British multi-channel broadcaster UKTV is collaborating with the BBC and FremantleMedia International to produce an adventure travel series set to feature BAFTA-winning English naturalist Steve Backshall.
Produced by True to Nature, Expedition with Steve Backshall will trace the television presenter on a global journey that sees him venturing into the dark and forgotten corners of Earth to explore its hidden secrets.
Episodes of the series will follow Backshall as he and an expert team of adventurists descend down a white-water river in the Himalayas, trek through unexplored jungle in South America, and climb mountains in the deserts of the Middle East.
The first 4 x 60-minute episodes of Expedition with Steve Backshall will premiere across BBC2 in 2019. UKTV entertainment channel Dave, meanwhile, will exclusively debut the following six episodes later in the year, followed by its own versions of the BBC’s episodes.
FremantleMedia International has secured global distribution rights.
“This is a truly innovative commissioning model that forges an exciting new partnership between two of Britain’s leading free to air broadcasters,” said Richard Watsham, UKTV’s director of commissioning, in a statement. “The fact that both the BBC and Fremantle want to invest in Expedition is a testament to the spectacular scale of this project. Our strategy to raise UKTV Originals to new heights is gathering pace.”
“We’re delighted to partner with the world-class team at True to Nature, the adventure daredevil Steve Backshall, UKTV and BBC for Expedition. Steve will take global audiences on an epic journey of wonder and awe, and we’re looking forward to working with broadcasters internationally to build Expedition into a global brand,” added Angela Neillis, director of non-scripted for FremantleMedia International. “We’re always on the lookout to partner with producers that can bring us the best in factual programming and jaw-dropping television experiences.”