At National Geographic’s TCA Summer Press Tour panel today, Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Content, announced the greenlight of three new linear unscripted series, featuring all-new storytellers with riveting tales to share, all in the name of exploration.
The network also gave the green light to the third season of Emmy-nominated Trafficked with Mariana Von Zeller ahead of the winter premiere of the docuseries’ second season bow.
Get the details below.
To expand on the successful Life Below Zero franchise is Life Before Zero: First Alaskans, the first nonfiction series on National Geographic with a cast of Native Alaskans at its core, including representation on the production team.
The 7 Toughest Days on Earth will feature natural-born survivor Dwayne Fields, the first Black British citizen to conquer the magnetic north pole, as he aims to survive the most extreme elements on the planet.
Award-winning BBQ Pitmaster and former U.S. Navy veteran Big Moe Casonwill grab his grilling mitts and hit the road to explore the rarest flavors around the world only found in remote locations in Appetite for Adventure.
All three of these series will also have a second window on Disney+.
“These new series are exciting additions to our stable of popular, returnable, scalable series led by charismatic personalities,” said Monroe. “The talent at the center of each of these series have unique voices and perspectives that will undoubtedly inspire the explorer in all of us.”
From the multiple Emmy Award-winning team behind the Life Below Zero franchise is Life Below Zero: First Alaskans. Life Below Zero has provided viewers with unprecedented access to the daily hardships of living off the land (and water) in some of the most extreme conditions on Earth.
Now, in dedicating an entire series to the native peoples of this harsh landscape, our cameras have been invited into a whole new world of storytelling, cultures, and customs.
Life Below Zero: First Alaskans will follow all-new series subjects: Alaskan Natives who are focusing on their right to preserve their threatened ways of life, doubling down on ancient wisdom to ensure its survival for the next thousand years.
The strength of this new series is featuring native representation throughout the on-camera cast of indigenous people but also prioritizing diversity within the production team, crew, and cultural consultants who have deep connections to Alaska.
When the Russians arrived by the 18th century, Alaskan Native peoples had been there for thousands of years, developing sophisticated ways to thrive in the harshest environments and passing down their traditions and methods from generation to generation.
Life Below Zero: First Alaskans will begin production this September 2021.Life Below Zero: First Alaskans marks the latest expansion of the long-term production partnership on the Life Below Zero franchise between National Geographic and BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm.
Dwayne Fieldsgrew up around violent gangs and is a natural-born survivor who’s stared death in the face his entire life.
He escaped the inner city to become an explorer, where he conquered the brutal magnetic north pole, becoming the first Black British citizen to achieve this accomplishment.
His unmatched resilience, unique spirit, and optimism have him determined to push himself to the absolute edge.
The 7 Toughest Days on Earth will follow Fields as he’s dropped into some of the most extreme places on Earth — at their deadliest time — for seven whole days when epic natural forces combine to supersize external threats.
His task is to keep himself and his small film crew alive and lead them to an extraction point, revealing incredible moments on Earth only a few have witnessed. Production on The 7 Toughest Days on Earth will begin in winter 2021.
Fields is living proof that no matter what life throws at you or where you come from, you can overcome anything.
Decorated pitmaster and U.S. Navy veteran Big Moe Cason is leaving his culinary comforts of the American South behind and heading off with an Appetite for Adventure, embarking on an epic global journey to seek out the planet’s most mouthwatering mythical dishes cooked over an open flame.
After competing in over 260 BBQ contests in 35 states, he’s ready to hit the road in search of other ways people around the globe are cooking with fire, meeting with stewards of fantastic flavors, walking in their boots, and learning the impact these flame-broiled dishes have on bonding their community.
As someone whose culinary spark came from his grandmother cooking for big family meals, Big Moe will focus on cooking hearty comfort food over an open flame, with dishes that speak to the traditions and local spirit of each location.
Big Moe will discover that no matter how difficult the struggles are to reach these locations and be mentored on new techniques, some things in life are worth the extra effort.
Appetite for Adventure will begin production in October 2021.
National Geographic also gave the greenlight to the third season of Emmy-nominated Trafficked with Mariana Von Zeller ahead of the winter premiere of the docuseries’ second season bow on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on National Geographic.
Episodes will also be streaming the next day on Hulu, and filming for the third season will begin this fall.
“Filming a whole season of Trafficked during a global pandemic was extremely challenging, but there’s been an explosion of black markets over the past year, and I think we all quickly realized that this series has become more relevant than ever,” said van Zeller.
“With this second season, we’ve managed to dive even deeper and gain even more access into underworld networks around the world.”
Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist Mariana van Zeller continues her harrowing exploration into the underworld’s most dangerous black markets.
Armed with National Geographic’s trademark inside access, each episode follows van Zeller as she works her way inside a different black market or global trafficking network where she meets the players and learns the business, all in an effort to understand the inner workings of the world’s multi-trillion-dollar shadow economy.
The 10-part second season of Trafficked with Mariana Von Zeller offers viewers a mission-driven adventure to places rarely seen, providing an intimate peek behind the curtain to provide a 360-degree view of these poorly understood trafficking networks.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.