Nat Geo Unveils Two New Franchises


National Geographic has greenlit two brand-new anthology franchises: One Day in America and an untitled natural-disaster franchise.

The One Day in America commission comes on the heels of the Emmy Award-winning docuseries 9/11: One Day in America. The new franchise will include JFK: One Day in America, detailing John F. Kennedy’s assassination based on testimony from those who were there, and The Cult: One Day in Jonestown, telling the story of the 1978 mass suicide at a cult temple run by Jim Jones.

Both three-part series will be produced by 72 Films, with David Glover, TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay executive producing. The only voices heard in the series will be those who were there on the days of the events, whether from new interviews or archival footage.

The natural-disaster franchise, still untitled, will focus on the biggest natural disasters in recent history. Two titles have been greenlit so far: Tsunami (w.t.) and Katrina (w.t.).

From Blast! Films, Tsunami follows the story of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that took the lives of over 230,000 people. In total, 3 million people across 14 countries were affected by the tragedy. Thousands clung to trees, buildings and floating wreckage in attempts to survive, and many were rescued through acts of bravery carried out by strangers from all over the world. The four-part series will provide a minute-by-minute account of the tsunami’s seven-hour trail of destruction across two continents, 14 countries and 5,000 miles. Executive producers are Danny Horan, Tanya Winston and Daniel Bogado. It is set to premiere in 2024, coinciding with the event’s 20th anniversary.

From Lightbox, Katrina will tell the definitive story of Hurricane Katrina. It will show the cataclysmic events of the weeks of the disaster in forensic detail while also contextualizing the narrative by pulling together threads of seemingly unrelated events that played out years prior to the catastrophe to detail how and why Katrina unfolded the way it did. Through testimony from people on the ground and those in positions of power during the disaster, as well as hundreds of hours of visceral archival footage, Katrina will show how America’s worst natural disaster tore through the Gulf States and, arguably, the very fabric of society, raising searing questions about race in America. Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn are executive producing the series, which will debut in 2025, coinciding with the event’s 20th anniversary.

“These new documentary franchises exemplify our aim to be the brand of record for events that forever changed the shape of history,” said Courteney Monroe, president of National Geographic Content. “Weaving together never-before-seen archive and powerful first-person testimony, these powerful and riveting series will serve as the definitive stories of these momentous events.”