22 November 2013 9:29 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Near the beginning of "It's a Wonderful Life," young George Bailey dismisses the swooning Violet's question about his National Geographic Magazine. Of course she hadn't heard of it, George says. It's only for explorers, like him. Howard T. Owens became president of National Geographic Channels -- including the flagship channel, as well as Nat Geo Wild -- in 2011, and he wants Nat Geo to reach everyone's inner explorer. The network's yellow rectangle -- mimicking the magazine's border -- is iconic, and since the early '60s, National Geographic has regularly produced television specials to help perpetuate its primary mission of inspiring people to care about the world around them. Launched in partnership with Fox Cable Networks in 2001, the National Geographic Channel initially broadcast documentary programming focused on science, history, nature and other extensions of the brand. More recently, it's broadened its focus (and audience) with unscripted fare like "Doomsday »

- Aaron Dobbs

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