Former Nebraska football and basketball player Keith Neubert has another project that combines his love for adventure with his passion for television.
His production company, Breakwater Entertainment, teamed with Oriental Miracle International Cultural and Media Company in Beijing, China, to produce the 13-episode series “Xpedition China: Search for Shangri-La.”
It premieres at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Velocity (Time Warner Cable channel 1144). After its run on Velocity, the series will be distributed by National Geographic International beginning in February.
In “Xpedition,” Neubert, who played at Nebraska in the late 1980s, rides his Harley-Davidson motorcycle across China, unraveling hidden secrets in the “Land of the Dragon.” He explores China’s history, culture, customs and awe-inspiring landscape. He called his access unprecedented.
He spent time behind the sacred walls of the Shaolin Temple learning Kung Fu from the master warrior monks, saying “I’ve never experienced anything like that in my life, and I’ve competed in professional sports and seen the best athletes in the world up close and personal.
"These Kung Fu warriors are something," he said. "You can't believe unless you witness it for yourself.”
Neubert said he also became the only Westerner besides Bill Clinton to be allowed into the excavations pit to stand shoulder to shoulder with the Terracotta Soldiers.
Other series highlights for him include holding a baby Panda while working with scientists on wild Panda conservation and trekking across the Mongolian Desert on a camel to an oasis where he met a group of indigenous people.
This is the second such project from Neubert, who played pro football (New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles) before launching his entertainment career. In 2009, Breakwater produced “American Xplorer: Expedition Central America” for HDNet, which featured Neubert exploring Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica and more.
More recently, Neubert hosted the competition reality series “Picked Over” on History.
Across the remote
* In other Nebraska-related news, “The Walking Dead” begins season four at 8 p.m. Sunday on AMC (TWC channels 50, 277 and 1277) with Wayne’s Emily Kinney still among the living. The Nebraska Wesleyan University graduate enters her third season on the hit zombie drama, playing Beth Greene.
Last Monday, I profiled Kearney’s Jon Bokenkamp and his new series “Blacklist,” starring James Spader. Bokenkamp learned NBC picked it up for the rest of the season. “Blacklist” airs at 9 p.m. Mondays on TWC channels 6 and 1006.
* It didn’t take long for CBS to bring “Mike & Molly” off the bench. The network canceled Tony Shalhoub’s “We Are Men” after just two episodes (no surprise), and will bring back the Melissa McCarthy series to replace it on Mondays, beginning Nov. 4.
The network also will reconfigure its Monday night lineup, beginning this week. “2 Broke Girls” will move to 7:30 p.m. following “How I Met Your Mother.” Repeats of “Big Bang Theory” will air at 8 p.m. until “Mike & Molly” debuts. “Mom” and “Hostages” will remain at 8:30 and 9 p.m., respectively.
* Marvel’s Agents of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” became the third new show (behind “Sleepy Hollow” and “Blacklist”) to get picked up for the whole season. I expect other pick-ups (and cancellations) will come fast and furious now that the networks have seen where audiences are gravitating.
* Did anybody else say “What the …?” last week when “Law & Order: SVU” revealed that Munch, played by comedian Richard Belzer, had turned in his papers. Sure enough, Belzer no longer is a series regular. He’s expected to recur as Munch, a character he’s portrayed in an amazing 10 TV series, including one of my all-time favorites, “Homicide: Life on the Streets.”
* Former “Private Practice” star Kate Walsh is the latest star to join FX’s limited run, 10-episode series “Fargo,” inspired by the Coen brothers movie. She joins Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Bob Odenkirk and Colin Hanks. No date yet as to when FX plans to air “Fargo.”
* Quick hits … CBS extended David Letterman’s contract through 2015 … TNT ordered a second season of “Cold Justice,” which wraps its first season on Oct. 22 … PBS will air a “Downton Abbey” retrospective at 8 p.m. Dec. 1 … ABC Family renewed “The Fosters” for a second season.