Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Hosted by The View's Lisa Ling, this weekly documentary series was a revised and updated "high energy" version of the long-running National Geographic Explorer. Rather than focus on pretty pictures in the manner of the "old" series, the new edition also offered running commentary on the political and cultural aspects of the location of the week. The series also trafficked in personality profiles, such as the opening episode in which the center of attention was Chinese-born NBA star Yao Ming. With its wobbly hand-held photography, music-video style editing, and "hip" slant on things, this wasn't your father's Explorer. National Geographic Ultimate Explorer first aired on June 1, 2003.