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The Great American Manhunt: New TV Series for National Geographic

National Geographic TV showNational Geographic has announced the premiere of The Great American Manhunt for April 19th. The TV show challenges forensics experts to solve mysteries using their skills and resources. The cable channel has ordered eight episodes for season one.

Here’s the National Geographic press release with additional details:

THE GREAT AMERICAN MANHUNT PUTS FORENSICS EXPERTS TO THE ULTIMATE TEST

New Series Premieres on National Geographic Channel Thursday, April 19 at 9:00 pm (ET/PT)

(Washington, D.C, April 2, 2012) – Is it possible to identify living individuals simply through clues on and inside their bodies? For forensic detectives and scientists, it’s the ultimate test of their skills. Each week on The Great American Manhunt, the new eight part one-hour series premiering Thursday, April 19 at 9:00 pm (ET/PT) on the National Geographic Channel, those skills are challenged as never before. In each episode, a charismatic team of experts employs the very latest techniques and technology in forensic science – as well as a bit of intuition and some old fashioned clue busting abilities – to unravel the complex mystery put before them.

The Great American Manhunt throws down the gauntlet to forensic anthropologist Dr. Natalie Shirley, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Dan Shapiro and veteran police officer Bill Erfurth. Together, they are tasked with identifying a mystery target with an exceptional life and accomplishments. With no access to national databases, the team is limited to using every forensic test available to interrogate the anatomy, the minds and the clothes to positively ID their target and work out their exceptional achievement. The mystery targets come in all shapes and sizes but they all have something in common – an occupation or event that has left a unique imprint on their body.

“This series is like a real-life CSI episode, with a great twist,” said Kathleen Cromley, the executive producer for National Geographic Channel. “In this instance, all of the clues lead to a living, breathing person – and the journey along the way is great fun.”

David McNab, Creative Director, Wide-Eyed Entertainment said: “We have been blown away by the brilliance of our sleuths in piecing together the clues and hunting the targets down. The team tests everything from blood to psychology – from MRI scans to the pollen on the target’s clothes. The science is jaw dropping and the investigation takes the team on a thrilling chase across the country.”

The experts featured in the series include:

Dr. Dan Shapiro earned his Ph.D in clinical psychology at the University of Florida and went onto Harvard Medical School where he completed an internship at McLean Hospital and an endowed fellowship in medical crisis interventions at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is currently Professor and Chair of the Humanities Department at Penn State College of Medicine. He also works as a TV presenter, an author, a playwright and as a psychology consultant on shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice.

Dr. Natalie Shirley is a leading forensic anthropologist at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She cut her teeth at the world famous body-farm but now works for the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program.

Bill Erfurth is a retired Miami Dade cop.. Starting as a patrolman in 1981, Mr. Erfurth was promoted to Lieutenant in 1997 and assigned as Commander of the Tactical Narcotics Team (TNT), responsible for the supervision of 130 officers, and a multi-million dollar budget. During his time on the force, Bill worked closely with Discovery and the BBC on The Real Miami Cops, and has since consulted on many Hollywood films including the Bruckheimer/Bay film Bad Boys II.

The Great American Manhunt was executive produced by Kathleen Cromley for National Geographic Channel; executive vice president of programming is Michael Cascio. The show was series produced by Paul O’Connor and Dan Gold, line produced by Charlotte Wheaton and exec produced by David McNab for WEE.

About Wide-Eyed Entertainment

A really rather slick media production company managed by Jasper James, Parule Basu-Barua and David McNab, a team behind some of the most ambitious and spectacular television of the age. WEE are dedicated to finding ever more imaginative and delightful ways to thrill, educate and inspire audiences whether on air, online or on the bus.

After our first 3 years WEE have over 40 hours of programming and 2 apps under our belt including big budget drama-docs, factual mini-series, drama and factual entertainment. WEE’ve delivered to a host of Networks around the globe including BBC, ITV, Discovery, Nat Geo, History, CanWest, France Television, SuperRTL and Channel Nine and have a first look deal with FremantleMedia.

National Geographic Channels

Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 83 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in 435 million homes in 173 countries and 37 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeotv.com.

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