Docs

Exclusive: PBS ‘Nature’ unveils programming slate for season 38

PBS has revealed the forthcoming programming lineup for its award-winning wildlife strand ‘Nature’ ahead of the American pubcaster’s Television Critics Association summer press tour presentation in Los Angeles. In season 38, ...
July 29, 2019

PBS has revealed the forthcoming programming lineup for its award-winning wildlife strand ‘Nature’ ahead of the American pubcaster’s Television Critics Association summer press tour presentation in Los Angeles.

In season 38, ‘Nature’ will provide a voice for the natural world by showcasing “a unique and intimate look into the lives of a diverse group of wildlife and the scientists who study them.”

The award-winning doc strand returns on Oct. 2 with the premiere of Octopus: Making Contact, which follows an Alaskan professor who makes new discoveries from raising and studying a pet octopus in his home. The film premieres Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Also anchoring this season’s slate is Jackson Hole Science Media Award winner The Serengeti Rules (pictured), which travels back in time with a pioneering group of scientists as they unearth new discoveries set to transform human understanding of nature and ecology. The Serengeti Rules, which held its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, will enjoy its television debut on Oct. 9 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The three-part miniseries Okavango: River of Dreams, meanwhile, will venture through the Okavango Delta in Botswana to provide an in-depth look into the lush paradise that provides sanctuary to myriad animals, including lions, elephants, crocodiles and hippos. The series is directed by the Emmy Award-winning duo Dereck and Beverly Joubert, and narrated by F. Murray Abraham. Okavango: River of Dreams launches Oct. 23 at 8 p.m.ET/PT.

‘Nature’s new season culminates with the four-part miniseries Spy in the Wild 2 – slated for Spring 2020. The sequel to 2017′s Spy in the Wild will once again feature animatronic spy cameras disguised as animals to secretly record the behaviors of Komodo dragons, puffins, storks, seals and more.

‘Nature’ is a production of Thirteen Productios for WNET and PBS. Fred Kaufman is executive producer and Bill Murphy is series producer.

The broadcast schedule for season 38 of ‘Nature’ follows below:

Nature: The Serengeti Rules
Premieres Wednesday, October 9 at 8 p.m.

Travel back in time, from the Arctic Ocean to Pacific tide pools, with a pioneering group of scientists who make surprising discoveries that transform human understanding of nature and ecology. Based on a book of the same name, The Serengeti Rules had its theatrical premiere at Tribeca Film Festival and has won awards at the 2018 Wildscreen Panda Awards and Jackson Hole Science Media Awards.

Nature: Undercover in the Jungle
Premieres Wednesday, October 16 at 8 p.m. 

Go undercover with a film crew on a perilous journey to the untouched wilderness of biodiversity in the Amazon rainforest. Meet some of the most incredible creatures, from pygmy marmosets to pumas, as the wild secrets of the jungle are revealed.

Nature – Okavango: River of Dreams (three-part miniseries)
Premieres Wednesdays, October 23 – November 6 at 8 p.m. 

Experience the wildlife of the Okavango Delta, an unlikely oasis and lush paradise in Southern Africa that connects and supports a wide array of creatures. Lions chase elephants, who chase hippos, who chase crocodiles. Filmed by the Emmy Award-winning duo Dereck and Beverly Joubert (Nature: Soul of the Elephant) and narrated by F. Murray Abraham.

Nature: Nature’s Biggest Beasts
Premieres Wednesday, November 13 at 8 p.m.

Discover the ingenious strategies that nature’s biggest beasts employ to conquer their environments, from the Komodo dragon with a deadly bite to the tallest giraffe to the bird-eating armored ground cricket. These are their epic survival stories.

Nature: Bears
Premieres Wednesday, November 20 at 8 p.m. 

Follow the adventures of bears across the globe, from grizzlies to pandas to sloth bears, as they draw on their brains, brawn and unique adaptations to survive. Find out what it really takes to be a bear in today’s ever-changing world.

Nature: The Whale Detective
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

Follow natural history filmmaker Tom Mustill as he investigates the reason behind his viral encounter with a 30-ton humpback whale that breached and landed on him while he was kayaking. What he discovers raises far bigger questions about whales’ future alongside humans.

Nature: Cuba’s Wild Revolution (working title)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

In the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, Cuba stands as an emerald jewel whose history runs parallel with the natural world. As international relations thaw, what will become of this island paradise?

Nature – Hippos: A Life Aquatic (w/t)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

In the ever-changing landscape of the Okavango Delta, the hippo is king. Uncover the unexpected side of this great beast, whose loud grunts, honks and booming laughs ring out as a warning that no other animal should dare oppose him.

Nature: The Mighty Weasel (w/t)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

The weasel family is often associated with unsavory behavior, but do these critters deserve this bad reputation? Follow the adventures of a first-time stoat mum raising her kits and a tiny orphan weasel named Twiz on her journey back to the wild.

Nature: Wild Florida (w/t)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

Florida is home to white sand beaches, coral reefs, pine forests, and the famous Everglades, but a growing human population and animal invaders are threatening this wild paradise. With the help of pioneering scientists, can Florida’s wildlife weather the storm?

Nature: Remarkable Rabbits (w/t)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

Wild rabbits can be found all over the planet. There are 31 species of wild rabbits and 50 different domesticated breeds. Despite their remarkable ability to reproduce, many wild rabbits are in danger of being eradicated.

Nature: Spy in the Wild 2 (four-part miniseries/Season 38 finale)
Premieres Winter/Spring 2020 on PBS

The sequel to the popular Nature: Spy in the Wild miniseries will place even more “spies” in the middle of some of nature’s greatest events. Meet a Spy Komodo dragon, Spy puffin, Spy stork, Spy koala, Spy seal, Spy gorilla and more.

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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