Veronan Produces National Geographic’s ‘Mad Scientists’


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The 2-man Moon Jumper (Photo Credit: © NGC / Daniel McKeown)

Mark Fortgang seems like a level-headed guy. So common sense, and his talent for film work, probably explain why the Verona resident is behind the camera on a new National Geographic reality TV series and not building a 26-foot lawn dart or fitting a leaf blower with a turbo jet.

Fortgang is one of the producers of “Mad Scientists“, which premieres Wednesday, October 5 at 10 p.m. on the National Geographic Channel. He’s been traipsing around the United States with show host John Bowler to film a group of amateur inventors, weekend scientists and eccentric engineers given to building things like a fire-breathing wheelchair. The show profiles the inventions and then Bowler challenges the builders to create an upgraded version.

The guys in the photo above were building a giant human and bicycle-powered teeter-totter. Here’s a small sample of what else Fortgang has been seeing.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected].


  1. That “Roaster Coaster” is pretty insane for some back yard fun and games. I expect to see something like that sitting outside of a haunted house around Halloween. That would be great to ride before going inside. I like the way this showcases home inventors and could lead the way to some fantastic new item that might change the world. Adding the challenge portion of the show helps to keep things interesting. I hope this show is around for a while! I just found out that Directv subscribers might be missing out on Mad Scientists starting on November 1st. I am happy I have DISH Network for my TV provider/employer. Last year they signed a long term agreement with the owners of the National Geographic channel.


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