The hour-long format afforded by television programming allows a show's producers to give viewers an in-depth look at a topic or present a detailed story. The scope of the burning questions posed in The Curiosity Project proved to be too large to be constrained entirely by television, however. The series has broken out of the box, so to speak, and will also live on the Internet and in real-life activities -- in addition to the hour-long shows each Sunday.
In fact, the show is actually intended in part to drive viewers online -- and into life. This makes The Curiosity Project unique, as most shows go the other direction, using the Web to drive viewership to its television programming.
The answers to the enormous questions investigated by The Curiosity Project are incredibly expansive in scope -- there isn't a cut-and-dried answer to the question, "What is reality?" for example. Hendricks saw the Internet as a natural place to plumb the questions even more deeply.
"The great strength of the Internet is that you can take the key line of inquiry and go to the depth that you want to go with it," Hendricks says. "You can really follow your curiosity of the moment. There have been so many times I've searched the Internet and ended up following it to places I've never imagined."
Online viewers whose curiosities have been set to overdrive by the hour-long program can find in-depth video interviews with experts, short segments from the show, articles related to episodes and blogs from writers dedicated to picking episode questions completely apart. The Curiosity Project will draw upon Discovery Channel's existing Web sites to continue the conversation. So viewers can visit Discovery Channel sites, like DiscoveryChannel.com, ScienceChannel.com and HowStuffWorks.com for a deeper understanding.
In addition to explorations online and on television, The Curiosity Project will also encompass real life as well. The project is also naturally geared toward serving as a teaching aid, and kids will have the opportunity to explore the questions posed in their classrooms. For adults, Hendricks' retreat company, Experius, will offer intelligent retreats in in Gateway, Colo., located in the red rock canyon region of the state, and around the world. Participants will be treated to twice-daily lectures in addition to other retreat fare like horseback riding and rafting.
The connection between television and actual life experience created by The Curiosity Project represents the culmination of years of thought for John Hendricks. "It's added another dimension to my career," he says. "More and more over the last decade, I've been exploring ways to better connect people with their world."
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