History greenlights Stan Lee-hosted series


History is teaming with comic book icon Stan Lee for a series that finds real-life X-Men.

As part of a slate of new shows, the "X-Men" creator will co-host "Stan Lee's Superhumans," which will find people who have remarkable abilities because of being genetically different. Daniel Browning Smith, dubbed the world's most flexible man, will host the series with Lee.

"Superhumans" will debut on the network during the third quarter and is joined by five other series and a slew of specials being greenlighted in time for the network's upfront presentation to advertisers this week.

History's previously announced miniseries "The Kennedys" and its U.S. version of "Top Gear" are expected to be the headliners of the network's presentation, but the network also has two new reality shows from prolific "Ice Road Truckers" producer Thom Beers.

The first, "Around the World in 80 Ways," could serve as a "Top Gear" companion. Three hosts will race around the world using common and exotic methods of transportation. Ten episodes have been ordered for second-quarter 2011. In another Beers production, "Vigilante Inspector," a duo inspects decaying infrastructures on such things as bridges, levees and highways. Ten episodes have been ordered for the fourth quarter.

Two other shows in the mix marry reality with History's traditional namesake brand. In "Brad Meltzer's Decoded," Go-Go Luckey and BermanBraun center on author Meltzer decoding familiar symbols. Ten episodes have been ordered for the fourth quarter. In "Chasing Mummies," cameras follow archeologist Zahi Hawass, who manages 250 digs throughout Egypt. Ten episodes from the Greif Co. have been ordered for the third quarter.

History has also ordered the docudrama "Swamp People," which revolves around a group of Cajuns living in Louisiana during alligator-hunting season. Ten episodes have been ordered for the third quarter from Original Media.

The network also ordered several specials, including the ambitiously titled "History of the World in Two Hours," a CGI-driven special from Flight 33 Prods. There's also "Voices From Inside the Towers," from Darlow Smithson Prods., which details phone calls made from inside the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. There also are a trio of presidential specials: "Jefferson," "President's Book of Secrets" and "Reagan."

For the past three years, History has managed to increase its viewing audience while lowering its median age and recently wrapped a record year.
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