Ahead of Disney’s TV upfront presentation on Tuesday, National Geographic announced its next slate of nonfiction programming, doubling down on its recent streak of personality-driven shows with five new series led by “Dance the World” starring “Dancing With The Stars” legend Derek Hough.
“Dance the World” will see Hough team up with a celebrity guest to explore the cultural roots behind some of the world’s most famous dances, with each episode ending with a performance of that dance routine.
Other projects announced include chef Kristen Kish’s “Restaurants at the End of the World,” urban gardener Indy Srinath’s “Farming Is Life,” Christian Cooper’s avian nature series “Extraordinary Birder,” and an untitled travel series starring blogger Jeff Jenkins.
National Geographic also announced a new series based on the Emmy and SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary “Science Fair,” which will see directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster return to follow a new group of brilliant teens from around the world who compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with this exciting new ensemble of National Geographic storytellers,
sharing their captivating journeys with fans all around the world,” said NatGeo content president Courteney Monroe. “Whether its exploring Derek’s passion for dance on a global scale, traveling with Kristin on culinary adventures in remote locales or simply being awed by the infectious enthusiasm of our Science Fair kids, all of these new shows represent the very best of National Geographic and our desire to ignite people’s curiosity in our world.”
Each series will either debut directly on Disney+ or first air on one of National Geographic’s linear TV channels before being added to the streaming service. Read the full loglines for each show below:
Dance the World With Derek Hough (Produced by Walt Disney Television Alternative)
Dance is the lifeblood of every culture. Dance is a global connective tissue that brings families and
strangers alike together. Derek Hough, renowned as one of the best dancers of his generation, will
be our guide on a journey to discover the roots of the most popular dance styles and trends around
the world from the cultures, environments and people who forged them. In each episode, Derek will
team up with a celebrity guest to embark on a quest to uncover the global cultural traditions that
shape dance. Unleashed and inspired, every step in their adventure will culminate in a once-in-a-
lifetime spectacular performance.
Grant Kahler is executive producer and showrunner. For National Geographic, Betsy Forhan is
executive producer, Charlie Parsons is vice president of development, and Alan Eyres is senior vice
president of production and development.
Restaurants at the end of the World (World of Wonder)
Adventurous chef, entrepreneur and global trailblazer Kristen Kish travels the world in search of the
people, places, culture and traditions behind the world’s most remote restaurants. Running any
successful venture takes a certain tenacity and grit, but those who set up deep in the wild, cut off
from the grid and normal supply lines, are in a class all their own. From local purveyors, farmers and
herders to kitchen crew, managers and chefs, Kristen is going behind the scenes to meet the
people, hear the stories and see the day-to-day balancing act required to keep food on the table in
the most remote outposts on earth.
For World of Wonder, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and Jeremy Simmons are
executive producers. For Cinetic, Ross Fremer, Brian Oakes and Christine O’Malley are executive
producers. For National Geographic, Betsy Forhan is executive producer, Charlie Parsons is vice
president of development, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president of production and development.
Untitled Jeff Jenkins Project (Hit + Run)
Travel blogger and influencer Jeff Jenkins didn’t even step foot on a plane until he was 20 years
old, but ever since, he’s been embarking on an epic global odyssey seeking out destinations and
adventures way outside his comfort zone. Guided by his philosophy that “life begins where your
comfort zone ends,” Jeff will spend one week completing one epic adventure he never thought he
could do and would scare most people. Along the way, experiencing out-of-the-box cultural
experiences, Jeff will cross paths with larger-than-life-locals, sharing every awe-inspiring adventure
For Hit+Run, Rob Shaftel and Jon Kroll are executive producers. For National Geographic, Sean D.
Johnson is executive producer, Bengt Anderson is vice president of production, and Alan Eyres is
senior vice president of production and development.
Farming Is Life (Nobody’s Hero and ITV America)
The last year and a half have set a generational shift in motion, with millions of people taking a
deeper look at how to live more intentionally and adventurously. Many people dream about living
more in tune with and connected to nature, understanding how to grow food and improve the soil
underneath our feet. But farming is hard. Despite all the beauty and wonder, the lifestyle comes with
a steep learning curve, and families and livelihoods are on the line.
“Farming Is Life” follows farming expert and influencer Indy Srinath, aka Indy Officinalis, as she encounters aspiring farmers hoping to make their dreams a reality. From her childhood on a homestead in North Carolina, Indy apprenticed at farms across the country before running a 7-acre mushroom farm and a prominent community garden in downtown Los Angeles. In a cinematic tour across North America, Indy helps aqua, rooftop, indoor, homestead, suburban and foraging farmers who are at a breaking point.
For Indy, solutions can transcend conventional forms through the solidarity of farmers helping farmers.
This is a series for anyone who dreams of growing, rearing, harvesting and breeding because, to
them, farming is life.
“Farming Is Life” is produced by Nobody’s Hero and ITV America. Jonty Nash, Christopher Potts,
Sarah Howell and Bill Pruitt are the executive producers. For National Geographic, Drew Jones is
executive producer, and Janet Vissering is senior vice president of development and production.
Extraordinary Birder (Lucky 8)
Life-long birder Christian Cooper takes us into the wild, wonderful and unpredictable world of birds.
Whether braving stormy seas in Alaska for puffins, trekking into rainforests in Puerto Rico for
parrots, or scaling a bridge in Manhattan for a peregrine falcon, he does whatever it takes to learn
about these extraordinary feathered creatures and show us the remarkable world in the sky above.
For Lucky 8, George Kralovansky, Irfan Rahman, Kimberly Woodard, Jon Kroll and Doug Veith are
executive producers. For National Geographic, Pam Caragol is executive producer, and Janet
Vissering is senior vice president of development and production.
Science Fair: The Series (Muck Media)
Inspired by the Sundance Festival favorite and SXSW Audience Award-winning documentary
“Science Fair: The Series” comes a new series from directors Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster about the agony and ecstasy of the beloved and brainy teenage subculture of competitive science. In this new
gripping docuseries, we follow the ups and downs of some of the most brilliant young innovators,
engineers, and scientists on the road to the Big Show — the International Science and Engineering
“Science Fair: The Series” follows a group of inspiring teens who represent a vast spectrum of ISEF hopefuls. In addition to U.S. competitors, the series follows several fierce international contenders who have already beaten out the competition in their own countries to make it to ISEF. The result is a global character-driven coming-of-age story playing out across a science fair season, from the birth of an idea to a cutting-edge research project ready to compete in the “Olympics of science fairs.”
For Muck Media, Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Jeffrey Plunkett and Meri Haitkin are executive
producers. For National Geographic, Chris Kugelman is executive producer, Kevin Mohs is vice
president of Production, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president of production and development.