National Geographic Specials. Insider Series. [2002-09-04], Ambassador: Under Fire Overseas


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Created: 2003
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National Geographic Specials. Insider Series. [2002-09-04], Ambassador: Under Fire Overseas
Summary: "Celebrating nearly 40 years on television, the National Geographic Specials rank as one of the longest running and most honored documentary series ever produced. Pursuing the mission of the Society to 'increase and diffuse geographic knowledge,' the National Geographic Specials present a visual saga of humankind's quest for new knowledge of natural history, science and peoples of the world.

"Each one-hour Special develops in depth a single aspect of the world around us. Renowned for outstanding photography, compelling stories and carefully researched content, the films result from the efforts of dedicated production teams who work for years to capture on film the interesting and the bizarre wonders of the world. The Specials' style of big, dramatic documentary is both entertaining and informative, attracting a broad-based audience and increasing the world's awareness of its diverse cultures and thrilling natural history.

"The Specials were first broadcast on two commercial networks: CBS from 1965 to 1973, and ABC in the following year. They premiered on public television in 1975, a relationship that spanned 20 years. The Specials returned to commercial broadcast television in January 1995 on NBC with the premiere of the 30 Years of National Geographic Specials, which set ratings history. The Specials moved to PBS in 2000 and have played an important role in securing PBS's place in the industry. The audience draw and recognition for high-quality programming that the Specials brought to the developing network in 1975 -- and maintained over the years -- led the way for other private-sector support for public television. The Specials continually rank as the most popular programs on public television and currently hold 18 of the top 25 places on the list of most watched shows in PBS history (ranked by average-minute audience). In this age of competitive television, remote control, and a mind-boggling array of viewing options, the Specials have withstood the test of time for close to four decades -- true longevity in television years.

"Of the many topics the Specials explore, there is an ongoing commitment to exploring various branches of government, gaining unprecedented access to some of the most powerful institutions in the world. In 'The FBI', National Geographic goes inside the bureau for a revealing look at the complicated history of the FBI, its top special agents and its most vital operation today: stopping terrorism. In 'Ambassador: Under Fire Overseas,' National Geographic take viewers inside U.S. embassy walls for the inside story on the men and women who keep America's international relations stable in the midst of crisis and calm. 'Air Force One' gives viewers a once-in-a-lifetime look inside the inner workings of the 'flying White House,' getting up-close and personal with the U.S. presidents on the wing. 'Inside the White House' takes viewers on a journey that touches the history and significance of the White House, while exploring how this institution works today and how it has worked in the past."--2003 Peabody Awards entry form.

"Today, more than ever, the United States has an enormous stake in maintaining strong and stable relationships with other countries. Much of this responsibility rests on U.S. ambassadors, an elite corps of women and men trained in the delicate yet demanding arts of diplomacy.

"With unprecedented access inside embassy walls, National Geographic gets up close and personal with several of these public servants, including former U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin, former U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala Prudence Bushnell, and U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker. Step into the shoes of the men and women who maintain America's vital alliances in a time of terror, peace, and transition."--episode description from National Geographic Web site (http://www.nationalgeographic.com/tv/specials/ambassador/) accessed 2005-08-17.

Corporate Producers: National Geographic Television & Film

Persons Appearing: Colin L. Powell (Interviewee) | Robert Royall (Interviewee) | Howard Baker (Interviewee) | Wendy Chamberlin (Interviewee) | Prudence Bushnell (Interviewee)

Broadcast Date: September 4, 2002