TCA: Nat Geo, Nat Geo Wild reveal programming slates

National Geographic’s programming lineup for the year ahead, revealed as part of its Winter TCA press tour presentation held Saturday (Jan. 13) in Pasadena, California, includes Brett Morgen‘s profile of ...
January 15, 2018

National Geographic’s programming lineup for the year ahead, revealed as part of its Winter TCA press tour presentation held Saturday (Jan. 13) in Pasadena, California, includes Brett Morgen‘s profile of primatologist Jane Goodall, One Strange Rock and America Inside Out with Katie Couric.

The forthcoming slate, premiering globally on National Geographic in 172 countries and 43 languages, will be anchored by the premiere of the Chris Evans-narrated eight-part docuseries Chain of Command.

The global event series, which premieres tonight (Jan. 15) at 9 p.m. ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere, features unprecedented access into the decisions made at the Pentagon and how the orders have a direct impact on service members combating global extremism.

Elsewhere, Brett Morgen’s Academy Awards shortlisted documentary Jane, which presents an aural soundscape of primatologist Jane Goodall, will enjoy its broadcast debut on March 12 at 8 p.m. ET/PT with a commercial-free simulcast presentation on National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD.

Tentpole science series One Strange Rock from filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and Nutopia producer Jane Root, meanwhile, will broadcast March 26 at 9 ET/PT with a special two-hour premiere. Narrated by Will Smith, the 10-episode series produced by Protozoa Pictures and Nutopia will journey across the globe and into outer space. Themes explored throughout the series include the genesis of life, death, breath, cosmic violence, human intelligence, sacrifice, terraforming and more.

Rounding out Nat Geo’s slate will be America Inside Out with Katie Couric (pictured) on April 11 at 10 ET/PT. The six-part docuseries follows Couric as she travels the country to sit down with the people shaping the most pivotal, evolving, contentious and often confusing topics in American culture today. Couric will take part in a special keynote conversation at the 20th anniversary edition of the Realscreen Summit 2018 in Washington DC on Jan. 28 at 5 p.m. ET where she will discuss her career to date, the current state of media and where it is headed, and reveal more about her upcoming series for National Geographic.


Nat Geo Wild’s forthcoming natural history programming slate will celebrate intimate encounters with animals and the people who love them while showcasing the world’s most diverse landscapes.

Kicking off this year’s natural history slate is blue-chip docuseries America’s Wild Frontier. Premiering on March 2 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the 5 x 60-minute series explores the landscapes of the great frontier and the wildlife that continues to thrive in America’s heartland, including bears, bison, beavers, weasels, wood ducks, and wild horses.

The Mighty Northwest (5 x 60 minutes), meanwhile, will head to America’s Pacific Northwest to discover some of the biggest marine life on the planet while traversing the Redwood forest, and trekking the Rocky Mountains. The series premieres in April 2018.

Wild Russia will journey across Russia’s diverse terrain to find brown bears, the Baika seal, the Siberian lynx, leopards, tigers and an abundance of bird and fish species. The 4 x 60-minute series debuts June 2018.

All three new natural history series will premiere globally in 37 countries and 140 countries on Nat Geo Wild.

Elsewhere, the natural history channel will celebrate the majesty of the planet this Earth Day with the special musical event Symphony for Our World.

Driven by a five-part composition, the hour-long event special will pair National Geographic’s natural history footage with an original symphony composed by Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated Bleeding Fingers Music.

Symphony for Our World premieres commercial-free on April 22 and will air globally in 140 countries.

To bolster the special, a 90-minute live orchestral performance will be presented in concert venues around the world beginning Spring 2018. An inaugural performance will be held at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco on Earth Day (April 22).

Rounding out the American broadcaster’s slate for 2018 will be new series that include Rocky Mountain Rescue, The Supervet, Alaska Grizzly Gauntlet and Zoo Life.

Fearless wildlife heroes at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Regionwill save the day in Rocky Mountain Rescue. The series, which broadcasts March 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, follows the Pikes Peak team as they attempt to rescue and rehabilitate more than 40,000 animals annually in the rugged Colorado terrain.

Behind-the-scenes series The Supervetfollows Noel Fitzpatrick and his staff of 100 nurses, physiotherapists and hydro-therapists at Fitzpatrick Referrals veterinary practicein Surrey, England as they employ cutting-edge technology to treat their sick and injured patients. The Supervet debuts March 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Meanwhile, legendary survivalist Les Stroud will return to the small screen in Nat Geo Wild’s Alaska’s Grizzly Gauntlet. The series, premiering in April, will follow the adventurer as he attempts to travel deep into America’s Last Frontier to learn how to endure remote Alaska from the world’s most dangerous animals.

Finally, Zoo Life will provide an exclusive look at The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium with director emeritus and television personality Jack Hanna. The series – which premieres in June – will explore the animals that live at the Ohio-set zoo and the army of people who work 24/7 to create one of the best zoo experiences in the country.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.