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Channel 4 Costa Concordia Dragonfly

American TV special on cruise ship disaster is anchored in Britain


By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 8, 2012 | 2 min read

There's no longer any doubt about the deep impact of British ideas and programming on American television these days.

The Costa Concordia

From Downtown Abbey to Simon Cowell of X Factor (not to mention Piers Morgan on CNN) the Brits are everywhere. The latest people to get in on the act are the National Geographic channel.

Less than a month after the Carnival Cruise ship Costa Concordia sank, they are delivering a documentary, entitled "Italian Cruise Ship Disaster: The Untold Stories."

In fact, as Adweek points out, "it's a tweaked version of British insta-special on the event."

The British documentary "Terror at Sea: The Sinking of the Concordia," was made by Dragonfly TV for Channel 4 and aired on Jan. 31 , a mere 18 days after the ship ran aground.

The hour-long programme includes computer generated reworkings of the shipwreck , and home video footage from Coast Guard workers. New for the American version are interviews with U.S. passengers .

It's not quite what Nat Geo was saying last month, says Adweek.

In January vice president Nancy Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter the channel would create a a Costa Concordia documentary with "with so many unanswered questions, Discovery will piece together not only the immediate events but the bigger story of what comes next in recovery and restoration."

Nat Geo is certainly getting into the news documentary business. There was "The Last Days of Osama bin Laden" then Discovery Channel's "iGenius" (aired just after Steve Jobs' death).

Behind it all is Nat Geo's new president Howard Owens, formerly of News Corp.-owned Reveille . Murdoch's organisation owns 67 percent of Nat Geo with the rest owned by the National Geographic Society.

Channel 4 Costa Concordia Dragonfly

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