, Sustainability

Nat Geo Will Produce New Documentary from Alex Gibney Exploring the World's Water Crisis

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National Geographic Channel has greenlighted a new documentary miniseries from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney examining the world's dwindling water supply and the actions we can take toward greater water conservation. Parched will premiere globally on Nat Geo channels in 171 countries and will receive a limited theatrical release.

"Harnessing the power of the National Geographic brand, Parched will give a 360-degree look at a global crisis that affects us all, bringing much-needed attention and social awareness to the public," said Tim Pastore, President, Original Programming and Production, National Geographic Channel. "We are thrilled to be working with Alex Gibney, who pulls no punches and delivers the kind of hard-hitting, intriguing stories that we're passionate about sharing."

Gibney explained that billions of people around the world are already suffering from a lack of access to clean water, and that National Geographic Channels' international reach is an ideal medium through which to spread vital information regarding this issue.

"With the drought crisis in California, America is starting to wake up to a future where fresh drinking water is scarce, expensive, and beyond our control," Gibney said. "With the global reach of National Geographic, we hope to stress the urgency and, now more than ever, we need to understand what's literally under the surface."

Gibney, who won an Oscar for directing Taxi to the Dark Side, will executive produce along with Stacey Offman and Lynne Kirby under Jigsaw Productions. Richard Perello is co-executive producing for Jigsaw. Matt Renner is executive producing for National Geographic Channel.

Visit Variety for more information on the documentary series.

Fox Networks Group (incl. FOX, Cable, Sports, etc.), Knowledge & Exploration, National Geographic Channel

FOX and Nat Geo Will Air Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, Celebrating Leaders in Science and Math, Hosted by Seth MacFarlane

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Continuing their joint work promoting science, technology, engineering, and math, 21st Century Fox's National Geographic Channel and FOX have agreed to broadcast this year's Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, an awards show honoring the world's most prominent scientists and mathematicians. Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and executive producer of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, will host the ceremony for the second year in a row. Nat Geo will broadcast the event live on Sunday, November 8, with a one-hour version scheduled to air on FOX on November 29.

"It is an honor to partner with the Breakthrough Prize team to celebrate the incredible men and women who are driving the world's most significant scientific advances," said Gary Newman and Dana Walden, chairmen and chief executive officers, Fox Television Group. "We hope that by showcasing these great minds and their important work to millions of viewers, we can help them inspire the next generation of scientists."

The Breakthrough Prize honors important achievements in the fields of Fundamental Physics, Life Sciences, and Mathematics. Tech industry leaders Sergey Brin (Google), Anne Wojcicki (23andMe), Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan (Facebook), Yuri Milner and Julia Milner (DST Global), and Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang (Alibaba) launched the prize in 2013, aiming to celebrate scientists and generate excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.

Committees of previous laureates select the winners from a pool of candidates nominated by the public. The winners each receive an award of $3 million, and to date, the Breakthrough Prize has awarded more than $160 million. Following the ceremony, the winners embark upon a program of public lectures and symposiums at universities and scientific organizations around the world.

"We are proud to join forces with Don and the Breakthrough Prize team not only to honor the best and brightest in science shaping the world of today, and tomorrow, but also to bring this important event to the broadest global audience possible," said Courteney Monroe, chief executive officer of National Geographic Channels U.S. "National Geographic was founded on the spirit of mavericks, and this partnership affords us the opportunity to continue this great tradition by recognizing those who are breaking barriers and expanding the limits of possibility."

This event is the latest collaboration among FOX, Nat Geo, and Seth MacFarlane, who came together to produce Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, in 2014. MacFarlane served as an executive producer and a key creative partner on the series, around which FOX and Nat Geo organized a massive international launch--across 181 countries and nearly 50 languages.

The Breakthrough Prize Ceremony will be broadcast live in the U.S. on National Geographic Channel Sunday, Nov. 8, at 10 p.m. ET/9 Central. The one-hour version is scheduled for FOX on Nov. 29, at 7 p.m.

For more information on the 2016 Breakthrough Prize Ceremony, visit The Wrap.

Photo by Kevin Winter for Getty Images.

Corporate, Sports & Wellbeing

Chris Froome Leads Team Sky to Third Tour de France Victory

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When Team Sky's Chris Froome crossed the finish line on the Champs-Èlysèes on Sunday, cementing a 72-second lead over his nearest competitor Nairo Quintana, he became the first Briton in history to win the Tour de France twice. Team Sky, sponsored by 21st Century Fox, collected the overall team award, marking the third time the team has won the Tour in the past four years.

Froome was quick to attribute his success to his fellow riders. "Without you guys, I would not be standing up here," he said to his teammates from the winners' podium. "My utmost respect and gratitude: this is your yellow jersey as much as it is mine."

Team Principal Sir Dave Brailsford, echoed Froome's sentiments in a subsequent interview: "Chris couldn't win the biggest bike race in the world without a fantastic team behind him. When you've got a group of world-class guys who are willing to sacrifice everything they've got, every single day to help Chris win. And that's what they did, they pulled together and it was an amazing thing to watch."

This emphasis on teamwork and inclusivity has long been a characteristic of both Team Sky's athletic training and its outreach efforts. Its popular SkyRide events, for example, have become a primary means for the team to inspire its fans to live healthier, more active lifestyles.

SkyRide began in 2009 as an event to encourage fans to introduce regular exercise to their daily routines. The first event offered fans the chance to participate in a special traffic-free bike ride on a 15-kilometer route through London, and more than 65,000 people attended. The events have only grown in popularity since, and they now include dozens of partner rides in cities throughout the UK every year.

Team Sky estimates that programs like these have inspired more than 1 million people in the UK to take up regular cycling.

Earlier this year, when the team competed in the Amgen Tour of California, they continued in this spirit of "Inspiration to Participation" by hosting the Soul Cycle | Team Sky Pro Challenge, a high-energy spin class at SoulCycle Beverly Hills to raise money for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In addition, 21st Century Fox donated bikes, equipment, and Team Sky gear to local chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs in the Los Angeles area, helping introduce new youth communities to active, healthy lifestyles.

For more information on Team Sky and its outreach efforts, visit TeamSky.com.

Fox Networks Group (incl. FOX, Cable, Sports, etc.), Sports & Wellbeing

FOX's 'Home Free' Challenges Couples to Renovate Houses for Families in Need

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On Wednesday, July 22, FOX will premiere Home Free, its first reality series on homes and interior design in more than a decade. The series, hosted by professional contractor and HGTV personality Mike Holmes, challenges nine couples to renovate one run-down house per week in service of families in need. At the conclusion of the eight-week series, the winning couple will win their ultimate dream home.

Tom Forman, CEO of Relativity Television and executive producer of Home Free, says he was eager to develop a series that could have a positive impact. "I like shows I can watch with my kids, things that are pro-social without being preachy," he told Advertising Age.

The launch of the series has also given the Fox community the chance to take on their own DIY projects. Employees from across 21st Century Fox's New York businesses came together with Holmes for a Habitat for Humanity home build on July 8. Fox colleagues teamed up with the Habitat for Humanity volunteers to help renovate a house in Queens, New York, with Holmes on site leading the charge.

Home Free premiers Wednesday, July 22, at 9:00 PM ET on FOX. For more information, visit FOX.com.

Photo by Ben Hider for FOX.

Corporate, Knowledge & Exploration

21st Century Fox Kicks Off $500,000 Challenge Grant for Hampton University's Journalism School

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On July 17, 21st Century Fox launched a $500,000 Challenge Grant to Hampton University's Scripps Howard School of Journalism. The funds will support the activities of the School's new Center for Innovation in Digital Media, which is designed to enable Hampton University students to learn about and explore new ways of gathering and distributing media content.

"This grant exemplifies 21st Century Fox's continuing mission to cultivate and nurture the next generation of storytellers on all platforms," said Julie Henderson, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of 21st Century Fox. "The invaluable work done by Hampton's Center for Innovation in Digital Media underscores the need to empower young people with the necessary tools to realize their dreams within the creative industries, and we are immensely proud to be a part of that process."

The Center's mission is to foster diversity within digital media, providing the industry with broader ranks of innovative and competitive talent and aspiring entrepreneurs. The grant will cover, among other initiatives, digital media projects by students, which include producing research, business plans, media products such as apps, and also assist in placing graduates in digital media jobs.

"This generous grant not only recognizes the extraordinary potential that these students possess, it also challenges other media companies to step up and acknowledge that the future of the industry is dependent upon developing a broad and diverse workforce," said Brett Pulley, dean of the Scripps Howard School. "This challenge grant will help us establish a program that will place our students among the great young minds now focused on creating new media platforms and pioneering the future of our industry."

For more information on the grant, or to inquire about contributing, visit HamptonU.edu.

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