NewFronts 2016: Nat Geo Sets Digital ‘Mars’ Prequel

National Geographic marked its first NewFronts presentation with new digital-themed original series including its first Instagram show and a prequel to its Mars television show.

Emphasizing its ability to market and promote the National Geographic brand across multiple platforms, the network said it will launch later this year Before Mars, a digital short series that will serve as a prequel to National Geographic Channel’s Ron Howard and Brian Grazer-produced scripted series Mars, said company officials.

Nat Geo will also develop a video series for Instagram, MovING Pictures, that will capture its photographer’s experiences while on assignment in the field.

In addition, the company will launch The Moment, an initiative that will feature images from Nat Geo Photographers focusing on a particular subject. The initiative, which launches this fall, will run across such digital properties as SnapChat Discovery, Instagram, Facebook Live and Twitter, said Nat Geo.

The company will also create a virtual reality studio that will offer consumers a VR viewing experience featuring content from Nat Geo Channel, Nat Geo Wild and other media properties.

“Consumers and corporate partners alike come to use for our unparalleled access to the people and stories that are impacting our ever-changing world,” said National Geographic Partners CEO Declan Moore.

Nat Geo's list of upcoming digtial series includes:

Animal Close-Up

National Geographic is serving up the cutest, funniest and strangest faces of the animal kingdom. Each episode brings viewers closer to the animals they love, alongside important stories and insights, to provide a better understanding of these adorable creatures.

Get Out: A Guide to Adventure

National Geographic’s first how-to series, Get Out, features adventure experts as they share insider tips and tricks to owning the outdoors like a pro, taking viewers one step closer to living like a Nat Geo explorer.


Through hyper-lapse technology, InTime takes viewers on a high-speed romp through iconic travel destinations around the world.


Ever wonder how a bat lands upside down? We'll show you the unbelievable acrobatics of a bat, frame by frame. What happens in the split second a human bursts into laughter? Or sneezes? Or cries? We'll break these down in (often hilarious) slow motion with scientists and psychologists explaining frame by frame.


In Limitless, National Geographic goes inside the bodies and minds of individuals who seem almost super-human, surprising viewers with insights into what makes a world-class athlete physically superior to the rest of us.


In National Geographic’s original web series targeted at millennials, host Angeli Gabriel answers intriguing questions that plague the human mind in an entertaining, engaging and relatable way. Covering topics from science to history and sprinkled with quick wit and pop culture references, NGenius is Nat Geo’s answer to the trendy YouTube explainer series that have gained extreme popularity in the digital age.

NG Gold

Through National Geographic’s extensive arsenal of filmmakers and scientists, we have access to some of the most special, wild and unbelievable moments around the globe. These include capturing a crocodile’s mouth clamping down on a camera, discovering an elusive shark in an underwater volcano or witnessing a baby blue whale nursing its mother in the wild.

The Real (City)

Everyone knows that the best way to experience a city is to talk to the locals. In The Real (City) National Geographic Travel takes viewers to cities around the world, uncovering the hidden gems known only by the inhabitants who live there, and inspiring each of us to pack our bags.

Wild_Life With Bertie Gregory

In Nat Geo WILD’s first digital series, wildlife filmmaker Bertie Gregory journeys to the Pacific Northwest in search of the elusive coastal wolves that inhabit one of the last places on the planet where a wild forest meets a wild ocean. While in the field, Bertie navigates harsh terrain filled with unexpected encounters, all in an effort to find and film wolves that seem more like ghosts of the Northwest than actual creatures. 

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.