“What makes you who you are?” wonders Best Narrator Emmy nominee Adrien Brody in the “Decoding the Brain” episode of the National Geographic Channel’s informational series “Breakthrough” (watch the trailer above). “Are you just a robot following a program? Can we change and should we change traumatic memories that ruin lives? The answers lie in the web of electrical impulses inside your skull.”
Brody’s nomination for Nat Geo’s dazzling scientific program is his second career Emmy nomination following last year’s Best Movie/Mini Actor bid for “Houdini.” While he lost that Emmy to Richard Jenkins (“Olive Kitteridge”), Brody can take solace in his Best Actor Oscar victory for “The Pianist” (2002).
In this year’s race for Best Narrator, Brody faces off against two-time Emmy champ Keith David (“Jackie Robinson”), repeat nominee Anthony Mendez (“Jane the Virgin”), three-time also-ran David Attenborough (“Life Story”) and double Emmy-winner Laurence Fishburne (“Roots”). Of this group, only Fishburne is a former Oscar nominee (“What’s Love Got to Do with It,” 1993) and Brody stands alone as the sole Oscar champ. Might that industry acclaim push him over the edge with Emmy voters?
Directed by Brett Ratner, “Decoding the Brain” premiered on November 15 as part of the “Breakthrough” event series that highlighted different directors and narrators for each episode. Other notable talents included Peter Berg (“Fighting Pandemics”), Paul Giamatti (“More Than Human”), Ron Howard (“The Age of Aging”), Angela Bassett (“Water Apocalypse”), Akiva Goldsman and Jason Bateman (“Energy From the Edge”).
Aside from superstar celebrity participation, this TV series was so impressive because of it boldness of scope and vision and a generous investment in content. No costs were cut in pursuit of impressive investigative journalism.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions right here. You’ll compete to win our contest prizes for best picks — $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place) in Amazon gift certificates — a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year’s Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year’s Emmys). Be sure to read our contest rules.