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National Geographic Channel at SXSW

National Geographic Channel (NGC) had a big presence at SXSW Interactive this year, spotlighting four of its most exciting new and returning programs: new late-night talk series StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson, new big data series The Big Picture With Kal Penn, hit series Life Below Zero and the miniseries event American Genius.

From March 14-16, NGC put SXSW attendees to the ultimate test in the Escape the Cold adventure, sponsored by AT&T U-verse®. Inspired by the hit show Life Below Zero, participants were put into icy, Alaskan weather conditions and challenged to connect clues, complete challenges and solve puzzles in order to break free and return to the warm, Texas climate. Life Below Zero star Sue Aikens was also on hand to meet fans and cheer on contestants.

On March 15, Kal Penn participated in the panel, Are You Smarter Than Your Brain?: The Big Picture of Big Data, in support of his new NGC series, The Big Picture With Kal Penn. Attendees learned about big data and how it relates to them on a daily basis, touching on topics including: how individuals spend their free time, personality and character.


On the same day, NGC hosted an exclusive first-look screening of the new late-night talk series StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson. Much like Tyson’s popular podcast of the same name, the show bridges pop culture and science, bringing in comedians, scientists and celebrities to discuss developmental changes in today’s universe. Tyson Skyped in to converse with fans and announce the show’s premiere date.

Additionally, NGC teamed-up with Nerd Nite Austin for the second year to host a special SXSW edition of Nerd Nite. To celebrate the new NGC shows (StarTalk With Neil deGrasse Tyson, American Genius and The Big Picture), attendees had the unique experience to listen to speakers, including: Joel Green, a project scientist at the Space Telescope Institute; Joe Hanson, a Ph.D. science writer and biologist; and Lillian Pierson, author of Data Science for Dummies.

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