Sony, Discovery, and IMAX have peeled back the curtain on the original programs set to debut on their new joint-venture 3-D network in 2011 — and not surprising, the shows are all nature-related. 

There are probably two reasons for this; the first is that Tom Cosgrove, Discovery Channel’s chief operating officer and executive VP, is heading the new channel. Not only has Discovery been consistently ranked as the top most entertaining cable channel year after year — but that group also knows good programming and how to sell it. 

Which plays into my second point: Nature. Is there any better way to sell 3-D? Discovery pioneered HD content years ago with stunning specials like "Planet Earth" — so who's to say lightning can't strike twice? 

Have a look at the new series descriptions below. Will you be tuning in? Or is 3-D still too gimmicky/pricey to earn your attention? 

"Abandoned Planet": Explore the strangest places on Earth — entire cities now completely devoid of all humanity. This series of one-hour programs sheds light on why people have abandoned the places they once called home and what happens after they leave. Produced by Flight 33 Productions.

"Africa in 3-D": From Gannet Island and its 100,000 seabirds of the same name sharing one giant rock, the 60,000 flamingos at Kamfers Dam, the Luangwa River and its 30,000 hippos and much more, this series of one-hour programs captures the richness and diversity of the world’s second-largest continent. Produced by Aquavision Television Productions.

"China": China’s beauty is often hidden and always surprising. This hour-long series studies the thronging cities, epic vistas and spiritual heartlands of this huge and mysterious nation in stunning 3-D. Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ).

"Jewels of the World": This hour-long series gives viewers unprecedented access to UNESCO’s ‘World Heritage’ sites, where the planet’s natural and cultural gems are catalogued and protected, including the historic sanctuary of Machu Picchu, Peru; the Temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia; and the Grand Canyon National Park in the United States, among others. Produced by Natural History New Zealand Ltd. (NHNZ).

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

3-D TV network to air original nature series
Joint venture between Sony, Discovery Communications and IMAX to launch with four original series focused on the beauty of the planet.