News Column

Relativity And Tandem Communications To Produce Series "Act of Valor," Inspired By The Successful Feature Film, For National Geographic Channel U.S.

October 7, 2013


The First Scripted Series for Both National Geographic Channel and Relativity Television

WASHINGTON and PARIS, Oct. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National Geographic Channel U.S., Relativity and Tandem Communications announced today at MIPCOM 2013 their collaboration on the series "Act of Valor." The series is the first scripted series for both NGC and Relativity. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2014. The series, which is inspired by the successful feature film bearing the same name, will be produced by Tandem Communications (a Studiocanal company) and Relativity.

The series will be written by Erik Jendresen (Band of Brothers). Tandem Communications (The Pillars of the Earth, Crossing Lines) will act as both the studio on the production as well handle international distribution. Relativity's Act of Valor, which was an unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, opened #1 at the U.S. box office with $24.5 million and went on to gross more than $80 million worldwide.

This greenlight further solidifies NGC's stake in the scripted content arena. NGC garnered record-breaking ratings for its first forays into scripted with the factually based feature films SEAL Team Six becoming the highest-rated program in 2012 for the network and Killing Lincoln achieving the highest-rated program in 2013 to date, both Emmy(R) nominated. In addition, NGC is heading into the fall with the highly anticipated Rob Lowe starrer, Killing Kennedy, bowing on November 10th.

"Act of Valor" the series focuses on pararescuemen, also known as PJs, who are the unsung heroes that are tasked with recovery and medical treatment of personnel in humanitarian and combat environments.

Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity, said: "Relativity's unique model allows us to successfully transform a film such as Act of Valor into a highly engaging television series. Through this process, networks are able to broadcast shows with built-in-audiences of viewers already invested in a story, while the studio monetizes our content in new ways. We could not ask for a better home for the series than National Geographic Channel."

Howard Owens, President of National Geographic Channels, said: "With the incredible success of our original scripted feature films, we are expanding our offerings with a high quality scripted series we know will resonate with our viewers. After the success of our documentary series Inside Combat Rescue about PJs in Afghanistan, we wanted to tell more incredible stories of these heroes, and this series will allow us to do so in an exciting and dramatic way, while still delivering real, authentic stories our viewers expect from us. We could not have a better partner than Relativity to take this next step."

Tim Halkin, COO of Tandem Communications, added: "With a powerful contemporary storyline of global anti-terrorism, Act of Valor is an intense, fast-paced series that will resonate with viewers worldwide. We are excited to work with Relativity and NatGeo, as well as the talented Erik Jendresen, who is so skilled and creative in this genre of entertainment."

Kavanaugh is scheduled to deliver a MIPCOM Media Mastermind Keynote on 8 October at 16.45 at the Palais des Festivals, Grand Auditorium.

About Relativity Relativity ( is a next-generation studio engaged in multiple aspects of entertainment, including film production; financing and distribution; television; sports management; music publishing and digital media.

The studio has produced, distributed or structured financing for nearly 200 motion pictures, generating more than $22 billion in worldwide box office revenue and earning 73 Oscar(R) nominations. Recent films include: Safe Haven, Act of Valor and Immortals, the latter both opening number one at the box office in their debut. Relativity's other films include the eight-time Oscar(R) nominee The Social Network as well as Limitless and two-time Oscar(R) winner The Fighter. Upcoming films include the irreverent 3D animated buddy-comedy Free Birds, starring Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler and Oscar(R) nominee Woody Harrelson and Scott Cooper's gritty dramatic thriller Out of the Furnace, starring Oscar(R) winner Christian Bale, Oscar(R) nominee Casey Affleck and Oscar(R) nominee Woody Harrelson.

Relativity Sports is the industry's fastest growing sports agency, providing more than 400 NBA, NFL and MLB athletes with services ranging from contract negotiation to custom film and television content production. Relativity Television is one of the country's largest suppliers of unscripted television and has recently expanded to produce scripted series.

About National Geographic Channel Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society's commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation's major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in more than 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. For more information, visit

About Tandem Communications Tandem Communications is located in Munich, Germany and was started in 1999 by Rola Bauer and Tim Halkin. Jonas Bauer became a partner in the company in 2007. Since opening its doors, Tandem has established itself as a leading provider of high-end, scripted TV Event programs.

The end of 2011 marked a new chapter in Tandem's history with Studiocanal taking a majority stake in the company, effectively making Tandem the television production and distribution arm of the European studio.

Tandem develops, finances, produces and distributes primetime programs for the worldwide market. Emmy(R) & Gemini Award-winning and Golden Globe(R)-nominated The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are just two examples of Tandem's award-winning and critically acclaimed productions. In addition to distributing its own programs worldwide, Tandem also distributes high-end, third-party productions.

Studiocanal's involvement enabled Tandem to strengthen its one-hour series strategy, leading to Tandem's most recent production of the one-hour procedural crime series, Crossing Lines, which was created by Edward Allen Bernero (Criminal Minds) and stars* William Fichtner, Marc Lavoine and Donald Sutherland.

SOURCE National Geographic Channel

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