History repeat for 'Universe,' 'Underworld'

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The History Channel has given series renewals to "The Universe" and "Cities of the Underworld."

The network has given 13-episode orders to each series, which debuted this year. "Universe" will have its second-season premiere in the fourth quarter, while "Cities" will return in the first quarter of 2008.

Meanwhile, History.com said it is launching a new shortform series titled "Backyard Astronomer" that will serve as a companion to "Universe." The series will help viewers identify stars and explain the different phases of the moon among other astronomy-related topics.

"The Naked Underground," the broadband series that is an offshoot of "Cities," also will be returning.

"It is imperative that we stay current and fresh in our approach to programming," said Nancy Dubuc, executive vp and GM at the History Channel. "Our strategy is to continue building our schedule around appointment television like 'Cities of the Underworld' and 'The Universe.' "

"Universe" is produced by Flight 33 Prods.; "Cities" is from Authentic Entertainment.
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