Dog Whisperer star Cesar Milan again is answering the call of Nat Geo Wild with a new series as the cable net revealed its 2020-21 upfront slate today. It also has ordered new seasons of docuseries The Incredible Dr. Pol and Heartland Docs, DVM and a spinoff from Secrets of the Zoo.
Nat Geo Wild also is bringing back several other series in the next year, setting new seasons of Secrets of the Zoo, Dog: Impossible, Critter Fixers and Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet. Its slate also includes a number of specials and stunt programming. Read details about all of the shows below.
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Milan, whose Dog Whisperer aired on Nat Geo Wild in 2011-12 after seven years on National Geographic Channel, returns with a new dog-u-series next year. Cesar’s Way will address dog owners whose relationships with their pets are suffering because of longer work hours, technological interruptions and the like. The 10-episode series from Leepson Bounds Entertainment is set to bow in spring 2021.
Set for this fall is Secrets of the Zoo: North Carolina, a spinoff series set at one of the world’s largest zoos. Sprawling over 2,600 acres and homes to more than 1,000 animals, the state-owned North Carolina Zoo sees its denizen live in these lush natural environments and share habitats as they would in the wild. The series from Double Act TV will feature stories including emergency and routine animal procedures, animal husbandry and the rehabilitation and release of native wildlife.
“At a time when families find themselves spending more time together, the need for inspiring programming the entire family can enjoy is ever more pronounced,” said Courteney Monroe, president of National Geographic Global Television Networks. “Nat Geo Wild has become the leading destination for programming about animals and the people who love them. … It’s no wonder Nat Geo Wild has experienced record ratings during this period.”
Celebrating its 10 year in 2020, Nat Geo Wild has seen double-digit growth during this quarantined quarter in the 25-54 demo across all dayparts versus the prior year. Total day is 45% year over year and primetime up 38%.
Here is Nat Geo Wild’s 2020-21 slate of returning series and new specials:
Secrets of the Zoo, Season 4
Eight episodes, fall 2020 (Remedy TV)
Secrets of the Zoo is back with a fourth season of unprecedented access to one of the nation’s largest and most popular zoos: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Featuring the dramatic, hilarious and heartwarming stories of what it takes to care for the zoo’s 10,000 animals across almost 12,000 acres of facilities, this series takes viewers behind the scenes to witness America’s favorite zoo at work. This fan favorite shines a light on veterinary care, feeding, live birth and expanding habitats, along with all the wildlife and wild people who work together to make it all happen.
The Incredible Dr. Pol, Seasons 18 & 19
10 episodes, winter and summer 2021 (National Geographic Studios)
On this rip-roaring season of The Incredible Dr. Pol, the docs are off to the races, zooming from critical clinic visits to emergency farm calls. Strap in for a wild ride as the crew of Pol Veterinary Services works seven days a week pulling calves, pushing prolapses and triaging the mayhem that comes with central Michigan territory. It’s sure to be a wild ride on this abscess-draining, bull-wrangling, baby-snuggling, momentous season of The Incredible Dr. Pol.
Dog: Impossible, Season 2
Eight episodes, winter 2021 (High Noon Entertainment)
Famed dog behavior specialist Matt Beisner returns for another season of Dog: Impossible, tackling some of the toughest cases in town. Working with some of the most dangerous and aggressive dogs, Matt and his team keep on fighting for the dogs that everyone else has given up on. He’s out to make a difference in the lives of dogs and their owners because no matter how tough the case may be, he still believes one thing: There are no bad dogs.
Heartland Docs, DVM, Season 3
Eight episodes, spring 2021 (Glass Entertainment)
In Hartington, Nebraska, Drs. Ben and Erin Schroeder put thousands upon thousands of miles on their truck as they crisscross America’s Heartland, employing their expertise to treat all creatures great and small. From furry pets at the clinic to herds of cattle by the hundreds, there are few vets who have the skill and heart to take on the unique challenges that come their way every day. It doesn’t matter if they’re up against intense summer heat, the bitter cold, white-out blizzards or impassable roads, the Schroeders will do whatever is necessary to treat animals in distress, including opening their clinic on the weekends with the help of their sons Chase and Charlie or making farm calls in the middle of the frigid night. The Schroeders’ dedication to their hometown, and the animals that are a part of it, is what makes them invaluable members of the local community.
Critter Fixers, Season 2
Eight episodes, spring 2021 (Hit + Run)
Lifelong friends Drs. Vernard Hodges and Terrence Ferguson are back for another wildly extraordinary new season of their hit series Critter Fixers. The docs, who own and operate Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital, located 100 miles south of Atlanta, work around the clock with their loving staff to bring heart, soul and a lot of humor to their treatment and care of more than 20,000 patients a year. Between emergency visits to the office and farm calls throughout rural Georgia, this special team constantly encounters unique cases. For the Critter Fixer team, there is no such thing as “normal.”
Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet; Season 7
Eight episodes, spring 2021 (Lucky Dog Films)
Making house calls in the far reaches of the Great North is a daunting task in the least, considering the houses may be separated by hundreds of miles. That challenge doesn’t stop Dr. Michelle Oakley from performing her many duties as a veterinarian in one of the most rugged environments on Earth. In addition to running an animal clinic out of her home, she makes house calls, sometimes driving for long stretches through desolate wilderness to check on a patient. This series documents how Dr. Oakley juggles being a full-time vet, wife and mom, and does so with a sense of humor and devotion.
The Puppy Draft
Special event, spring 2021 (Megalomedia)
Each year hundreds of young professional athletes pick up and move to one of 32 major cities in order to live their dream and achieve greatness. This transition; however, could become a bit lonely, which is why they may want to bring along a companion: a rescue puppy. Just as cities get new players, they also are getting new mascots. This is … The Puppy Draft. Nat Geo WILD is “drafting” the cutest, furry friends for “paw-fect” matches with star athletes to join their new teams and hometowns. See which puppy mascot ends up as the No. 1 draft pick.
NEW SPECIALS & STUNTS
Two-hour special, fall 2020 (WGBH)
In the two-hour Photo Ark special, tag along with National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore on his quest to photograph every species living in the world’s zoos and wildlife sanctuaries using the power of photography to inspire people to save species at risk. He’ll stop at nothing to achieve his goal (and just last week he documented his 10,000th species), even if it means following a giant armadillo into a bathroom. Deep in the Amazon rainforest, Joel dives underwater to photograph the largest resident of South America, the Amazonian manatee. Out of his wetsuit and armed with emergency oxygen and his camera, we follow Joel 12,000 feet up to the Colorado Rockies just so he can photograph the American pika, a tiny relative of the hare.
12 Days of Pol
Twelve-day stunt, winter 2020 (National Geographic Studios)
The 12 Days of Pol are back with more raucous reindeer, more pregnant puppies and all the vets of Pol Veterinary Services for 12 packed days of all the The Incredible Dr. Pol episodes you can binge.
Summer 2021 (National Geographic Studios)
Binge your favorite episodes of The Incredible Dr. Pol during our Pol-ympic marathon full of memorable cases and fun-filled moments to find out which episode will win the gold medal for best vet.
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