Nat Geo Upfronts: ‘Hot Zone’ Season 2 Premiere, SharkFest Turns 10, ‘Uncharted’ Renewal & More
National Geographic has unveiled its lineup for the 2021-2022 TV season with plenty of returning favorites and fresh titles on the horizon.
Announced by Nat Geo’s Content president Courteney Monroe at the network’s upfronts, the slate boasts visual storytelling, new adventure, and globetrotting. “Unearthing moments of discovery is all about having the right guides, and we work with the 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.”
Below, we’re breaking all of the key details from the presentation:
Blockbuster Series & Events
The new series National Parks, narrated by Garth Brooks, was announced, promising a unique look at the national parks of America ranging from the Grand Canyon to the volcanoes of Hawaii. Brooks will serve as an executive producer with Dan Rees and supervising producers Myles Connolly and Ben Wallis. No premiere date has been announced.
Meanwhile, SharkFest will celebrate its 10th annual run this year and Nat Geo has renewed the fan-favorite slate of shark-focused programming for 2022. Get ready for plenty of tales that prove truth is stranger than fiction sometimes and offer a look at the latest developments in shark research and preservation.
The network’s scripted drama The Hot Zone will return for a second season titled The Hot Zone: Anthrax for a three-night event beginning Sunday, November 28. The six-episode series details the anthrax letters attacks that began in the United States shortly after 9/11. The series from 20th Television, Ridley Scott, David Zucker, Jordan Sheehan, Kelly Souders, and Brian Peterson stars Tony Goldwyn and Daniel Dae Kim.
Other new titles include Brain Games on the Road — a twist on the fan-favorite Brain Games — Called to the Wild, Into the Unknown, and The ’80s: Top Ten. Brain Games on the Road is hosted by Chuck Nice who pits two teams of four players against each other for a friendly competition suited to all ages. Winning teams take home the coveted Brain Games trophy.
Called to the Wild is a new adventure series where top human-dog teams depend on each other to survive in the wild. Each week, three human-dog teams will embark on a 10-day wilderness challenge like no other. Into the Unknown, which is a working title, will highlight elite adventure athletes who share transformative stories about confronting fear, personal losses, and Mother Nature.
And The ’80s: Top Ten sees Rob Lowe take viewers down memory lane with six Top 10 countdowns centering around 1980s pop culture. Revisit memorable moments, gadgets, fast foods, commercials, and more in this nostalgic trip. Along with hosting, Lowe will serve as executive producer on the series with Jane Root, Matt Edmonds, and Nicola Moody.
Don’t miss Nat Geo’s Explorer which returns as a series of specials produced by ABC News. Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan will follow the progress of various expeditions including one lead above ground by Free Solo‘s Alex Honnold and another led below ground by Dr. Bill Stone.
Nat Geo announced several renewals including one for Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, which will return for Season 4. Life Below Zero has been renewed for Season 15, while its offshoots Life Below Zero: Next Generation and Life Below Zero: Port Protection have been renewed for Seasons 2 and 4 respectively.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls will return for Season 3, and the docuseries Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller has been renewed for Season 2. Meanwhile, Wicked Tuna has been renewed for Season 11, and Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks earned a two-season renewal for Seasons 8 and 9.