Beth Hoppe to exec produce 'Curiosity'

Multi-year project addresses 'questions of life'

NEW YORK -- Discovery has named Beth Hoppe executive producer of its project "Curiosity: The Questions of Life."

Discovery Studios president Carole Tomko said Thursday that Hoppe will report to her and oversee production of the multi-year TV project for Discovery Studios, the internal production unit of Discovery Communications. Hoppe will also work closely with Discovery Communications founder and chairman John Hendricks.

Hoppe previously served as president and CEO of Optomen Productions, a New York-based company that has produced cable programming for the likes of Discovery Channel, History Channel, Animal Planet, Lifetime and Food Network. She is also a former director of science programs at Thirteen/WNET New York.

"For 'Curiosity' to be the definitive television experience for the knowledge seeker, it must have a world-class storyteller with a deep, multidisciplinary background lead it," Hendricks said of Hoppe's appointment.

In a telephone chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Hoppe cited her experience in both science programming and more entertaining shows, such as "Monsters Inside Me" on Animal Planet and "Worst Cooks in America," which launches on the Food Network next month.

"I have always believed strongly that science and entertainment are not mutually exclusive," she said. "I believe I can those two things together to make a primetime Sunday night 8 o'clock series exciting."

Added Hoppe: "I hope each film will be a journey across the globe looking for 'oh wow, holy shit' moments where people's eyes are opened to things they didn't know about their world and themselves."

She plans to start filming the first episode in March. "Curiosity" is set to launch in the first quarter of 2011.