Cable channel Nat Geo Wild will unveil its 2017-2018 slate at Wednesday’s upfront event, but TheWrap‘s got all the orders and renewals right here first.
We also have some pretty killer exclusive previews of three programs: “Secrets of Patagonia,” SharkFest’s “Shark vs. Predator” and Big Cat Week’s “Jaguar vs. Croc.” And might this writer add: Holy crap, “Jaguar vs. Croc.” You’ll see what I mean in the video above.
“Nat Geo Wild continues to raise the bar when it comes to wildlife programming thanks to a clear understanding of its audience, steadfast commitment to its identity and innovative storytelling methods to deliver premium family-friendly content,” said National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe in a statement obtained by TheWrap. “As evident in today’s announcements, Nat Geo Wild is vital to the National Geographic portfolio, and we are excited to deliver amazing content to animal lovers everywhere.”
“From broadcasting live in the middle of the African bush to highlighting the incredible work of today’s wildlife warriors, this year’s slate is a testament to our unwavering commitment to inspiring audiences to ‘let the wild in’ through fun and groundbreaking programming,” added Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo Wild. “We know who we are and what we stand for, and will continue to look for ways to push the limits when it comes to providing the best of the best in wildlife storytelling.”
Watch “Secrets of Patagonia”:
And “Shark vs. Predator”:
Here’s the Nat Geo Wild 2017-2018 programming slate, with all descriptions in the cable channel’s own words:
“Safari Live: Migration”
New Live Season Premieres Friday, July 14, at 11/10c
Nat Geo WILD’s groundbreaking live series Safari Live returns, but this time from the Maasai Mara to capture one of the most breathtaking wildlife spectacles on the planet — the great wildebeest migration. Watch LIVE as guides take viewers on an actual safari to witness the circle of life unfold in real time — like thousands of wildebeests crossing crocodile-ridden waters and prides of lions battling each other for food, territory and power. Interact with the guides on Twitter using #safarilive as they get up close with Africa’s most iconic species, such as lions, elephants, giraffes, leopards and more.
Weeklong Event Begins Sunday, July 23, at 8/7c
Nat Geo WILD’s fifth annual SharkFest has the most sharks per square inch on television, making this jaws-a-thon a must-see for the entire family. Discover rare shark feeding events in the premiere of Shark Swarm, see where sharks go at night in Tiger Shark Terror and witness which species prey on sharks in Shark v. Predator. It will be a week of insights from shark experts and incredible footage of shark behavior to get a comprehensive look at the species in all its glory.
“Savage Kingdom II: Uprising”
New Global Miniseries Event Premieres Fall 2017
There. Will. Be. Blood. Return to the remote wilderness of Africa where mighty factions of lions, leopards, wild dogs and hyenas battle it out for power. Follow all the gripping drama as embattled kings and scheming princes vie for the savage throne. The drama continues as sons plot to overthrow fathers, clans seek revenge on their enemies and new arrivals enter the Savage Kingdom to stake their claim.
“Big Cat Week”
Eighth Annual Weeklong Event Premieres Winter 2017
The claws are out as Nat Geo WILD’s eighth annual Big Cat Week returns with another year of ferocious specials featuring the world’s most extraordinary big cat species. The weeklong event hopes to raise awareness for the plight of our planet’s big cats, and is in association with National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. In this year’s buzzworthy Big Cat Week lineup, National Geographic photographers Steve Winter and Bertie Gregory track down and capture incredible footage of Brazil’s top predator in Jaguar vs. Croc (wt); renowned wildlife filmmaker Bob Poole reveals the intimate story of a cheetah mother and her cubs in Cheetah Diaries (wt); three prides of lions battle over territory, food and power in the dramatic special Lion Kingdom; and we reveal the secrets of a legendary tigress that famously reigned over her territory in the western region of India in the new special Machli (wt).
“Mission Critical: Chimp Babies”
Special Premieres Fall 2017
The acclaimed and inspiring monthly Mission Critical strand continues. In Sierra Leone in West Africa, it is illegal to kill, capture and trade chimpanzees. However, in a country ravaged by deforestation, civil war and Ebola, this cause has fallen to the bottom of the list of priorities in recent years. There were over 20,000 chimps native to this region in the 1970s. Now there are estimated to be as few as 5,500. Mission Critical: Chimp Babies reveals the surprising secrets of the life of chimpanzees, filmed in intimate, sometimes harrowing and sometimes humorous detail.
“China’s Wild Side”
Two-Part Special Premieres Summer 2017
Discover the wild side of China’s Tibet and Yunnan regions. These two very different wildlife ecosystems are hiding many rich and diverse secrets. Tibet, dominated by a vast high-altitude plateau, is home to animals that have evolved to cope with the thin air, such as wild yaks and snakes that can live only in volcanic springs. Meanwhile, Yunnan is a lush subtropical paradise that has perhaps the greatest diversity of all of China’s regions. It’s home to the nation’s only elephants, as well as the highest living primates on Earth: the bizarre snub-nosed monkeys.
“Secrets of Patagonia” (wt)
Three-Part Special Premieres Fall 2017
Situated alongside Chile, Argentina is the southernmost country in the Americas; it encompasses about 80 percent of the region known as Patagonia. To the west, the Andes dominate the skyline and ancient glaciers still carve the rugged landscape. To the east, the low Patagonian Desert sweeps across the country before plunging into the fierce Atlantic Ocean. From lush rainforests to parched deserts and giant wetlands to the towering peaks of the Andes, this breathtaking landscape is full of nature’s most magnificent wildlife spectacles on the planet. Discover the secrets of Argentina’s wilderness.
“When Nature Calls”
New Series Premieres Sunday, July 30, at 10/9c
Rattlesnake in your backyard? They can catch it! Moose in your kitchen? No problem! Skunk hiding out in your car engine? Don’t sweat it, they’ll get it! When wildlife gets too close for comfort, these animal relocators are the people you want to call for help. Follow four teams of animal relocators as they respond to frantic calls for help from people who have come face to face with animals in their own backyards. Their main objective is to keep both animals and people safe. No matter how desperate, outrageous or unbelievable the situation, these rescuers get the job done. From a rogue moose in Alaska to curious skunks under kitchen sinks, these are the real stories of animal relocators.
“Pikes Peak Patrol” (wt)
New Series Premieres Fall 2017
From officers carrying out dramatic wildlife rescues to heroic vets performing lifesaving surgeries, the extraordinary staff at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region risk their lives and give their hearts to save all animals big and small. With 5,400 square miles of rugged Colorado terrain in their jurisdiction, the Pikes Peak team works together to rescue and rehabilitate over 40,000 animals a year. The job is risky, urgent and unpredictable as the team responds to emergency calls in the untamed wilderness. Come along every step of the way as these amazing dramas unfold. Every episode shows the grit and heart that goes into a day’s work for these animal protectors as they complete their mission to protect and serve animals in need. Watch the incredible stories of nature, animals and the unwavering perseverance of the officers and veterinarians of Pikes Peak Patrol (wt).
“A Year in Appalachia” (wt)
New Series Premieres Early 2018
Explore the incredible but little-known wildlife marvels in our own backyard. Using visually stunning cinematography against the dramatic beauty of our nation’s wild spaces, this blue-chip series reveals all that the wild Appalachia region has to offer — from the biggest and most iconic animals to the often-overlooked but no-less-fascinating creatures usually hidden from view.
“Mighty Pacific” (wt)
New Series Premieres Early 2018
The western coast of the United States is one of the most spectacular meetings of land and sea in the world. Steep cliffs, rugged coastlines and miles of uninhabited wilderness alongside the beautiful waters of the Pacific Ocean make for a union fit for unprecedented wildlife diversity. Dive into these magnificent waters with us as we explore this massive intersection of life.
“The Incredible Dr. Pol”
New Season Premieres Saturday, July 1, at 9/8c
Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 series, The Incredible Dr. Pol, is back with another season of even more prolapses, pregnancy exams and problematic clients than ever before. No two days are ever the same for Dr. Pol and his staff at Pol Veterinary Services as they wrangle animals and tackle cases at their clinic in rural Michigan. From performing lifesaving surgeries on beloved house pets to delivering calves on local farms, Dr. Pol and his team will stop at nothing to make sure their clients and their animals are happy and healthy. This season, the Pols make a special trip to the Netherlands and the clinic handles some extreme cases. All this and so much more on another udder-ly awesome season of The Incredible Dr. Pol!
“Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet”
New Season Premieres Fall 2017
Dr. Michelle Oakley returns with an all-new season of Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet. Follow her as she makes house calls across thousands of square miles in the Yukon Territory in northern Canada, where she’s responding to some of the most unique and challenging cases of her career. From moving bears with tractors and horses with helicopters, to castrating angry boars and capturing wild bison, she’ll have to use every trick she knows to save these animals. Accompanied by her daughters and armed with a sense of humor as sharp as a scalpel, Dr. Oakley deftly juggles being a full-time veterinarian, wife and mom while taking us into the isolated regions of the Yukon.
New Season Premieres Fall 2017
Gulf Coast Veterinary Specialists in Houston, Texas, is one of the most respected — and busiest — animal hospitals in the world, with more than 200 staff treating over 50,000 patients a year. Go behind the scenes at the hospital to follow cases on the cutting edge of veterinary care in this all-new season of Animal ER.
“Weird But True!”
New Season Premieres Fall 2017 During Nat Geo WILD KiDS Programming Block
Follow the talented, science-loving sibling hosts Charlie and Kirby Engelman as they investigate the fun, strange and surprising ways our world works. From exploring shipwrecks to discovering how our senses work, no topic is off limits for the curious duo. Weird But True! is in partnership with National Geographic KiDS and premieres during the Nat Geo WILD KiDS programming block, which airs Saturday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. ET.
New Season Premieres Summer 2017
It’s an all new sssss-season of Snake City! Join extreme snake wrangler Simon Keys and his herpetologist girlfriend Siouxsie Gillett as they respond to terrified calls from people who have problem snakes in their houses and yards in the coastal city of Durban, South Africa. Unfortunately for their clients, business is booming for Keys and Gillett as the summer heat brings the native snakes — like spitting cobras, green mambas, black mambas, pythons and more — out of hiding. Watch as the brave duo capture these venomous snakes by hand and then release them back to safety in the wild.
New Season Premieres Fall 2017
Matt Wright and friends are back for an all-new helicopter-flyin’, croc-wranglin’ season of adventures. Join crocodile wrangler and conservationist Wright as he relocates dozens of massive crocodiles out of harm’s way in Australia’s Northern Territory.