Nat Geo Wild unveils 2019-2020 programming slate

Nat Geo Wild has unveiled its 2019-2020 slate, which includes natural history specials, new series and returning favorites that celebrate animals and the people who love them. New to Nat Geo ...
May 10, 2019

Nat Geo Wild has unveiled its 2019-2020 slate, which includes natural history specials, new series and returning favorites that celebrate animals and the people who love them.

New to Nat Geo Wild is a stable of character-led series, including Critter Fixers, which follows two longtime friends that own and operate Critter Fixer Veterinarian Hospital outside of Atlanta, and Homestead Vets, which  features a husband and wife team who care for farm animals in America’s heartland. Elsewhere, audiences will journey to India in Animal SOS, which showcases the fast-paced world of wildlife rescuers who guard the animal kingdom from animal-human encounters.

The animal-focused network is also readying several new natural history specials for broadcast this year, including Kingdom of the White Wolf, a film that follows National Geographic Explorer and photographer Ronan Donovan as he lodges with a wolf pack in the Arctic, and Rise of the Black Panther, the coming-of-age story of Saaya the leopard.

Returning series to Nat Geo Wild, meanwhile, will be season eight of Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER (Fall 2019; Spectrum Productions), season seven of Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet (October 2019; Lucky Dog Films), season 16 of The Incredible Dr. Pol (pictured; Winter 2020; National Geographic Studios) and season six of Snake City (Fall 2020; Earthtouch). 

Also returning this year is SharkFest, the annual Thanksgiving family marathon ‘Vetsgiving’, and the Dr. Pol special 12 Days of Pol. 

Below are descriptions of Nat Geo Wild’s new series and specials, courtesy of the network.

Animal SOS
Six-part series premieres Winter 2020 (Double Act)

India is home to an amazing range of wildlife — from tigers, leopards and elephants to rhinos, lions and bears — as well as 1.3 billion people who share their living space. The gorgeous wild areas surrounding India’s cities thrive with wildlife, which can sometimes lead to some dramatic animal-human encounters within city limits. That’s where Animal SOS comes in. Follow this dedicated team of wildlife warriors as they work to protect both the animals and the humans they encounter. This team has seen it all — elephants running riot in villages, leopards lunging from roofs of city centers, troops of monkeys stealing food in markets, hyenas entering high school classrooms, crocodiles sunbathing on golf courses and snakes hiding in toilets. No two days are the same for these brave animal relocators, so who you gonna call? India Wildlife SOS.

Critter Fixers
New six-part series premieres Winter 2020 (Hit+Run Creative)

Dr. Hodges and Dr. Ferguson are two lifelong friends who own and operate Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital, located 100 miles south of Atlanta. Together with their loving staff, these physicians bring real heart, soul and a lot of humor to their treatment and care of more than 20,000 patients a year. Between emergency visits to the office and farm calls throughout rural Georgia, this special team is constantly bombarded with unique cases you’ll only see on Critter Fixers. From a police dog rushed in with cactus thorns around her eye to a potbellied pig with life-threatening lacerations, for the Critter Fixer team, there is no such thing as “normal,” and the family at Critter Fixer does it all.

Homestead Vets
New six-part series premieres Spring 2020 (Glass Entertainment)

In picturesque rural Nebraska, husband and wife veterinary team Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder live and work at the center of America’s food chain, where the livelihoods of Midwestern farmers connect to families nationwide. This animal-loving couple, along with their two sons, Charlie and Chase, are always on the go as their veterinary practice cares for the region’s many animals in need. Follow the Schroeders as they rush to help animals in need — even in some of this region’s toughest weather conditions. From winter blizzards to spring tornadoes and blistering summer heat waves, Drs. Ben and Erin overcome the obstacles with skill and heart. The Schroeders’ credo is to not just save the animals America depends on but to make each visit something to look forward to — for both the animals and their caretakers.

Lonestar Vet
New eight-part series premieres Fall 2019 (Spectrum Productions)

Dr. Lauren Thielen is heading home to Texas, where her love for animals began, to start her very own exotic animal clinic at one of state’s largest animal hospitals! In her new series, Lonestar Vet, we’ll follow Dr. T as she takes the reins on some of the most challenging and compelling cases of her career, caring for everything from emus to hedgehogs, whatever else comes through the door. With the support of the hospital’s 24/7 emergency vet team, Dr. Thielen will deliver dramatic and heartwarming stories of animals in need, all with her Texas-sized dose of charm we’ve all come to love. Join Dr. T on her journey to create her own legacy as she follows her dreams.

Prairie Dog Manor
New 12-part series premieres Fall 2019 (Radley Studios)

Think meerkats are the most entertaining critters in the animal kingdom? Think again! Just outside 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.

Zoo Tampa
New six-part series premieres Winter 2020 (Spectrum Productions)
With the success of Secrets of the Zoo, Nat Geo Wild is heading to the Sunshine State. Zoo Tampa is home to an exotic cast of animals with a stellar team of humans devoted to them. With our unprecedented access and unparalleled visual storytelling, Nat Geo Wild brings you an intimate and engrossing glimpse of where it’s all happening: From the ecstatic highs of a new arrival to the tearful farewells for an old friend, from the cute and cuddly to the stunning apex predator, Zoo Tampa is the ideal destination for anyone who loves animals.


4th Of Poly-Y
Weeklong event premieres Summer 2020

Come for the fun and stay for the fireworks. Nat Geo Wid’s favorite firecracker, Dr. Pol, returns for a summertime celebration like never before.


Kingdom Of The White Wolf
Three-part special event Premieres August 2019 (Market Road Films)

Journey to the Arctic with National Geographic Explorer Ronan Donovan to witness a gorgeous and desolate world where wolves hunt, howl and raise their families. As we embed with the pack, experience unprecedented intimacy with a species steeped in legend, rumor and fear. This one-of-a-kind special blends classic blue-chip wildlife filmmaking with immersive, raw and breathless reality to showcase these wolves in their natural habitat.

March Of The Polar Bear
Two-hour special event premieres Summer 2020 (Earthtouch)

As the landscape of the Arctic continues to rapidly change, a team of polar bear guides prepares for an epic journey: a first-ever attempt to follow the bears onto the sea ice of Hudson Bay. In this high-stakes, high-reward venture, they will document the secret world of these magnificent creatures, a mysterious and disappearing realm that is the bears’ key to survival. Life on the ice is under critical pressure for these bears. It also remains undocumented, deemed too dangerous for humans to follow, hinted at only through aerial reconnaissance and satellite collar research. The team, armed with traditional ecological knowledge and the latest camera technology, hopes to witness never-before-seen seal hunting strategies and rapid adaptations to climate change, including whale predation and open-water hunting.

Rise Of The Black Panther
One-hour special event premieres 2020 (Symbio Studios)

This isn’t Wakanda. Deep in south India is a jungle kingdom that has inspired legends. Kabini, the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, is home to a rogue confederation of animal tribes all vying for territory, power and resources. Now a new king, Saaya, is on the rise. He is the only black panther in this jungle. Lineage doesn’t favor him, but he’s got cunning and grit — and he plans to claim Kabini as his kingdom. From internal struggles for power to a cast reminiscent of “The Jungle Book,” Rise of the Black Panther transports you to the heart of this jungle kingdom. All hail the new king!

Wildcats Of India
Two-hour special event premieres Winter 2020 (Felis Creations)

India’s wildcats are the apex predators across the verdant rain forests, parched deserts, bustling cities, lush mangroves and mountainous valleys that they patrol. Designed to hunt, the wildcat is one of nature’s most successful super-predators. With their discerning reflexes, detonating muscular power and a finely crafted survival instinct, these beasts — whether they’re big or little cats — rest at the pinnacle of their ecosystems.

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.