Channel 4 slates natural history series, docuseries for 2020

British pubcaster Channel 4 revealed a raft of greenlit titles on Tuesday (Jan. 14) – including natural history series such as Walking with Elephants and Living Wild (w/t) – as part of its ...
January 14, 2020

British pubcaster Channel 4 revealed a raft of greenlit titles on Tuesday (Jan. 14) – including natural history series such as Walking with Elephants and Living Wild (w/t) – as part of its 2020 slate.

The 3 x 60-minute October Films-produced Walking with Elephants follows Levison Wood (pictured), explorer and author of Walking the Nile and Walking the Americas, as he treks alongside elephants migrating across Botswana to the Okavango Delta.

Wood will work with local trackers and anti-poaching units across his 650-mile journey to provide insight into the dangers these mammals must overcome to reach their final destination.

Alexis Girardet is series producer and Adam Bullmore, managing director of October Films, serves as executive producer. Gilly Greenslade and Daniel Fromm are commissioning editors for C4.

Elsewhere, C4 heads to Kenya in Living Wild (w/t) to explore “the authentic experience of living alongside wildlife.”

The eight-part series offers a rare and original glimpse into the lives and habits of the animals in one of Kenya’s conservancies, the 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta, home to lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhinos and chimps, among others.

The wildlife stories are told through the eyes of the 600-strong team who live side by side with the animals and other wildlife to keep them alive.

Living Wild is produced by C4, with Pip Banyard serving as series producer, and Sarah Spencer and Edmund Coulthard executive producing.

In other news, C4 has commissioned the landmark 90-minute documentary Unexplained (w/t) from Keo Films.

The film will investigate the case of Stuart Lubbock, who was found dead in the home of British television presenter Michael Barrymore in March 2001. Nearly two decades later, the documentary pieces together the perspectives of the Lubbock family, detectives, forensic pathologists and eyewitnesses to offer insight into the controversial, unsolved case.

Unexplained (w/t) is directed by Tom Barrow and produced by Owen Phillips. William Anderson and Simon Ford are executive producers. Alisa Pomeroy commissioned the documentary for C4.

C4′s 2020 slate continues with The Segregation Experiment (w/t), which will explore a program that tests for unconscious racial bias in a class of 11- to 12-year-old students.

The 2 x 60-minute series will see 24 seventh grade students take part in games, exercises and activities — both in and out of their London classroom — led by multicultural education academics and scientists. Lucy Leveugle and C4 head of factual entertainment Alf Lawrie commissioned the series from Proper Content.

Meanwhile, C4′s The Write Offs (2 x 60 minutes) will tackle Britain’s low adult literacy rates and offers a group of adults – aged 22 to 66 years old – the opportunity to overcome their illiteracy.

Hosted by Sandi Toksvig, the series follows eight adults over a four-month period as they get one-on-one tutoring and learn to read and write, all the while exploring the challenges they’ve faced and the importance of learning these new skills.

The Write Offs was commissioned by Gilly Greenslade and Ian Dunkley, commissioning editors for factual entertainment at C4. It is produced by Shine TV (part of EndemolShine UK), with Lana Salah serving as executive producer. The two-parter will air in 2020.

Finally, British television presenter Sophie Morgan will front the 2 x 60-minute series Sophie Morgan: The Longest Route To The Games (w/t), from Full Fat TV.

Morgan will travel on a “Mad Max-style trike” across the Himalayas, passing through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, en route to Tokyo, Japan ahead of the 2020 Paralympics. She will be joined by family and friends, as well as fellow female bikers and local Paralympians on her trip.

Sam Wilkinson serves as series producer and Colette Foster is executive producer. Nicola Brown is commissioning editor for Full Fat TV.

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