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TCA17: Nat Geo Teams With Leonardo DiCaprio to Develop 'The Right Stuff' Scripted Series

Network to create documentary around ‘The Long Road Home’ series 7/25/2017 4:52 PM Eastern

Beverly Hills -- National Geographic will team with Leonardo DiCaprio to develop a scripted series based on Tom Wolfe’s best-seller The Right Stuff, the network announced Tuesday during its session at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

RELATED: Complete coverage of the 2017 TCA Summer Press Tour 

The series, developed by Nat Geo along with Appian Way Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television, will take a gritty, anti-nostalgic look at what would become America’s first reality show, as obsessive astronauts and their families become instant celebrities in a competition that will either kill them or make them immortal, said Nat Geo.

DiCaprio will serve as executive producer of the project along with Jennifer Davisson and Will Staples, said the network.

“Having already had a rich relationship with Leonardo, Jennifer and their production company Appian Way on Before the Flood, I’m excited to work with them in a scripted capacity,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks in a statement. “With The Right Stuff, we’re looking at moment in time where the everyday life, the trials and tribulations, of these men was scrutinized in the public. The story gives a peek into the minds and goals of these astronauts seeking exploration and adventure during the space race of the ’50s, making it the perfect story for National Geographic to tell.”

Nat Geo has also partnered with ABC News journalist Martha Raddatz to develop a companion documentary to the network’s scripted series The Long Road Home. Both the documentary and the series will premiere in November. 

“With Martha and Lincoln Square Productions, we want to provide the background that chronicles the remarkable story of bravery and survival of these soldiers,” said Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production, National Geographic in a statement. “By offering the documentary simultaneously with the scripted drama, we’re hoping to provide additional insights and authenticity to the story, giving audiences another perspective of the unforgettable events of ‘Black Sunday’.”

In other Nat Geo TCA news: 

--National Geographic has greenlit a 20-episode fourth season of its science-driven talk show series StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson, premiering this October.

-- The network will launch on Aug. 14 Diana: In her Own Words, a special documentary that weaves archival footage and photography with rarely heard recordings from Princess Diana herself. 

-- Nat Geo will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the hit film Titanic with a December special, Titanic: 20th Anniversary, which will explore the movie through a fresh lens using information that has been compiled over the past 20 years.

-- Nat Geo also set premiere dates for several shows inclding scripted event series The State (Sept. 19), documentary series The Story of Us with Morgan Freeman (Oct. 11); and documentary special Dian Fossey: Secrets In The Mist (December 2017).

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