Vivendi Entertainment and Independent French TV production company Pernel Media today announce that US-based Smithsonian Channel has come on board its epic 4K docudrama series about the building of the ancient Egyptian Pyramids as a coproduction partner.
Smithsonian Channel will join Vivendi-owned Group Canal Plus in broadcasting ‘Secrets of the Pyramid Builders’ (6 x 45’). The French media group ordered the series for its C8 and Planète+ channels, with Vivendi Entertainment distributing the programme globally.
The 6 x 45’ series plunges viewers into the heart of one of the greatest projects in the history of humanity: the construction of the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx of Giza.
Combining 4K fictional scenes shot on location in Morocco with the latest archaeological research shot in Egypt, expert interviews and stunning CGI reconstructions, this thrilling series tells the story of the people who built the wonders of the ancient world and looks at what it took to achieve their epic feat. From the very first pyramid built by Djoser in Saqqara – until the last Pyramid of Giza, this series emphasizes the less known story of the women and men who lived and worked in the shadow of the pyramids and how this huge construction project lead to the creation of the first centralized administration in human history.
‘Secrets of the Pyramid Builders’ was co-written by Christopher Holt (‘The Real War of Thrones’, ‘Wonders of the Solar System’, ‘Elizabeth I’) and Sigrid Clement (‘The French Doctor of Kabul’, ‘SOS: Heritage in Danger’), who also acts as series director. Alain Brunard (‘Pasteur’, ‘Marie Curie on the Front’) is drama director for the series while Pernel Media President Samuel Kissous is executive producer.
“We are delighted that Smithsonian Channel has come on board to coproduce ‘Secrets of the Pyramid Builders’ in a deal that will scale up this hugely ambitious docudrama to even further heights, as well as giving it a home in the US,” said Samuel Kissous, President of Pernel Media.
“Smithsonian Channel prides itself on bringing ambitious programs to its audience” said David Royle, EVP and Chief Programming Officer, Smithsonian Channel. “We are excited to partner with Pernel Media on a series that is epic in scale. ‘Secrets of the Pyramid Builders’ promises a dramatic and revelatory look at the people who engineered one of mankind’s greatest achievements and founded civilization as we know it.”
“Getting Smithsonian Channel onboard so early confirms Vivendi and Canal+ Group’s decision to fund this series was the right one. Its universal theme and unique take will lead to the announcement of more territories’ licenses soon!,” said Matthieu Porte, EVP International and Development at Vivendi Entertainment.
Pernel Media is one of France’s leading factual producers and is behind major series including ‘20 Years on Death Row’ for 13ème Rue and UKTV, ‘Extreme Lands’ for France 5, three series of ‘Wheeler Dealers France’ for RMC Decouverte and major hit docu-drama series ‘The Real War of Thrones: A History of Europe’ for France 5, which has sold to more than 35 territories worldwide.