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Nat Geo Shares 2020-2021 Lineup

(Image credit: Nat Geo)

National Geographic revealed its 2020-2021 lineup. New series include 9/11 and Breaking Bobby Bones (working title). Docuseries 9/11 has six parts. Marking 20 years since the tragic event, it will offer a comprehensive account of what happened that day. Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin are executive producers. 

Breaking Bobby Bones is a 16-part series about the radio personality. In each half-hour episode, “Bobby travels to far-flung destinations across the country to find people with unique jobs, skills, hobbies and abilities. Upon arrival, he meets local heroes who challenge him to conquer (or at least attempt) the tricks of their trades, living up to his mantra — Fight. Grind. Repeat,” said Nat Geo. 

People’s understanding of the world around them has been shaken. 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,” said Courteney Monroe, National Geographic Global Television Networks president. “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.”

The Explorer series launched in 1985. Nat Geo said it has been “newly reimagined” to be a “truly multiplatform content initiative.” Each hour-long episode takes viewers inside unfolding expeditions around the globe and to the front lines of groundbreaking scientific, technological and historical discoveries, with ABC News talent the guides. 

Race to the Center of the Earth has eight parts and debuts in the fall of 2020. Nat Geo calls it “an adrenaline-fueled global competition that pits four teams against one another in a nonstop sprint across the globe for a $1 million prize.”

Trafficked With Mariana Van Zeller has eight parts and premieres in January. The series “explores the complex and often dangerous inner workings of the global underworld — smuggling networks, and black and informal markets,” said Nat Geo. Each episode sees Van Zeller on a mission to understand a specific black market and the lives of the smugglers and outlaws who run it. 

The next installment of the network’s Genius franchise focuses on Aretha Franklin. 

Cynthia Erivo plays Franklin. From Brian Grazer and Ron Howard of Imagine Entertainment, it debuts in the fall. 

Planet of the Whales debuts in April 2021 and dives deep into whale culture and “the extraordinary communication skills and intricate social structures of five different whale species,” said Nat Geo. 

New documentaries include Blood on the Wall, about a caravan of migrants from Central American heading to the U.S., Rebuilding Paradise, about the firestorm that hit Paradise, California, Saudi Runaway, about a young woman reckoning with an arranged marriage, and Torn, about climber Alex Lowe, who was killed in an avalanche in the Himalayas.  

All air in the fall. 

Returning series include Brain Games with Keegan-Michael Key, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, Running Wild With Bear Grylls, Wicked Tuna and Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks and the Life Below Zero franchise.

Sharkfest happens in summer 2021.