Nat Geo Wild Unleashes 2018-19 Upfront Slate Featuring New Series and Specials That Celebrate Animals and the People Who Love Them

Apr 19, 2018  •  Post A Comment

Press release from Nat Geo Wild, April 18, 2018:

Nat Geo WILD continues its commitment to being the No. 1 destination for animal lovers of all ages, with the announcement today of the network’s 2018-19 Upfront Programming Slate. With a lineup featuring bold new series, returning hits, innovative specials and family-friendly stunts, Nat Geo WILD continues to celebrate our planet’s amazing animals and the people who love them.

The announcement comes on the heels of a couple of ratings milestones for the network. After 12 seasons and more than 100 episodes, The Incredible Dr. Pol remains Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 series and continues to break ratings records for the network. In its Saturday time slot, season 12 of The Incredible Dr. Pol ranks in the top three most watched shows on ad-supported cable among P2+ with an average of 1.45MM viewers season to date (P2+, L+7). Also, the recent fifth-season premiere of Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER was the series’ most watched season premiere ever, and the second most watched premiere telecast during the series’ run, seeing an average of 750k total viewers P2+. The success of Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER on Sunday nights reinforces Nat Geo WILD’s leadership in highlighting powerful and entertaining stories about people who love animals.

“Nat Geo WILD has always been 100 percent dedicated to animals and the people who love them, and our relentless commitment to creating premium content that entertains, inspires and educates viewers of all ages continues to make us the leading destination for wildlife programming,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo WILD. “This new programming slate highlights how Nat Geo WILD continues to find innovative ways to push the boundaries of storytelling, and we are confident that these new programs will strike a chord with our viewers.”


(Please note: Many titles are working titles and premiere dates are subject to change.)



Event Premieres November 2018

The fiercest week on television returns this fall with Big Cat Week. In its ninth year, this annual event delivers an all-new roaring lineup that puts the spotlight on heartwarming, surprising and inspiring stories of big cats around the world. In this year’s Big Cat Week, discover the moving story of a young lion learning what it takes to become the king of the jungle, in Beverly and Dereck Joubert’s latest special, Lion Prince; follow the extraordinary tale of a strong-willed mother tiger who risks it all to rear her young cubs, in Tiger Mom; and head to South America with big cat expert Boone Smith to witness the rare behaviors of pumas preying on penguins in Argentina, in Man Among Pumas. More than a television event, Big Cat Week is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. This global initiative actively supports on-the-ground research and conservation projects to protect the planet’s top felines. For more information on the Big Cats Initiative and how you can get involved, visit NatGeoBigCats.org.


Event Premieres Spring 2019

Woof woof! Your dog’s favorite week of television returns with more floofs and floppy ears than ever before. Who can say no to a marathon of adorable and silly mutts? Curl up on the couch with your pup and tune in for some tail-wagging good TV with the return of Nat Geo WILD’s paw-some BarkFest event.


Event Premieres Summer 2019

Television’s second-best week of sharks returns next summer with incredible stories from the world’s leading scientists, along with wall-to-wall sharks. Nat Geo WILD is your go-to channel for the most sharks per square inch of television.



Two-Hour Special Event Premieres Fall 2018

(Produced by High Noon Entertainment)

Call the “Pupparazzi”! Renowned pet photographer Kaylee Greer and her fiance, Sam, have become some of the most sought after “dogtographers” in the world. Their ability to capture unique, adorable portraits of dogs, cats and other four-legged animals has earned them a successful pet photography business and an impressive portfolio. Forget the clean white studio and pristinely combed coats, this creative duo would rather photograph “dogs being dogs” in all of their silly, unpredictable, playful glory. From shooting global ad campaigns for major dog food brands, to arranging photo shoots for shelter dogs to help them find their forever homes, to staging whacky themed portraits for private clients, Pupparazzi delves into the heartwarming, exciting and often comical world of pet photography. Expect a lot of laughs, “aww”s, floppy ears and muddy paws as we look at what goes into photographing man’s best friend.


Two-Hour Special Event Premieres November 2018 Following Big Cat Week

(Produced by Natural History Film Unit Botswana and Icon Films)

The famous Okavango Delta is one of the most diverse habitats on earth – a lush, wild kingdom like no other. Here, life revolves around the arrival and disappearance of water. Produced and filmed by award-winning Botswanan filmmaker Brad Bestelink and the team behind Nat Geo WILD’s miniseries Savage Kingdom, The Flood follows the lives of the animals fighting to survive in a dramatic and unpredictable wilderness. Using breathtaking cinematography and innovative storytelling methods, The Flood is an unparalleled natural history television event that follows the incredible stories of animals surviving during an infrequent natural phenomenon. When the lands are flooded, this landscape is both a sanctuary and a trap, giving and taking life in equal measure. Above and below the water, never-ending battles of wits and survival play out. The fate of the tens of thousands of animals that live in this place of spectacular natural drama is at stake.


One-Hour Special Event Premieres November 2018

(Produced by IFA Media)

Fish biologist and National Geographic Fellow Dr. Zeb Hogan is diving back into the water in search of the world’s biggest fish: the whale shark. In this new special, Hogan heads to the Sea of Cortez, where these gigantic prehistoric-like creatures congregate, in hopes of uncovering the hidden secrets of this aquatic paradise. On his journey, Hogan encounters giant tuna, rays and hammerheads before coming face-to-face with a giant. What brings elusive whale sharks to these waters? To find out, Hogan investigates other dangerous predators lurking beneath the water’s surface.


One-Hour Special Event Premieres Fall 2018

(Filmed by Alex Braczkowski and produced by National Geographic Global Production Services)

It’s incredibly rare for lions to climb, but there’s a little-known spot in Uganda where these big cats climb massive trees to hang out high above the plain. Cat biologist and cameraman Alex Braczkowski observed this behavior when he was counting the lions and leopards left in Queen Elizabeth’s National Park in Uganda. Now he’s on a mission to show these lions to the world. He will get the first-ever shots of lions and their cubs 60 feet high in the trees, using drones and special camera traps. The world’s lion population is disappearing rapidly but these climbing lions might have an edge over the others.



New Series Premieres January 2019

(Produced by Radley Studios)

Think meerkats are the most dramatic critters in the animal kingdom? Think again. Just outside of the quiet village of Jemez Springs near the New Mexico/Colorado border lives a vibrant prairie dog colony packed with secrets. What these animals lack in size, they make up for in drama. Prairie dogs are highly intelligent, social animals that live in communities made up of a dozen or more tight-knit family clans, and just like any small town, the Jemez prairie dog colony has its fair share of drama. On the outside, you’ll see a group of prairie dogs pleasantly playing, and nursing newborns … but take a closer look and you’ll see adultery, murder and the occasional case of cannibalism. Join biologist John Hoogland, who has studied the lives of these prairie dogs for 43 years, as he brings us into their incredible world.


New Series Premieres January 2019

(Produced by One Planet Productions)

BABY ANIMALS! Need we say more? Using innovative camera techniques, Babies Diary immerses us into the center of five animal families – lions, jackals, cheetahs, hyenas and meerkats – as they raise their young in the wilderness. By following the animals’ stories from the moment their babies are born, Babies Diary provides a heartwarming and intimate look at the different parenting techniques each of these species employ to give their newborns the best chance at survival in the unforgiving wilds of Africa. Discover the tender, emotional and often stressful moments of new life in the animal kingdom as we follow these fur balls through the different stages of maturity.


Six-Episode Series Premieres Spring 2019

(Produced by Natural History Film Unit Botswana and Icon Films)

Following the success of Nat Geo WILD’s global miniseries events Savage Kingdom and Savage Kingdom: Uprising, comes our third installment of this breakout global hit, Savage Kingdom III: After the Fall. Using innovative techniques that continue to push the boundaries of wildlife storytelling, Savage Kingdom III follows a new clan of characters in Africa’s richest and most dynamic habitat: the Okavango Delta. Along with the familiar blood-curdling battles between leopards, lions, hyenas and wild dogs, we meet new characters like cheetahs, jackals and baboons. They may once have been reviled, pitied, hated or seen as the cruelest of enemies, but in each new episode everything can change. The only law is the law of survival.



Season Six Premieres Fall 2018

(Produced by Spectrum Productions)

Nat Geo WILD’s star of Sunday nights returns for an all new season! Dr. K’s exotic cases and cures are as wild and unexpected as the animals that come through the door. Along with Dr. T and a dedicated staff, Dr. Susan Kelleher treats a dynamic array of patients ranging from kangaroos to monkeys, birds, rabbits, pigs, fish and every imaginable animal in between.


Season Five Premieres Fall 2018

(Produced by Earth Touch)

An all new sssss-season of Snake City is slithering its way back to your TVs! Join extreme snake wrangler Simon Keys and his herpetologist girlfriend, Siouxsie Gillett, as they respond to terrified calls from people who have problem snakes in their houses and yards in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa. Unfortunately for their clients, business is booming for Keys and Gillett as the summer heat brings the native snakes – like spitting cobras, green mambas, black mambas, pythons and more – out of hiding. Watch as the brave duo captures these venomous snakes by hand and then release them back to safety in the wild.


Season Six Premieres Fall 2018

(Produced by Lucky Dog Films)

Dr. Michelle Oakley returns with an all-new season of Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet. Follow her as she makes house calls across thousands of square miles in the Yukon Territory in northern Canada, and throughout Alaska, where she’s responding to some of the most unique and challenging cases of her career. From moving bears with tractors and horses with helicopters, to castrating angry boars and capturing wild bison, she’ll have to use every trick she knows to save these animals. Accompanied by her daughters and armed with a sense of humor as sharp as a scalpel, Dr. Oakley deftly juggles being a full-time veterinarian, wife and mom while taking us into the isolated regions of the Yukon.


Season 14 Premieres Winter 2019

(Produced by National Geographic Studios)

This January, Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 series returns for its 14th season, featuring even more prolapses, pregnancy exams and problematic cases than ever before. There isn’t much that 76-year-old veterinarian Dr. Jan Pol – who the Los Angeles Times called “the no-nonsense, Dutch American doctor who can fashion a goat’s leg splint out of parts from an old apple barrel” – hasn’t seen or done in a half century of practicing animal medicine, but every day presents new surprises as he and his staff at Pol Veterinary Services wrangle animals and tackle tricky problems at their clinic in rural Michigan. With some surprising and complicated cases, heart-warming moments and dramatic situations, the 14th season of The Incredible Dr. Pol is sure to be a wild ride.



Season Two Launches Online Fall 2018

(Produced by Comfort Theory)

Join charismatic wildlife filmmaker Filipe DeAndrade and his two best friends as they venture to the biodiverse ecosystems of Costa Rica – a land of breathtaking landscapes, exotic species and pristine coastlines – to tell stories of local wildlife that are almost too beautiful to believe. In its second season, Untamed gives audiences an immersive experience into the most unique and unimaginable wildlife stories that Costa Rica has to offer, through 10 episodes that will be driven by exclusive content across National Geographic’s digital and social platforms. The focus on social media content this season will allow audiences to dive even deeper into the Untamed world. DeAndrade and friends will explore world-renowned phenomena, intricate details and extraordinary behaviors of some of Costa Rica’s most iconic species, like jaguars, howler monkeys and fer-de-lance vipers.


New Series Launches Online Fall 2018

Following the success of Nat Geo WILD’s first digital series wild_life with Bertie Gregory, National Geographic wildlife filmmaker and photographer Bertie Gregory is back with a new series that takes audiences to one of the most remote and spectacular wildlife destinations in the world to explore how, when given the chance, wildlife can bounce back from a long history of human impact and climate change. Details to be announced at a later time.

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