NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC UNVEILS 2021-2022 UPFRONT SLATE, HIGHLIGHTED BY INCREDIBLE STORIES OF ADVENTURE AND EXPLORATION FROM BEST-IN-CLASS STORYTELLERS
New Blockbuster Natural History Series NATIONAL PARKS, With Garth Brooks As Narrator and Executive Producer
Three-Night Television Event, THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX, Starring Daniel Dae Kim and Tony Goldwyn, to Premiere Thanksgiving Weekend
Tenth Anniversary of Summer Television Event, SHARKFEST
New Seasons of Adventure Series:
GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED,
RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS
TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER and
Emmy(R) Winning LIFE BELOW ZERO
New Unscripted Series
THE ’80s: TOP TEN Hosted by Pop Culture Icon Rob Lowe and
BRAIN GAMES ON THE ROAD Hosted by Chuck Nice
The Return of EXPLORER As a Series of Specials in Partnership With ABC News, Featuring GMA Co-Anchors Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan
(WASHINGTON, D.C. / NEW YORK, NY – May 18, 2021) National Geographic Content President Courteney Monroe unveiled today the latest lineup of premium science, adventure and exploration content scheduled for the network’s 2021-2022 upfront season, going further with groundbreaking, visually spectacular storytelling from the best explorers, photographers and filmmakers in the world. (Additional details forthcoming at the planned press briefing.)
“Unearthing moments of discovery is all about having the right guides, and we work with best in the business: explorers, visionary creatives, and adventurers, in front of and behind the camera,” said Monroe. “Bringing these moments back to you is what National Geographic has always done best – telling bold, best-in-class stories that ignite curiosity and that inspire people to explore and care about our world in new ways.”
Monroe also announced that Garth Brooks will join as narrator and executive producer of the network’s next blockbuster natural history series, NATIONAL PARKS. Brooks will serve as a guide through the magnificent land and awaken the sense of wonder and exploration that unites us all and our presence on this planet. Additionally, National Geographic sets Thanksgiving weekend as the airdate for its limited series THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX, starring Daniel Dae Kim and Tony Goldwyn. The first season of THE HOT ZONE focused on the Ebola outbreak and became the network’s most-watched scripted series ever.
National Geographic’s upfront slate features cultural explorers like Gordon Ramsay, searching for that moment of bliss in GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED; fierce fact-finders like Mariana van Zeller, who go further to challenge what you know of the world in TRAFFICKED; the guru that is Bear Grylls, leading celebrity guests toward moments of pure enlightenment in RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS; and the resilient adventurers in the network’s most Emmy(R)-winning series LIFE BELOW ZERO, who have chosen a different life in favor of the brutal Alaskan wilderness.
With the new series THE ’80s: TOP TEN, National Geographic will go down memory lane with the best of ’80s lists and remind viewers why the aftershocks of that decade are still felt today. With the additional new series BRAIN GAMES ON THE ROAD, we test viewers’ brainpower as our curiosity host Chuck Nice sets up blind dates between science and play in an epic battle of the brains.
With an unrivaled storytelling prowess across its media platforms, National Geographic global channels reach 399 million households in 172 countries and 43 languages. National Geographic is among the most widely distributed television channels in the world and still one of the most read magazines in the world. National Geographic has a staggering 399M social media followers overall and is the No. 1 brand on Instagram with over 242M followers.
National Geographic’s continued commitment to the best storytellers in front of and behind the camera continues to be recognized across the industry. National Geographic was nominated for nine Primetime Emmy Awards in 2020 and won five overall for THE CAVE (Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking and Outstanding Cinematography for a Nonfiction Program), LIFE BELOW ZERO (Outstanding Cinematography for a Reality Program) and its digital series about COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS (Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation – Juried). Since 2016, National Geographic has won more cinematography Emmy wins (eight) than any other network or streamer. The National Geographic Documentary Films banner, just a few years old, has garnered an Oscar(R) win for FREE SOLO and a 2020 Oscar nomination for THE CAVE.
National Geographic ranks among the Top 10 cable brands according to SRG’s 2021 “Must Keep TV Study.” In addition, National Geographic ranks as the most “distinctive” and most “informative” television network according to Beta Research.
Also setting the network apart in the media landscape is the fact that National Geographic has an unrivaled philanthropic giveback, distributing a portion of its proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society – creating a virtuous cycle of storytelling and philanthropy committed to research, science, conservation and exploration.
The 2021-22 Upfront Slate Includes:
BLOCKBUSTER NATURAL HISTORY SERIES AND EVENTS
NEW SERIES NATIONAL PARKS
Narrated by Garth Brooks (Wildstar Films)
Narrated by Brooks, National Geographic’s new series will turn its state-of-the-art cameras on the country’s homegrown beauty and showcase the grandeur of America’s national parks. Each park offers something unique, from mountain lions on the precipice of the Grand Canyon to the active volcanoes in Hawaii. NATIONAL PARKS will give viewers an up-close and personal feel of the most spectacular vistas and wildlife over 10 spectacular locations across the country. From east to west and north to south, this series will awaken the sense of wonder and exploration in everyone. It’s the land that defined and inspired the American story, revealing to the world the diversity and wonder of the most beautiful continent on Earth. Brooks is also executive producer and for Wildstar Films, executive producer is Dan Rees, supervising producers are Myles Connolly and Ben Wallis.
TENTH ANNUAL SHARKFEST
Renewed for Summer 2022
National Geographic’s 10th annual SHARKFEST takes you up close and personal with one of nature’s most feared – and often misunderstood – predators. The frenzy of SHARKFEST programming is sure to captivate viewers with truth that is stranger than fiction, from the latest developments in shark research and preservation to new ways to predict shark attacks.
NEW SCRIPTED SERIES:
THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX
(Three Night Event Premieres Sunday, Nov. 28)
Six-Part Series Starring Daniel Dae Kim (“Hawaii Five-0,” “Lost,” “The Good Doctor”) and Tony Goldwyn (“King Richard,” “Scandal,” “Lovecraft Country”)
From 20th Television and Ridley Scott, David Zucker and Jordan Sheehan for Scott Free Productions and Executive Producers Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson
With the world still reeling after the attacks on 9/11, America faces a second wave – the anthrax letters. Targeting journalists and politicians, mail with anthrax powder kills five people and causes panic across the United States. Limited series THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX follows FBI Special Agent Matthew Ryker (Kim) as he tracks down the killer, finding himself ensnared in an unstable web of psychological warfare. Bruce Ivins (Goldwyn) is the brilliant microbiologist who becomes embroiled in the hunt. The six-hour scientific thriller follows last year’s THE HOT ZONE, which was National Geographic’s most-watched scripted series of all time.
NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES:
BRAIN GAMES ON THE ROAD (Magical Elves)
In this half-hour fun-filled series, National Geographic takes fan-favorite BRAIN GAMES out of the studio and on the road, giving average Americans the chance to test their brainpower as they take on friends and family in an epic battle of the brains. In each episode, host Chuck Nice pits two teams of four players against each other in a friendly competition for all ages filled with mind-bending games designed for at-home play – guaranteed to make you smarter. The winning team takes home the coveted BRAIN GAMES trophy and, of course, bragging rights. BRAIN GAMES is executive produced by Casey Kriley, Jo Sharon, James Rowley, and co-executive produced by Lisa Pegnato for Magical Elves.
CALLED TO THE WILD (ITV Entertainment)
Would you trust your best friend with your life? In a brand-new adventure series, top human-dog teams depend on each other to survive and thrive in the wild. Each week three new teams of man or woman and their dogs embark on a 10-day wilderness challenge testing the limits of their survival skills and the strength of their indelible bond. The team that demonstrates the most teamwork, grit and ingenuity at the end of 10 days is declared the winner, proving they have what it takes when they are CALLED TO THE WILD. Produced by ITV America’s ITV Entertainment, CALLED TO THE WILD is based on an original format created by Marshal Bishop Productions. Executive producers are Jordana Hochman, Eric Hoberman and Steve Rankin for ITV Entertainment, as well as Mark Wescott and Duncan Gaudin for Marshal Bishop.
INTO THE UNKNOWN (W.T.) (Previously Announced)
From Academy Award(R)-Winning Executive Producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin
This series takes audiences inside the minds of elite adventure athletes through transformative stories of confronting fear, devastating personal loss and Mother Nature at her harshest. Through intimate interviews and self-shot archival footage from surfers, climbers, snowboarders, polar explorers and kayakers, we witness the mental, physical and emotional toll of their high-stakes endeavors. Pioneering elite adventure athletes featured in the series include professional snowboarder Travis Rice and arctic explorer Sarah Landry. INTO THE UNKNOWN is a front-row seat to adventure – and what it takes to adapt when something goes catastrophically wrong. Executive producers are E. Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Anna Barnes and Pagan Harleman
THE ’80s: TOP TEN (Nutopia)
Pop culture icon Rob Lowe takes viewers down memory lane with six entertaining and thought-provoking top 10 countdowns of 1980s pop culture, as voted by a panel of experts. Revisit the most memorable moments, gadgets, toys, fast foods, commercials and streetwear of this iconic decade, and see which items our panel put at the top of each list. With stories you’ve never heard before from stars who were at the heart of the action, from the launch of MTV and the Apple Macintosh to the tale of Teddy Ruxpin and Wendy’s Super Bar, this series will remind you why the aftershocks of the ’80s are still felt today. THE ’80S: TOP TEN is executive produced by Jane Root, Matt Edmonds, and Nicola Moody for Nutopia. Lowe is also executive producer.
(ABC News and Lincoln Square Productions)
National Geographic’s EXPLORER, a hallmark of Nat Geo storytelling since it first launched in 1985, is set to return this upfront season as a series of specials produced in partnership with ABC News, who will bring familiar faces to the series. GMA co-anchors Michael Strahan and Robin Roberts follow the progress of the expeditions, especially at critical turning points. Earlier this year, EXPLORER embarked on two groundbreaking scientific expeditions – one above the Earth and one below. An elite climbing team guided by Alex Honnold, the professional climber of critically acclaimed feature doc FREE SOLO, will be the first to ascent up 1,000 feet of sheer rock to the top of Tepui, a remote “island in the sky” deep in the Amazon jungle. Their mission is to deliver 80-year-old National Geographic Explorer and biologist Bruce Means in search of undiscovered species. Then in the other expedition, Dr. Bill Stone, one of the most experienced caver in the world, has a lifelong quest to hold the record for going deeper beneath the Earth than any human. Stone will lead an expedition to the bottom of the Cheve Cave, 8,000+ feet underneath Mexico’s Sierra Juarez mountains. EXPLORER will cover timely topics, a featured magazine story and more, further deepening viewers’ understanding of the world through provocative storytelling. For Lincoln Square Productions, Drew Pulley is executive producer, and Jeanmarie Condon is senior executive producer.
RETURNING ADVENTURE SERIES:
GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED
Renewed for Season Four (Studio Ramsay)
Gordon Ramsay laces his boots, grabs his knives and buckles up as he hits the road to embark on more exhilarating adventures, exploring world cultures through food in National Geographic’s GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED. The multiple Michelin-starred chef and Ironman athlete feasts his way around the globe – risking life and limb in daring missions – in pursuit of culinary inspiration and edible excellence. In the most ambitious and far-reaching season yet, Ramsay partakes in culinary customs, learns about delicious delicacies and tastes fresh flavors unique to each region under the guidance of the local experts and food legends he meets along the way. GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED is executive produced by Gordon Ramsay, Lisa Edwards, Jon Kroll and Tom Willis for Studio Ramsay.
LIFE BELOW ZERO, LIFE BELOW ZERO: NEXT GENERATION and PORT PROTECTION, ALASKA
LIFE BELOW ZERO Renewed for Season 15 (BBC Studios)
LBZ: NEXT GENERATION Renewed for Season Two
LBZ: PORT PROTECTION Renewed for Season Four
The common theme in LIFE BELOW ZERO and PORT PROTECTION, ALASKA is people who have left traditional society behind. They have chosen a different life, with varying degrees of danger and challenges, in their remote regions of Alaska. In LIFE BELOW ZERO: NEXT GENERATION, an all-new cast has abandoned contemporary life in favor of freedom in the brutal Alaskan wilderness. They speak to the growing dissatisfaction the current generation has with technology and convenience, which is ubiquitous in modern life. Cameras capture the cast members as they rush to prepare for and survive the frozen months of winter to the spring thaw. Executive Producers are Travis Shakespeare and Joseph Litzinger for BBC Studios.
RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS
Renewed for Nat Geo Season Three (Electus, a Propagate Company and The Natural Studios)
Last season, the hit outdoor adventure series RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS found its new home on National Geographic with bigger action and wilder destinations than ever before. World-renowned survivalist Bear Grylls returns for another season, leading a brand-new slate of celebrities into the wildest corners of the planet for epic, life-changing adventures that will challenge their perceived limitations. Each week, a new celebrity guest leaves the luxury of their homes to join Bear for a no-holds-barred journey through some of the most extreme environments in the world. Together, they must rely on bushcraft techniques to survive each dangerous location while pushing through both mental and physical limits to face ambitious obstacles that will make even the bravest shudder. RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS is produced by Electus, a Propagate Company, and The Natural Studios. For Electus and The Natural Studios, Bear Grylls serves as executive producer along with Chris Grant, Drew Buckley, Ben Silverman, Howard Owens, Liz Schulze, Rob Buchta and Delbert Shoopman.
TRAFFICKED WITH MARIANA VAN ZELLER (Previously Announced)
Renewed for Season Two (Muck Media)
Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller continues her harrowing exploration into the underworld’s most dangerous black markets. Armed with National Geographic’s trademark inside access, each episode follows Mariana as she works her way inside a different black market or global trafficking network – from meth, marijuana and stolen cars to outlaw bikers clubs and Amazon mafias – where she meets the players and learns the business, all in an effort to understand the inner workings of the world’s multitrillion-dollar shadow economy. For Muck Media, executive Producers are Mariana van Zeller, Darren Foster and Jeff Plunkett.
BEST OF NGC WEEK
Premieres December 2021
National Geographic ends 2021 with a week of special encore presentations of its wildly popular programming, including GORDON RAMSAY: UNCHARTED, RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS, LIFE BELOW ZERO and more!
April 22, 2022
National Geographic celebrates Earth Day by showcasing series and specials, such as the brand’s landmark natural history programming, to engender a deeper love of the Earth that enables fans to see the world like they never have before.
NATIONAL PARKS WEEK
America, get ready for your close-up. National Geographic’s new series will turn its state-of-the-art cameras on the country’s homegrown beauty and showcase the grandeur of America’s national parks. NATIONAL PARKS WEEK will give viewers an up-close and personal feel of the most spectacular vistas and wildlife in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Hawai’i Volcanoes… just to mention a few.
RETURNING FAN-FAVORITE SERIES:
WICKED TUNA and WICKED TUNA: OUTER BANKS
WICKED TUNA Renewed for Season 11 (Pilgrim Media Group)
WICKED TUNA: OUTER BANKS Renewed for Seasons Eight & Nine
National Geographic’s hit series WICKED TUNA is back on the high seas. Follow a group of salty commercial fishermen from the nation’s oldest seaport in Gloucester, Massachusetts, as they earn their living through rod-and-reel fishing in pursuit of the prized bluefin tuna. Later this year, the popular spinoff WICKED TUNA: OUTER BANKS returns. WICKED TUNA: OUTER BANKS follows a southern fleet of top captains battling to catch bluefin in the dangerous waters off the coast of North Carolina. This season, they face the most treacherous weather in the series’ history, and captains must work together to catch the elusive bluefin. WICKED TUNA is executive produced by Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols, and co-executive produced by Lorene Machado for Pilgrim Studios.
What shows are ALREADY cancelled this season? Check the official cancelled shows 2021/2022 list.
What shows are ALREADY renewed for next season? Check the TV shows renewed 2022-2023 list.
About Life Below Zero TV Show
Multiple Emmy award-winning series LIFE BELOW ZERO follows the lives of rugged individuals living subsistence lifestyles in remote areas of Alaska as they brave the frigid winter temperatures and the ensuing spring breakup. Each day brings unexpected conditions, forcing even the most seasoned bush dwellers to adapt to their changing environment. With resources dwindling and daylight shifting, they must risk it all to defend their chosen life in the wilds of the Alaskan bush.
Life Below Zero follows six people as they battle for the most basic necessities in the state with the lowest population density in the United States. Living at the ends of the world's loneliest roads and subsisting off the rugged Alaskan bush, they battle whiteout snow storms, man-eating carnivores, questionable frozen terrain, and limited resources through a long and bitter winter. Some of them are lone wolves; others have their families beside them. All must overcome despairing odds to brave the wild and survive through to the spring. And when spring arrives in Alaska, rising temperatures bring mounting challenges as they work to prepare for yet another winter.
Earlier this year, National Geographic picked up two additional seasons of Life Below Zero and an additional season of Life Below Zero: Port Protection. The common theme in Life Below Zero and Life Below Zero: Port Protection is the cast of people who have left traditional society behind. Instead, they have chosen a different life, with varying degrees of danger and challenges, in the remote regions of Alaska.
The multi-Emmy Award-winning series Life Below Zero returns with an all-new season, giving viewers chills as it follows the extreme lifestyles of tough residents living off the grid in Alaska. With temperatures colder than minus 50 degrees, residents also face whiteout snowstorms, unpredictable frozen terrain and man-eating carnivores in one of the most isolated regions in the world.
Things are about to get real in this new season: really dark, real emotional, real intense and real cold. Ricko DeWilde travels to cursed lands to finally lay his brother's spirit to rest while also passing down Athabaskan traditions to his children. The Hailstones brave the freeze to seek new land for their expanding family, while Andy Bassich and Denise Becker race against the cold to complete their dream home along the Yukon River. Jessie Holmes trail blazes deep into the wilderness in search of new hunting grounds and a training outpost. Before the tundra storms arrive, Sue Aikens repairs vital safety equipment and replenishes her resources to survive through the brutal weather.
Since its debut, Life Below Zero has filmed more than 150 episodes and has earned 13 Emmy nominations, including two in 2020, and received three Emmy awards for cinematography and one for picture editing.
To continue the adventure of the fan-favorite series Life Below Zero is the brand-new spin-off series, Life Below Zero: Next Generation. The series features all-new tough Alaskans who have tried contemporary life and rejected it in favor of a life of freedom in the brutal Alaskan wilderness. They speak to the growing dissatisfaction the current generation has with technology, which is ubiquitous in modern life. The brave crew follows these less experienced individuals as they transition from modern-day society to forge a new life for themselves in the vastness of Alaska's wild frontier. This next generation of Alaskans are playing by their own rules, rebelling against societal norms and learning how to survive in the harsh Arctic climate.
The Life Below Zero franchise is produced by the BBC Studios' Los Angeles production unit for National Geographic.Keep track of the cancel/renew status of all your favorite TV shows. Discover and bookmark our cancelled shows 2021 list and renewed shows 2021-2022 database.
Wondering how your other National Geographic Channel shows are doing? Check out the National Geographic Channel 2021 TV scorecard page, where you can find the cancel/renew status of all National Geographic Channel TV shows!
How do you feel about this latest Life Below Zero news? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and don’t forget to stay tuned for all the renew/cancel 2021-2022 and beyond news!