Nat Geo Inks First-Look Deal with Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios

Will Smith
(Image credit: Westbrook Studios/Nat Geo)

National Geographic has signed actor Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios to a five-year, first-look deal to produce unscripted programming.

The deal, announced during National Geographic’s virtual TCA Summer session Wednesday, comes on the heels of Smith’s adventure series, Welcome to Earth, which will debut on Disney Plus next year. The series follows Smith as he embarks on an global journey to unlock the secrets of the most extraordinary and unexplained phenomena of nature, according to the network. 

“Having spent the past two years working with Will and the team at Westbrook Studios (along with Darren Aronofsky and Nutopia) on Welcome to Earth, we are thrilled to be expanding our relationship with them and entering into a long-term partnership to produce blockbuster nonfiction content,” said National  Geographic president Courteney Monroe in a statement.  “Will and Westbrook share our passion for telling bold, best-in-class stories that ignite curiosity and inspire people to explore and care about our world, and we can’t wait to see where our next adventures together take us.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.