National Geographic Channel Greenlights Three New Reality Survival Series

National Geographic Channel has greenlit three new reality survival series it says are about “guts and glory, pushing the limits of exploration and adventure.”

Tim Pastore, president, original programming and production, National Geographic Channel U.S., today announced The Raft, Remote Survival and The Watch.

It’s the first major programming announcement since July, when, Tim Pastore was named president of original programming and production at National Geographic Channel U.S. less than a year after he’d joined National Geographic Studios, the production arm of the National Geographic Society.  That hire completed the overhaul at the top of the Channel, which started in April when CEO David Lyle and president Howard Owens stepped down, and the network’s head of marketing, Courteney Monroe, was upped to CEO, with David Hill, Senior EVP of 21st Century Fox and a member of the National Geographic Channels Board of Directors, regaining oversight as Chairman of National Geographic Channels U.S.

(In October, the channel announced it had ordered Rafting Alaska from Gurney Productions,  about log-rafting Alaskans on the Yukon River,  to premiere in summer ’15.)

NatGeo, in its announcement, said the three new series are part of a strategy to focus on programming “that tests the limits of human survival, providing inside access into daring lifestyles and pioneering spirits of real people who either choose to live their lives on the edge of civilization or push themselves to the brink of human endurance.” In this programming thread, the channel lists Wicked Tuna, Life Below Zero, Ultimate Survivor Alaska and the new series Live Free Or Die.

“We’re working with trusted partners, taking risks and breaking new ground in showcasing diverse and fearless human stories,” Pastore said in today’s announcement. “Our audience continues to look to us for original, authentic and unexpected programming that embodies a sense of exploration and fortitude that is inherent of the National Geographic legacy,  and these new series represent our continued effort to find new ways to bring these stories to our viewers.”

From today’s announcement:

The Raft (Brian Catalina Entertainment in association with Electus, LLC, U.S. only)

Premieres Spring 2015

From Brian Catalina Entertainment, the creator of NGC’s hit series Ultimate Survivor Alaska, and in association with multimedia studio Electus, LLC, comes the next great reality adventure series. Two pairs of strangers are dropped in a life raft into the ocean, miles away from the closest land. They are left stranded at sea for six days. Armed with their guts and driven by adrenaline, their goal is to survive in the middle of the ocean with limited supplies and get back to the mainland before their time is up. The thrill of watching who has what it takes to survive in the open water is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat.

Remote Survival (Eyeworks USA, Global)

Premieres Winter 2015

If you were left alone in the wilderness, would you be able to survive if the only help you had was an outdoor survival expert giving you lifesaving direction … in your ear? National Geographic Channel tests the tenacity and techniques of individuals dropped in the middle of nowhere with this new twist on the survival format. With no previous survival experience, no shelter and no food, all they have is the help of a survivalist watching their every move from a remote location with the latest surveillance technology, guiding them through the harshest landscapes to help them get out alive.

The Watch (National Geographic Studios, Global) 

Premieres Spring 2015

There is a hidden world where the most hardened, independent and obsessive individuals have made a choice to live in solitude. They are the lighthouse keepers, the night watchmen, the lone wolves who once lived among us but now are on solitary patrol against foes and predators, real and imagined. The Watch is their watch of the restless seas, the blackest skies and the phantom prowlers. And The Watch is our watch of them, thanks to surveillance cameras that follow their every move. The result is equal parts anthropology and a unique brand of psychological thriller.



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