NEW YORK – June 16, 2022 – On the heels of his role in this summer’s blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, Smithsonian Channel™ announced today that actor Jay Ellis (Insecure) will host the second season of their breakout hit series, How Did They Build That? 


Season two will continue to cover architectural wonders from all over the world but will have an emphasis on American stories and deconstruct some of the United States’ most amazing structures, including Hearst Tower (NYC), Little Island (NYC), National Museum of African American History and Culture (Washington, DC), Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO), Evergreen Point 520 Floating Bridge and (Seattle, WA). International stories include La Tete Carree (France) the Guggenheim (Spain) and The Gherkin (England), along with many others. 


In this epic new season, host Jay Ellis takes viewers around the globe to meet the architects who designed and built these captivating buildings. Through insightful interviews from “star-chitects” Lord Norman Foster, David Adjaye, Daniel Libeskind, Patrik Schumacher, and Santiago Calatrava along with series experts Nehemiah Mabry, Ellie Cosgrave, Corina Kwami and Hayley Loren, viewers will not only learn the exceptional modern engineering secrets that made these modern wonders possible but will also have a first-hand look inside the beautiful and astounding feats of engineering on a scale and complexity never seen before.


“I’m excited to host How Did They Build That? season two and bring the work of some of the world’s most innovative architects and engineers to the forefront,” said Jay Ellis. “The series is captivating and eye-opening. Being able to hear first hand accounts from the genius minds of these architects, and how they came up with and executed these remarkable designs is truly amazing and inspiring.” 


How Did They Build That? season two premieres on Sunday, July 10 at 8/7c on the Smithsonian Channel™ in the United States and Monday, July 11 at 8/7c in the United Kingdom. Charlie Bunce for Curve Media and Dan Wolf for Smithsonian Channel serve as Executive Producers, respectively. 


Follow Smithsonian Channel on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see an exclusive behind-the-scenes interview with Jay Ellis and catch sneak peek’s of How Did They Build That?


About MTV Entertainment Group

MTV Entertainment Group is one of the preeminent youth media companies in the world that connects with global audiences through its nine iconic brands – MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Pop, Logo, Smithsonian Channel, Paramount Network and TV Land – as well as MTV Entertainment Studios which produces acclaimed series and movies and the award-winning, Oscar nominated MTV Documentary Films.


About Curve Media

Curve Media is an established, global, unscripted production company led by Emmy and BAFTA award-winning producers Rob Carey and Camilla Lewis. With permanent production bases in London, and Cardiff, and production capability globally, Curve specialize in high quality long-running factual and entertainment shows for the world’s biggest networks including Comcast, ViacomCBS, Discovery Networks, AETN, BBC, ITV and Channel 4.


The company was formed in 2014 by key creatives Rob Carey (ex- EVP, Cineflix and Mentorn Media – ‘American Pickers’, ‘Property Brothers’, ‘America’s Worst Driver’, 'Hider In The House', 'Work Out') and Camilla Lewis (ex- BBC and Fremantle UK – ‘Four Rooms’, ‘Grand Designs’, ‘Great Railway Journeys’, ‘The Apprentice UK’) and has risen to be one of the top UK independent producers, with 22 shows currently in production and over 150 hours of prime time content delivered in 2020. Their shows are characterized as popular subjects with a big twist and broad appeal.


About Jay Ellis

Jay Ellis has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most in-demand multi-hyphenates. He was just recently seen opposite Tom Cruise in the smash hit film, Top Gun: Maverick. Ellis also recently wrapped production on the Amazon feature Somebody I Used to Know directed by Dave Franco. On television, Ellis appeared as the fan-favorite “Lawrence” on HBO’s critically acclaimed and Emmy-nominated comedy series, “Insecure,” created by Issa Rae and Larry Wilmore. In 2018, he won the NAACP Image Award in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on the show. He also made his directorial debut with the season 4 episode, “Lowkey Trippin.”


Ellis’s other television credits include FX’s Emmy-nominated limited series, “Mrs. America,” a starring role on the hit BET series “The Game” from 2013-2015, and roles on “Masters of Sex,” “Grace & Francie,” “How I Met Your Mother,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “NCIS: Los Angeles."  As a producer, Ellis recently completed production on the feature film Black Box  for Amazon with Blumhouse Productions under his production company banner Black Bar Mitzvah, which is also in development on feature films at Sony, Netflix, Endeavor Content as well as television shows with HBO, Hulu/FX, MGM, and more. Other film credits include Escape Room, A Girl, A Boy, A Dream, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance International Film Festival. 


He also serves on the board of Inside Out Writers, an L.A. non-profit that teaches creative writing classes in juvenile halls throughout Los Angeles County as well as amFAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, is dedicated to ending the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research.




MTV Entertainment Group

Lauren Nowell,
Leshelle Sargent, 

Lauren Woulard, 

Renee Oliver,


CIVIC Entertainment Group 

Dominique McDonald,