Continuing a partnership that has produced such television mega-hits as "LIFE" and "Planet Earth," the BBC and Discovery Channel earlier this week announced a new series titled "History of the World". 

Covering more than 20,000 years of humanity over eight episodes (or roughly 2,500 years per episode), "History" will tell the stories of "real people, their civilizations, cultures, successes and crashing failures."

Obviously, this series will be much different than previous documentaries, mainly because the two networks will not have the participation of Mother Nature to offer up stunning visuals and characters. Instead, a mix of innovative computer graphics and reenactments will be used to create what the press release called "the definitive account of human civilization". 

"The series will be shot all over the planet and will literally create lost worlds by freezing time at decisive moments in history and revealing the significance of these moments and how it they have shaped our world," the release states. "From Cleopatra's encounter with an asp and Marco Polo's journey along the Silk Road to China to the arrest of Marie Antoinette and the firing of a bullet in Sarajevo in 1914, this will be the definitive account of human civilization."

It's yet to be announced when this series might arrive, but I wouldn't be surprised if a winter 2012 or spring 2013 date is in the works. The BBC and Discovery are putting the finishing touches on their successor to "Planet Earth," a series called "Frozen Planet," and that's currently scheduled for spring 2012 in the United States. Look for "History" sometime after that. 

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

BBC and Discovery announce 'History of the World'
New television series to cover more than 20,000 years of human history over eight episodes.