National Geographic’s newly unveiled 2020-2021 roster features a 16-part series on radio personality, best-selling author and American Idol mentor Bobby Bones, along with the competition show Race to the Center of the Earth, created by the producers behind The Amazing Race.
Emmy Award-winning 72 Films (Inside North Korea’s Dynasty) and Oscar-winning executive producers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin (Undefeated, LA 92) have come together to produce the landmark documentary series 9/11 to mark 20 years since the attacks. This series has been in production for over two years and will offer a comprehensive account of the day using only archival footage (some never seen before) and new, original interviews with eyewitnesses who have now had almost two decades to reflect on the events they lived through.
National Geographic is working with long-time partner BBC Studios on the all-new Breaking Bobby Bones (working title). In each half-hour episode, Bones travels to far-flung destinations across the country to find people with unique jobs, skills, hobbies and abilities.
The Explorer series has been a hallmark of Nat Geo storytelling since it first launched in 1985. The newly reimagined version of this flagship series will be a multiplatform content initiative, in partnership with National Geographic magazine and ABC News.
Race to the Center of the Earth is an adrenaline-fueled global competition that pits four teams against one another in a nonstop sprint across the globe for a $1 million prize. Each team is challenged with navigating through its route, offering unique terrains, climates and cultures as the team makes its way to a central location.
Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller will have its premiere in January 2021. The eight-part series explores the complex and often dangerous inner workings of the global underworld— smuggling networks, and black and informal markets.
There’s also a new natural-history series timed for Earth Day 2021: Planet of the Whales, filmed over three years in 24 locations.
The latest installment of Genius, starring Cynthia Erivo as Aretha Franklin, is slated for a fall debut.
New feature documentary broadcast premieres include Blood on the Wall, which explores the depths of corruption plaguing Mexico and Central America and the policies of the past that have made it impossible for everyday people to find justice; Rebuilding Paradise, from Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard and Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer about the California wildfires; and Saudi Runaway, about a young woman in Saudi Arabia reckoning with strict social norms, an upcoming arranged marriage and a life controlled by her domineering father.
There will be new seasons of Brain Games with Keegan-Michael Key, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted and Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Wicked Tuna and Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks will both be back, along with Life Below Zero, Life Below Zero: Next Generation and Life Below Zero: Port Protection, in partnership with BBC Studios.
“People’s understanding of the world around them has been shaken,” said National Geographic Global Television Networks President Courteney Monroe. “And they are coming to National Geographic in record numbers, I believe, because particularly in times of uncertainty, people flock to brands that they trust. And National Geographic is one of the most trusted and beloved brands in the world. When it comes to our television programming, we are doubling down on what we do best, which is to deliver premium, creatively ambitious programming that connects audiences to the world around them, satisfies their curiosity and transports them to places they may otherwise never go.”