Discovery Sets Five-Hour Docu-Series 'How We Invented the World' (Exclusive)

The cable network, overseen by president Eileen O'Neill, has given the green light to a project exploring the most iconic inventions and breakthroughs of the modern age -- from the cell phone to the airline black box.
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Eileen O'Neill

Discovery Networks is setting sail around the world.

The unscripted-focused cable network has given the green light to How We Invented the World, a five-hour docu-series exploring the most iconic inventions and breakthroughs of the  modern age -- from the cell phone to the airline black box.

The series will use state-of-the-art filming techniques, cinematic CGI and dramatization to explore the technological advancements and the people who shaped them.

The project will explore the secrets of what's to come -- from guns that check your DNA fingerprint before they can fire to transparent planes that save fuel and allow passengers to see the world in a new way.

How We Invented the World will be filmed around the world using a new global creative model and will be customized for each of Discovery's key territories, with audiences in London, Warsaw and New York viewing customized versions to their own region complete with high-profile local experts.

"Discovery is the world's No. 1 nonfiction media company and we are uniquely positioned to tackle this project on such a global scale," said Discovery and TLC Networks Group president Eileen O'Neill. "It is fitting to kick off this new model about a topic where people think big and push boundaries, because that is exactly what we are doing."

The series will premiere in 210 countries across the world on Discovery Channel in 2012.

Emmy-winning production company Nutopia (America: The Story of Us) will produce the project with Discovery Networks International's Sarah Davis and Discovery Channel U.S.' Christine Weber.

The project marks the first global commission out of Discovery Networks International, and reteams the network with former GM Jane Root, who now oversees Nutopia as CEO.

“Discovery Channel’s How We Invented the World is DNI’s biggest and most ambitious commission to date, and we’re delighted to be working with Nutopia on this exciting genre-busting project,” said Julian Bellamy, DNI creative director and head of production and development. “As the prototype for globalized TV in the future, this series is epic in scale, idea and budget, while simultaneously retaining local flavor. It’s a fantastic way to kick-start our drive into more original productions that are international ideas that feed Discovery Channel's global footprint.”

The project marks the latest for the network to explore technology and the people behind the world's advances. The network also is home to Curiosity, a docu-series that explores one question across science, technology and society.

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