Doc net creates advisory panel

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Documentary Channel, which bills itself as the first 24-hour network devoted exclusively to indie docu films, has tapped an advisory council to offer guidance on the channel's programming.

The group includes Ken Burns ("The Civil War," "Baseball"), Albert Maysles ("Gimme Shelter," "The Gates"), Freida Lee Mock ("Return With Honor"), Barbara Kopple ("American Dream," "The Hamptons") and Haskell Wexler ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"). DOC, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in January, said the filmmakers are volunteering their time to "create a community of support" for its content and that the network is entering "its second year with sights set on improving its benchmark programming achievements accomplished in Year One."

"Times have evolved to embrace the independent mind-set, which exemplifies and drives the process of creating a documentary," network founder and CEO Tom Neff said. "DOC has successfully created a home not only for documentary film fans but for the filmmakers and professionals who share this passion and make their livelihood in the industry. The DOC advisory board provides an opportune vehicle for many of industry leaders to support not only the network but each other's work and the future of the genre."

Nashville-based DOC is distributed to 13 million households on EchoStar's Dish Network and is carried by several broadcast stations in major markets, including WNYC New York. The network said it's on track to exceed 30 million subscribers by year's end.

In addition to acquired docus, the channel also airs original programming including "Treasures of the Academy," a series of Oscar-winning and -nominated documentaries from the archives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, augmented by DOC exclusive interviews with filmmakers and Academy members. Other series include "DocTalk@USC," "DOC-U," "HotDocs" and "DocFest."
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