NGC's New Series, "Facing," Delves Into the Real Stories Behind Some of Today’s Most Prominent Headline-Makers

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27 August 2016
Courtesy of National Geographic Channels
Premieres Tuesday, August 30 at 9/8c on National Geographic Channel 
 Includes Pablo Escobar, Saddam Hussein, Suge Knight,
Vladimir Putin and Arnold Schwarzenegger

          National Geographic Channel is set to premiere “Facing,” a docu-series that takes an immersive look at the real stories behind some of modern history’s most larger-than-life characters.

          From the producers of the award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary “Facing Ali,” each hourlong episode will tackle the myths, legends and truths behind powerful headline-makers, including Pablo Escobar, Saddam Hussein, Suge Knight, Vladimir Putin and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

          Through first-person interviews with those who “faced” them — their adversaries, allies, peers and those in their inner circle — along with select journalists and those affected by their actions, good and bad, “Facing” offers a sometimes startling perspective on these modern icons. Get to know the real stories behind the headlines with an intimate look at their early life, rise to notoriety and existence in the public eye.

Upcoming episodes include:

Premieres Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 9/8c

At the helm of his cocaine empire, Pablo Escobar ignited the international bloodbath that spurred the war on drugs. This is the story of the man behind the Glock, told by those in front of it. Interviewees include Steve Murphy, Javier Peña and Joe Toft, lead DEA special agents on Pablo Escobar’s investigation; George Jung, the mastermind behind Escobar’s early smuggling operations; John Jairo “Popeye” Velásquez, Escobar’s friend, commander of his terror squad and convicted murderer; and Gen. Miguel Alfredo “Maza” Márquez, who survived seven assassination attempts as the head of secret police in Colombia. 

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 6, at 9/8c

A glimpse at Saddam Hussein, the godfather of dictators, so called for his acts of atrocity — and fanboy-level obsession with Michael Corleone — through the eyes of the people who survived his terror and experienced his love. Interviewees include award-winning journalist Dan Rather; Dr. Mowaffak al-Rubaie, who oversaw Hussein’s execution; Zainab Salbi, the daughter of Hussein’s personal pilot; and Gen. Charles Horner, who commanded the U.S. air assault on Iraq during Desert Storm. 

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 9/8c

From his shattered dream of playing in the NFL to Tupac and Biggie Smalls, old foes and former friends connect the bullet holes to map the billion-dollar rise and fall of Suge Knight. Interviewees include Vanilla Ice; Virgil Roberts, music industry lawyer and Suge Knight’s mentor; Gary Ballen, former road manager for N.W.A.; Los Angeles Police Department detective Greg Kading, lead investigator of the Death Row Records file; Sharitha Golden, Suge Knight’s former wife; and Death Row Records artists The D.O.C. and Danny Boy. 

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 9/8c

With a reputation for outlandish statements and bold acts, Vladimir Putin is one of the few men in the world powerful enough to do what he wants — and get away with it. Told by those who know him best, this is the story of one of the world’s most notorious leaders. Hear from Dr. Robert Gates, former U.S. Secretary of Defense; Marina Litvinenko, widow of former KGB spy Alexander “Sacha” Litvinenko; Platon, who photographed Vladimir Putin for Time magazine’s “2007 Person of the Year” issue; former CIA Director Leon Panetta; Bill Browder, declared a threat to Russian national security and founder of Hermitage Capital; former Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko; and Pussy Riot co-founder Nadya Tolokonnikova. 

Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 9/8c

From bodybuilder and blockbuster action and comedy star to politician, Facing Schwarzenegger explores one of the greatest immigrant success stories of our time: an unabashed look at the life of a man who followed his dreams. Hear from actor and retired bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno; “Commando” co-star Rae Dawn Chong; action star Carl Weathers; producer and director Ivan Reitman; Schwarzenegger stunt double Peter Kent; Schwarzenegger’s former training partner Ric Drasin; and Rep. Tom McClintock, who ran against Schwarzenegger for California governor.
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