National Geographic Channel Execs Bullish on Nat Geo Wild Prospects

Executives at
National Geographic Channel are bullish on the prospects for upcoming spin-off
channel Nat Geo Wild, set to launch March 29 on the space currently occupied by
Fox Reality Channel. They declined to provide specific numbers, but executives
did say they expected Nat Geo Wild to transition to a majority of Fox Reality's
nearly 50 million subscribers.

The new network has nine series in production, many of them
centering on animal experts and their work. Dangerous
Encounters with Brady Barr
follows the well-known reptile expert; Wild Nights with Mireya Mayor follows
primatologist Mayor on the hunt for nocturnal animals in urban areas; and Swamp Men follows an ecological wildlife
park director and his crew at their 2,000-plus acre camp.

Like it's sister channel, Nat Geo Wild will have several
theme weeks including Big Cat Week.

Executives also announced a new slate of programming for
flagship network National Geographic Channel, including six new series buoyed
by ad-targeted programming "pillars" including "Amazing Journeys," "Hooked,"
"Dogs," "Extreme Engineering," "Sci-Tech," "Adrenaline," "Preserve Our Planet"
and "Great Quests."

There are six new
series in production for the 2010-11 season. They include Thom Beers' Wild
, which follows game wardens charged with protecting animals native
to the West Coast wilderness; Monster
Fish with Zeb Hogan
, about endangered amphibians; Making History, which revolves around a group of young filmmakers
who replicate large-scale historical events; Fish Warrior with Jakub
, about the famed angler's unconventional methods; Great
and When Rome Ruled.

Nat Geo also will bring back 14 series, a record for the
network, which is a partnership of Fox Cable Networks and National Geographic