National Geographic is not known for scripted series, but they want to be. In a recent push for more dramatic content, the network has just announced development plans for a Hidden Figures series, based on the critically acclaimed 2016 film and book by Margot Lee Shetterly.
The film, starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, and Janelle Monae, racked up three Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.
Hidden Figures tells the story of three talented black women who helped NASA compete in the race for space exploration. Henson played Katherine Johnson, who computed the necessary coordinates for many of NASA landmark launches… and led to astronaut John Glen sending for her by name to prepare him for his “Friendship 7” mission.
The women worked in racially segregated environments and were often denied access to the full rights of employees at NASA. Johnson, the only living “Hidden Figure”, has received numerous awards since the film’s premiere. As one of the last acts of his presidency, former President Obama gave her the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
The Nate Geo series is in early development, and if it makes it to a series order, it will join the likes of a another scripted series on the early space days based on The Right Stuff.|
Leonardo DiCaprio is slated to executive produce the series.
The overwhelming support of Hidden Figures and other black woman-centric films is surely enough to put Nat Geo in the running for new programming to watch out for.