Nat Geo Wild’s slate has been tamed, as TheWrap can exclusively reveal all of fall’s premiere dates. The upcoming TV season will include new series “Fish My City With Mike Iaconelli,” we’re told, as well as just-ordered special “Mexico Untamed.”
The cable channel’s first-ever feature-length documentary “Into the Okavango,” which follows a team of explorers on an epic four-month expedition to save the river that feeds the Okavango Delta, is set to debut on Dec. 14.
Plus, of course “Big Cat Week” is back for its ninth year starting on Nov. 30, and we’ve got your exclusive first look posted above — ever seen a prettier puma?
“Nat Geo Wild’s upcoming programming slate represents everything that the network stands for; it’s packed with heartwarming and awe-inspiring stories highlighting some of the world’s most authentic, passionate, dedicated animal lovers doing what they do best,” Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo Wild, told TheWrap.
“Whether we’re showcasing veterinarians who stop at nothing to save the animals they love, or following wildlife photographers around the world to capture rarely seen animal behaviors on camera, Nat Geo Wild remains steadfast in its commitment to celebrate animals and the people who dedicate their lives to saving them,” he continued.
Below is the full Nat Geo Wild programming slate, with all descriptions in the cable net’s own words. Those other exclusive premiere dates are all in place.
NINTH ANNUAL BIG CAT WEEK
Event Premieres Friday, Nov. 30
The fiercest week on television returns this fall with Big Cat Week.In its ninth year, this annual event delivers an all-new roaring lineup that puts the spotlight on heartwarming, surprising and inspiring stories of big cats around the world. In this year’s Big Cat Week, Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s Birth of a Pride follows the extraordinary journey of lions returning to a reserve in Botswana as they grow from a single female and her cub into fully formed, majestic hunting pride. Viewers will also witness the incredible story of Uganda’s tree-climbing lions in National Geographic Explorer Alex Braczkowski’s new special Tree Lions (working title); follow the extraordinary tale of a strong-willed mother tiger who risks it all to rear her young cubs, in Tiger Mom (working title); head to South America with big cat expert Boone Smith to witness the rare behaviors of pumas preying on penguins in Argentina, in Man Among Pumas (working title); and join wildlife filmmaker Filipe DeAndrade as he reveals jaguars’ unique hunting behaviors along Costa Rica in Jaguar Beach Battle. More than a television event, Big Cat Week is an extension of the Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. This global initiative actively supports on-the-ground research and conservation projects to protect the planet’s top felines. For more information on the Big Cats Initiative and how you can get involved, visit NatGeoBigCats.org.
Three-Part Miniseries Event Premieres Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10/9c
(Produced by High Noon Entertainment)
Call the Pupparazzi! Renowned pet photographer Kaylee Greer and her partner, Sam Haddix, have become some of the most sought after “dogtographers” in the world, and they have changed the lives of countless shelter dogs through their work. Their ability to capture unique, adorable portraits of dogs, cats and other four-legged animals has earned them a successful pet photography business and an impressive portfolio. Forget the clean white studio and pristinely combed coat; this creative duo would rather photograph “dogs being dogs” in all of their silly, unpredictable, playful glory. From shooting global ad campaigns for major dog food brands, to arranging photo shoots for shelter dogs to help them find their forever homes, to staging whacky themed portraits for private clients, Pupparazzidelves into the heartwarming, exciting and often comical world of pet photography. Expect a lot of laughs, awws, floppy ears and muddy paws as we look at what goes into photographing man’s best friend.
Three-Part Miniseries Event Premieres Friday, Sept. 14, at 10/9c
(Produced by NHNZ)
Journey through Mexico’s diverse landscapes to discover the incredible array of wildlife that call this place home. Situated at the crossroads of the Americas, Mexico has been a magnet for animal species. With the Pacific Ocean cooling the west coast, the Caribbean Sea warming the east coast, and rugged mountains running north to south, a mosaic of climates and habitats have evolved here. Large swathes of ochre desert are fringed by the emerald green of the tropical forests, golden sunlight reaches deep into the mangrove swamps and vaporous mist creates a halo around the cloud forests. All this is wrapped in the turquoise blue of the Caribbean Sea and the deeper azure of the Pacific Ocean. Each of wild Mexico’s distinct colorful landscapes is characterized by the animals that live there.
INTO THE OKAVANGO
Two-Hour Feature Documentary Premieres Friday, Dec. 14, at 9/8c
(Produced by National Geographic)
The Okavango River Basin provides a vital source of water to about 1 million people, the world’s largest population of African elephants and significant populations of lions, cheetahs and hundreds of species of birds. However, this once unspoiled oasis is now under siege due to increasing pressure from human activity. From National Geographic Documentary Films, Into the Okavango chronicles a team of modern-day explorers on their first epic four-month, 1,500-mile expedition across three countries to save the river system that feeds the Okavango Delta, one of our planet’s last wetland wildernesses.
FISH MY CITY WITH MIKE IACONELLI
Premieres Friday, Oct. 12, at 10/9c
(Produced by NHNZ)
Professional bass fisherman Mike Iaconelli is on a mission to change how we think about city fishing. He’s visiting hot spots around the world to meet the locals and hear the urban legends that reveal the untold story of a city’s unique connection to fish. There are tales of strange and amazing fish lurking in cities’ ponds, canals, sewer systems and rivers, and Mike’s determined to find them. His journey is guided by people he bumps into, the tall tales he hears along the way, and the old friends he meets in each location. He’ll elicit intel from locals, hunt down mysterious habitats, chase urban legends… all in a bid to come face to face with the white whale in each town.
Season Five Premieres Friday, Sept. 14, at 9/8c
(Produced by Earth Touch)
An all new sssss-season of Snake City is slithering its way back to your TVs! 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 captures these venomous snakes by hand and then releases them back to safety in the wild.
K’S EXOTIC ANIMAL ER
Season Six Premieres Sunday, Sept. 9, at 9/8c
(Produced by Spectrum Productions)
Nat Geo Wild’s star of Sunday nights returns for an all new season! There is no such thing as a boring day at Dr. Susan Kelleher’s South Florida exotic animal emergency room, where she and her skilled staff treat every animal that will fit through the door, from big cats to hedgehogs, birds, reptiles, rabbits and any other animal imaginable — everything but a dog or house cat! Dr. K’s team includes Dr. Lauren Thielen and a host of passionate veterinary technicians who treat unusual and heartwarming cases every day.
OAKLEY, YUKON VET
Season Six Premieres Saturday, Oct. 6, at 8/7c
(Produced by Lucky Dog Films)
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 transporting 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.