5:00am PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Nat Geo Going Behind the Scenes of Extreme Sporting Events (Exclusive)
National Geographic Channel is hitting the slopes.
The network has teamed up with Chevrolet, Snow Park Technologies and Good Clean Fun for a new series called Mountain Movers that will show what goes on behind the scenes of action sports competitions. Specifically, it will follow the real-life drama behind the creation of courses for the world's most popular extreme sports events as the crews deal with harsh weather conditions.
"Mountain Movers will have all the elements that National Geographic Channel loves in developing great TV: insane feats, high-intensity projects, hazards around every corner and engrossing personalities," said Michael Cascio, executive vp programming at the network.
Jason Carbone’s Good Clean Fun (Tia & Tamera, Run’s House) is developing and producing the series for NGC, which is expected to premiere in the spring. Carbone created the show with Chris “Gunny” Gunnarson, ESPN Winter X Games course designer and owner/president of Snow Park, which consults for special projects on snow.
“Snow Park Technologies works in the most remote locations under extreme conditions, exactly the type of programming Nat Geo is famous for,” Carbone said. “From avalanche control to building a half-pipe in blizzard conditions, Mountain Movers is going to take the viewer to locations and place them in experiences that are truly one of a kind.”
Gunnarson and his crew have designed and built more than 250 competition courses, including all of the Winter X Games in the U.S. and Europe, World Snowboard Championships and the Winter Dew Tour. Mountain Movers will see them taking their skills to the next level, creating innovative snow sport venues in epic settings, where the hazards of winter weather, avalanches and working with heavy machinery present constant challenges.
“Building snow parks is tricky business under the best of conditions; Mountain Movers is about taking on the big challenges and having the right tools to get the job done,” Gunnarson said.
General Motors is serving as a co-production partner for Mountain Movers and key advertiser across the NGC program schedule. Chevrolet is the lead media partner of the series, which includes vehicle integration. Gunnarson has a history with the brand: He currently drives a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado 3500HD dually to handle heavy duty work in harsh conditions.
“When athletes like Shaun White, Louie Vito and Danny Davis perform freestyle tricks in the halfpipe, it is one of the most exciting things you'll see in sports," said Chris Perry, U.S. vp Chevrolet Marketing. "Mountain Movers is a great fit for Chevrolet, because it’s authentic. The show's hardworking, dedicated crew overcomes the odds each week using skill and creativity to design and build world class winter action sports venues."
The series is targeting young male fans of adrenaline-fueled winter sports competitions that typically feature high-flying snowboarding, skiing and snowmobiling. TV coverage of such events has seen ratings gains in recent years: The Winter X Games 2012 saw a 32 percent ratings increase from the previous year to become the highest-rated and most-watched Winter X Games ever telecast on ESPN.