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General Electric to launch new innovation TV series

Ron Howard, Brian Grazer will lead production for National Geographic show.

Bill Paxton, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and Kevin Bacon starred in 'Apollo 13' which was made by producing duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.Bill Paxton, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and Kevin Bacon starred in 'Apollo 13' which was made by producing duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer.Bill Paxton, Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise and Kevin Bacon in 'Apollo 13,' another science project from producing duo Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. (Photo: Imagine Entertainment)

It's a new advertising world. Companies are working to get their messages in front of viewers who have itchy fingers on the fast-forward buttons of their DVR remotes – if they watch TV at all.

Some companies go the product placement route. If the folks on "Jane the Virgin" talk about going to Target one more time, we'll scream.

Others, like General Electric, are trying an informational approach. GE is producing a series focusing on science and technology innovation for the National Geographic Channel beginning in November, The New York Times reports. Imagine Entertainment's Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, who are responsible for "Arrested Development," "Apollo 13" and "A Beautiful Mind," and many other movie and TV hits, will produce the series.

The series will feature engineers from GE and other companies. Episodes will be directed by Howard, Peter Berg, Brett Ratner, Paul Giamatti and Angela Bassett, among others.

The company's chief marketing officer told the Times that they won't be inserting GE engineers in the series gratuitously, only if "it makes sense." But there is lots of subject matter to explore. 

In the tech incubator that Israel has become, for instance, GE Global Research identifies and partners with startups whose products GE thinks can go worldwide. With more than 4,000 high tech companies based in Israel, GE's team of collaborators has plenty to choose from  – some of which may make it into the series.

In the meantime, take a look at the trailer for "Apollo 13" to satisfy your Grazer/Howard science needs.

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