SAY IT LOUD & PROUD, “WE’RE WILD AND WE LOVE ANIMALS!” NAT GEO WILD REVEALS A STELLAR SLATE THIS UPFRONT SEASON WITH RETURNING FAVORITES, NEW SERIES, DESTINATION WILD NATURAL HISTORY SPECIALS AND EVENTS
(WASHINGTON, D.C. — APRIL 15, 2015) We’re WILD and we love animals. Simply put, animals are awesome! That’s been Nat Geo WILD’s motto for the past five years and we are holding strong. 2015 marks our fifth anniversary, and the network has seen exponential growth since its launch. 2014 was its most-watched and highest-rated year ever, with primetime P2+ delivery up 22 percent from 2013. In addition, WILD posted record ratings in each of the 12 calendar months (Jan ’14 – Dec ’14).
With increased growth every year, National Geographic Channels CEO Courteney Monroe and Nat Geo WILD’s Executive Vice President and General Manager Geoff Daniels are proud to announce a robust Upfront slate including returning series, new series, Destination Wild Natural History specials and events.
“In this time of intense disruption and competition, having a strong brand identity and understanding of your audience is more important than ever,” said Monroe. “At Nat Geo WILD, we have both! We are a network for anyone who loves animals as much as we do, and our Upfront slate reflects this perfectly.”
Added Daniels: “At Nat Geo WILD, we want to bring a bit of the WILD into our viewers’ homes every day. Our new Upfront slate delivers something great for every member of the family with the kind of awe-inspiring, unexpected and visually stunning original programming, making us the No. 1 destination for the best wildlife content in the world.”
“With continued ratings success and critical acclaim, Nat Geo WILD consistently punches above its weight and delivers on its promise of family-friendly, quality programming,” said Toby Byrne, president, advertising sales, for Fox Networks Group. “We are thrilled at the offerings this Upfront has for our clients and can’t wait to hit the marketplace with the plethora of opportunities encompassed in this slate.”
Now, it’s no secret, we also love veterinarians! More than half our returning series include veterinarians as stars, including Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 show, The Incredible Dr. Pol; the popular Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER; and Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet. And just when you thought we couldn’t do anymore in this space, we are joining hopeful veterinarians as they get their start in the new series Vet School, a look at Cornell University’s finest vets in training. Additionally, in the new series Animal Storm Squad with Karissa Hadden, an animal disaster-relief specialist, we follow along as she rescues animals after natural disasters.
And for those who prefer canine companions, Cesar Millan’s hit series Cesar 911 — currently airing its second season — has been picked up for a third season, slated to premiere in 2016. Millan will continue to tackle a new round of tough canine cases in season three, including helping Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld with their dominant dachshund.
On the events front, we’re bringing back for the sixth year the network’s annual Big Cat Week, focused on saving big cats in the wild. Dog lovers: no need to worry, we’ve got you covered, too, with BarkFest, a special weekend dedicated to our favorite furry and adorable four-legged family members. And for ocean lovers, we’re bringing back SharkFest — no mockumentaries here, just quality shark shows celebrating the awe of these magnificent creatures.
Finally, Nat Geo WILD is the only network that dedicates one night every week to natural history programming, as part of our Destination WILD franchise, which takes us to the four corners of the world. New specials include Wild Yellowstone, Wild Sri Lanka, Wild Atlantic, Wild South Africa and Disneynature specials: Wings of Life, Deep Blue and Oceans.
In addition to its 2015-2016 Upfront slate, the network also unveiled plans for the new summer series Biggest & Baddest, which features explorer and biologist Niall McCann.
Premiering Friday, June 5, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the series follows Niall as he tracks down—for conservation research—some of the world’s largest predators. Climbing up mountains, crossing jungle rivers, trekking across the outback and bushwhacking through dense terrain around the world, Niall faces adventure head on, while his conservation work sheds light on the dilemmas wild animals around the world face.
The Nat Geo WILD 2015-2016 Upfront Slate Includes:
(Please note: All are working titles and subject to change.)
THE INCREDIBLE DR. POL (National Geographic Studios, U.S. only)
The lovable, house-call-making Dr. Pol keeps us wondering, what else can this senior citizen do? Nat Geo WILD’s No. 1 series returns for another season as everyone’s favorite veterinarian wields his superpowers to deliver oversized calves and diagnose lethargic llamas, goats and pigs.
DR. OAKLEY, YUKON VET (Lucky Dog Films, Global)
We follow experienced veterinarian Dr. Michelle Oakley as she makes house calls across thousands of square miles in the Yukon, helping hundreds of species of animals, including angry muskox, a caribou with a tumor, a defensive mama lynx, a grey owl with an amputated wing and yes, wiener dogs.
DR. K’S EXOTIC ANIMAL ER (Spectrum Field Productions, LLC, Global)
We’re headed south to get up close and personal with iguanas, pythons, prairie dogs and more! Yep, Dr. K, veterinarian to the “exotics,” gives us a front row seat as she works her magic on a colorful array of Florida’s most exotic pets, including a macaw, a chinchilla, a ferret and guinea pigs.
CESAR 911 (ITV Studios Limited, Global)
Our favorite dog trainer, Cesar Millan returns in Cesar 911. Cesar is summoned by co-workers, relatives, friends and neighbors who “blow the whistle” on a four-legged menace that has turned their lives upside down. In season three, Cesar helps comedian Jerry Seinfeld help his dachshund, Foxy, to become less anxious.
VET SCHOOL (Thinkfactory Media, U.S. Only)
Grab your textbook and stethoscope, we’re headed to vet school at Cornell University, known as the home of the top veterinary teaching hospital in the country. We tag along with the cream-of-the-crop students in veterinary medicine. Our cameras follow first- and fourth-year students as they learn to operate on, diagnose and treat animals in need.
ANIMAL STORM SQUAD (BCII, U.S. Only)
Meet Karissa Hadden, a veterinary assistant and the founder of an animal disaster-rescue charity. We follow her and a team of dedicated meteorologists, Storm Chasers, animal experts and emergency personnel who have banded together to form the ultimate first responder group to rescue trapped and injured pets after natural disaters.
BIG CAT WEEK (Global)
2014’s Big Cat Week had the most buzzworthy show in five years, as big cat tracker Boone Smith literally had a seat at the dinner table with a pride of lions in Man v. Lion. As we continue on with the mighty roar, the Sixth Annual Big Cat Week will showcase the world’s most extraordinary big cat species with a week of programming focusing on majestic big cats, including lions, tigers, cheetahs, cougars and more. An extension of the Big Cats Initiative, Big Cat Week is a long-term commitment by the National Geographic Society to stop poaching, save habitat and sound the call that big steps are needed to save big cats around the world. The first of five world premiere specials making up the week is Man v. Puma. Additional premieres will be announced at a later date.
· MAN V. PUMA (Gurney Productions, Global)
In the untamed wilds of Patagonia, a population of pumas has been discovered interacting like never before. Big cat tracker Boone Smith plans to stalk the cats on foot to capture their behavior. And he’ll attempt to get closer than anyone has before as he watches a large group of pumas on a kill just a few feet away, hiding inside an invisible blind.
BARKFEST II (U.S. Only)
Who doesn’t love a cuddly puppy? Nat Geo WILD LOVES dogs, which is why we are dedicating another weekend to man’s best friend. These complex and adorable furry friends will have their time to shine in the second BarkFest weekend, which includes the “best of” dog shows in our portfolio. It’s going to be one doggy fun-filled weekend!
SHARK!!! It’s one of the most feared animals in the ocean. But we’re leaving the scare tactics and mockumentaries to others. We’ll spend a week celebrating these awesome jaws with wall-to-wall shark action and fun facts about this amazing species. Explore in-depth profiles of individual sharks, including great white, hammerhead and reef sharks. With insights from shark experts, scientists and filmmakers, we get a comprehensive look at what makes sharks rule the waters.
DESTINATION WILD NATURAL HISTORY SPECIALS (SUNDAY NIGHTS)
WILD YELLOWSTONE (Brain Farm, Global)
A unique and jaw-dropping location, Yellowstone is paradise. From the producers of the critically acclaimed documentary, “The Art of Flight,” Nat Geo WILD brings you Wild Yellowstone. Our cameras capture the beauty and essence of the land and animals in a place that is like no other in the world, right here in the U.S. This Nat Geo WILD special kicks off a cross-network celebration of the Centennial of America’s National Parks, which will continue on sister network National Geographic Channel with eight hours of premiere park programming throughout the year.
WILD SRI LANKA (Terra Mater Factual Studios, Global)
This tropical island located in the Indian Ocean contains a vast array of environments, including the sea and coast, the plains and lakes and the mountains and forests. This is an intimate look at Sri Lanka and its diverse wildlife throughout the land.
WILD ATLANTIC (BBC Natural History, U.S. Only)
The Atlantic is the world’s youngest ocean. It influences everything it touches, including humpback whales giving birth in the Caribbean and killer whales rounding up giant shoals of herring in the Arctic North. Our journey reveals the mysterious creatures that reside in this waterway and its beautiful underwater plants that are like nothing else on earth.
WILD SOUTH AFRICA (Studio Hamburg Doclights/NDR, Global)
The only country where you can find desert and tropics is South Africa. It is a land of distinctive geographical features and climatic extremes, which ensure an exotic natural world always full of surprises. We’ll see “cold-loving” penguins living next to “desert-loving” ostriches. It’s an amazing landscape with a plethora of animals.
WINGS OF LIFE Narrated by Meryl Streep (Disneynature, U.S. Only)
Embark on a stunning adventure full of intrigue, drama and mesmerizing beauty. Narrated by Academy Award winner Meryl Streep, this intimate and unprecedented look at butterflies, hummingbirds, bees, bats and flowers is a celebration of life, as a third of the world’s food supply depends on these incredible — and increasingly threatened — creatures.
DEEP BLUE Narrated by Michael Gambon (Disneynature, U.S. Only)
Dive deep underwater to explore the secret lives of sea creatures, embarking on a fascinating voyage through awesome aquatic realms where few humans have dared to go. Waddle with playful penguins, dart with lightning speed through schools of sharks, ride over stormy waves with massive whales, encounter families of polar bears and seals and come nose to nose with alien-like creatures so rare they have never before been seen on film.
OCEANS Narrated by Pierce Brosnan (Disneynature, U.S. Only)
Journey into the depths of a wonderland filled with mystery, beauty and power. Take an unprecedented look at the lives of elusive deep-water creatures through their own eyes. Incredible state-of-the-art underwater filmmaking invites viewers to migrate with whales, swim alongside a great white shark and race with dolphins at play.
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NAT GEO WILD
For more than 30 years, National Geographic has been the leader in wildlife programming. The networks Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo WILD HD, launched in 2010, offer intimate encounters with nature’s ferocious fighters and gentle creatures of land, sea and air that draw upon the cutting-edge work of the many explorers, filmmakers and scientists of the National Geographic Society. Part of the National Geographic Channels US, based in Washington, D.C., the networks are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. In 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) debuted, and 10 years later, Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with Nat Geo WILD currently available in 58 million U.S. homes. Globally, Nat Geo WILD is available in more than 100 million homes in 90 countries and 28 languages. For more information, visit www.natgeowild.com.
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