National Geographic is expanding its unscripted slate with greenlights for three new series — Life Below Zero: First Alaskans, a spinoff of the Emmy-winning Life Below Zero franchise, Appetite for Adventure with BBQ pitmaster Big Moe Cason, and The 7 Toughest Days on Earth with adventurer and explorer Dwayne Fields from One Strange Rock producers Nutopia. Additionally, Nat Geo has given an early Season 3 renewal to Emmy-nominated docuseries Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller. Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Content, announced the news during Nat Geo’s TCA session Tuesday.
“These new series are exciting additions to our stable of popular, returnable, scalable series led by charismatic personalities,” said Monroe. “The talent at the center of each of these series have unique voices and perspectives that will undoubtedly inspire the explorer in all of us.”
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The three new series will also have a second window on Disney+.
Life Below Zero: First Alaskans expands on the Life Below Zero franchise, with Nat Geo’s first nonfiction series with a cast of Native Alaskans at its core, including representation on the production team. The series will follow Alaskan Natives who are focusing on their right to preserve their threatened ways of life, doubling down on ancient wisdom to ensure its survival for the next thousand years. The series also marks the latest expansion of the long-term production partnership on the Life Below Zero franchise between National Geographic and BBC Studios’ Los Angeles production arm. For BBC Studios, Travis Shakespeare and Joseph Litzinger are executive producers. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is executive producer, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president of production and development. Life Below Zero: First Alaskans will begin production in September.
Appetite for Adventure follows Big Moe Cason as he heads off on an epic global journey to seek out the planet’s most mouthwatering mythical dishes cooked over an open flame. After competing in over 260 BBQ contests in 35 states, Cason is “ready to hit the road in search of other ways people around the globe are cooking with fire, meeting with stewards of fantastic flavors, walking in their boots, and learning the impact these flame broiled dishes have on bonding their community.” Appetite for Adventure is produced by Hit + Run, the team behind Nat Geo Wild’s Critter Fixers: Country Vets. For Hit + Run, the executive producer is Rob Shaftel. For National Geographic, Lauren Thompson is executive producer, Matt Renner is vice president of production, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president, production and development. Appetite for Adventure will begin production in October.
The 7 Toughest Days on Earth will follow Fields as he’s dropped into some of the most extreme places on Earth — at their deadliest time — for seven days when epic natural forces combine to supersize external threats. His task is to keep himself and his small film crew alive and lead them to an extraction point, revealing incredible moments on Earth only a few have witnessed. The 7 Toughest Days On Earth is produced by Nutopia, the team behind Nat Geo’s One Strange Rock and Limitless with Chris Hemsworth. From Nutopia, executive producers are Jane Root and Sam Bagnall. For National Geographic, Chris Kugelman is executive producer, Bengt Anderson is vice president of production, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president of production and development. Production on The 7 Toughest Days On Earth will begin in winter 2021.
The season 3 renewal of Trafficked with Mariana Van Zeller comes ahead of the docuseries’ second season premiere on Wednesday, December 1 at 9 pm ET/PT on National Geographic. Episodes will also be streaming the next day on Hulu, and filming for the third season will begin this fall.
In Season 2, Peabody and duPont Award-winning journalist van Zeller goes even deeper into an exploration of the underworld’s most dangerous black markets. In the second season, van Zeller infiltrates the worlds of black market plastic surgery, romance scams, white supremacy, stolen cars, outlaw motorcycle clubs, marijuan and meth. Each episode follows van Zeller as she meets the players and learns the business, all in an effort to understand the inner workings of the world’s multitrillion-dollar shadow economy.
Season 1 of Trafficked with Mariana van Zeller was a 2021 Gracie Award winner for Best Reporter/Correspondent – Mariana van Zeller and received a 2021 Critics Choice Real TV Award nomination for Best Crime/Justice Show. The series was also recently nominated for a 2021 News and Documentary Emmy for Outstanding Business and Economic Documentary.
Trafficked is produced for National Geographic by Muck Media. From Muck Media, executive producers are Mariana van Zeller, Darren Foster and Jeff Plunkett. From National Geographic, Bengt Anderson is executive producer, Matt Renner is vice president of Production, and Alan Eyres is senior vice president of Production and Development.
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