Upfronts 2016: Nat Geo Special Goes Globetrotting, Live

National Geographic Channel will take viewers on a live ride to all seven continents during a two-hour special Earth Live, one of several new shows the network announced Tuesday during its upfront presentation in New York.

Earth Live!, slated to air later this year, will feature an in studio host that will cut to live wildlife action across seven continents as it events take place, according to Courteney Monroe, chief executive officer of National Geographic Global Networks.

“No one has ever attempted to do this on such a large scale, and only National Geographic has the ability to do so,” Monroe said.

Other new shows include National Geographic Channel will expand its signature franchise Explorer into a host-driven, docu-talk series starring Richard Bacon. Explorer, which the network resurrected last year after a five-year hiatus, will serve as a weekly magazine-talk hybrid that drives the conversation on current events and topics that matter most to the planet, said network officials.

The network unveiled new plans for its six part miniseries Mars, which will combined a scripted story about the colonization of Mars with real-life documentary commentary. Mexican filmmaker Everado Gout (Days Of Grace) will direct the documentary, which will be produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment.

Other series slated to debut on the network in 2016-17 include Origins, hosted by Jason Silva which will take viewers back through history via visual and musical mastery;  Chain Of Command, a 10-part series that will feature inside access to the U.S. military’s mission in Afghanistan as it unfolds over one full year; Lawless Oceans,  a six-part investigative series which follows special investigator Karsten von Hoesslin as he attempts to solve the mystery of a murder at sea caught on video; and Deep Freeze, which follows leading scientists on thier Antarctica-based missions.

Returning to the network is Year of Living Dangerously, which looks at the effects of climate change through such celebrity correspondents as Jack Black, Ty Burrell, James Cameron, David Letterman, Don Cheadle and Arnold Swchwarzenegger.

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.