Starting on January 7th and running for two weeks, the Television Critics Association (TCA) have been attending several tours and panels that various networks and streaming services host where they present their returning and new programming, as well as programming that is currently in development. Earlier today, National Geographic held theirs and with it came a slew of announcements.
The Hidden Kingdom
- The Hidden Kingdoms of China takes audiences into the secret wilds of China to reveal the beauty of its hidden kingdoms. With unique access to locations across the country, viewers go on a journey through these magical realms, exploring five very different worlds —high mountains, tropical jungles, bamboo forests, great plains and temperate forests.
- It was announced today that Michelle Yeoh (Crazy Rich Asians, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) will narrate the natural history special that will be premiering Saturday, February 22 on National Geographic.
- In 2018, a devastating wildfire known as the “Camp fire” raged through Northern California decimating the town of Paradise, CA. Renowned director and producer Ron Howard teamed up with National Geographic to chronicle the efforts to rebuild the devastated community in Rebuilding Paradise.
- National Geographic announced today that the film Rebuilding Paradise will be making it’s Sundance premiere next Friday, January 24th.
Life Below Zero
- National Geographic is venturing back into the Alaskan wilderness, not only for two additional seasons of Life Below Zero, but for an additional season of Life Below Zero: Port Protection.
- According to Deadline, the new deal not only includes the three new seasons of the existing shows, but eight episodes of a spin-off series titled Life Below Zero: Next Generation which is set to premiere in 2021.
- Life Below Zero and Life Below Zero: Port Protection both follow a cast of people who have left traditional society behind. They have chosen a different life, with varying degrees of danger and challenges, in the remote regions of Alaska. In Life Below Zero: Next Generation, the all-new cast members have tried contemporary life and rejected it in favor of a life of freedom in the brutal Alaskan wilderness, speaking to the dissatisfaction the current generation has with technologies prevalent in modern lifestyles.
- Brain Games, hosted by Keegan-Michael Key (Toy Story 4, The Lion King (2019)) and Running Wild with Bear Grylls have been renewed for an additional season.
- Brain Games is a reimagined series that has been picked-up for season two ahead of its premiere later this month. Rebooted in a different format, this new version of the show features A-list celebrities playing games in front of a live studio audience.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
- Running Wild with Bear Grylls left NBC last year only for National Geographic to pick it up and it has been renewed for its 6th season. The current season will see Bear Grylls traverse croc-infested mangroves in the Gulf of Panama with Brie Larson, experience the ancient art of trout tickling with Channing Tatum in the mountains of Norway, and drank milk directly from a goat’s udder with Armie Hammer in Sardinia among other adventures.
- It was announced that Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot (Wreck-it Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet) is set to executive produce a six-part digital series called #impact that, according to Deadline, will follow the stories of remarkable young women who have overcome a series of obstacles to do incredible things.
- Gal Gadot said of Executive Producing the new show: “I’m deeply honored to bring awareness to these young women who are the true heroes among us. By partnering with National Geographic, I’m tapping into their massive and unparalleled global reach to ensure that #impact is followed by the largest audience possible. Together we’re making a true impact by sharing these incredible stories that will empower, lift and inspire women all over the world.
- Announced by video at the event, Chris Hemsworth (Thor, The Avengers) will host a show called Limitless, with the same producers as One Strange Rock wherein Hemsworth aims to transform himself by training for six extraordinary challenges, showing how to fight aging at every stage of life.
- Each episode will focus on a different way that we as people can live better for longer, keeping in tune with Hemsworth’s personal mission to discover how to live healthier, smarter, longer lives.
- Hemsorth will encounter leading scientists in their field, with episodes focused on topics like regenerating damage, maximizing strength, building resilience, shocking the body, supercharging memory and confronting mortality.
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
- A trailer for the visually stunning and beautiful Cosmos: Possible Worlds, Season 3 of the hit show, was also revealed.
- Cosmos: Possible Worlds is helmed by Carl Sagan’s collaborator Ann Druyan, who boldly carries the torch forward with the 3rd season of the most beloved science show on the planet.
- Hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, The new series is set to premiere on March 9th, at 8/7c.
- After airing on National Geographic, the new series will also air on Fox in the summer.
- This third series will find us discussing topics that include examining humanity's future on other worlds, examining the history of extinction, and looking at more of the history of the universe in general.