Vets – and specifically Dr. Pol – remains a big focus of Nat Geo Wild’s programming slate as the network revealed its 2019-20 programming plans ahead of its upfront presentation as part of Disney on Tuesday.
Nat Geo Wild will bring back its longest-running and highest-rated series The Incredible Dr. Pol, starring Dutch-American vet Dr. Jan Pol, for season 16. Dr. Pol also will star in two holiday-themed specials: 12 Days of Pol and 4th of Pol-y.
The channel also renewed other series starring vets, including Dr. Oakley: Yukon Vet and Dr. K’s Exotic Animal ER along with Snake City.
And with its new series orders, Nat Geo Wild doubled-down on vets, including shows such as Critter Fixers, which follows two friends who own the Critter Fixer Veterinary Hospital outside of Atlanta; Homestead Vets, featuring a husband-and-wife vet team who care for farm animals in America’s heartland; and Lonestar Vet, telling the story of Dr. Lauren Thielen, who returns to her home state of Texas to open an exotic animal hospital where she treats everything from armadillos to emus.
Other series ordered include Animal SOS, which focuses on wildlife rescuers in India who protect animals such as elephants, tigers, leopards and hyenas from human encounters; Prairie Dog Manor, about a thriving prairie-dog colony on the Colorado-New Mexico border; and Zoo Tampa, which goes behind the scenes at the Florida animal park.
Besides the Dr. Pol holiday specials, Nat Geo Wild also picked up natural history film Kingdom of the White Wolf, which follows National Geographic Explorer and photographer Ronan Donovan as he embeds himself with a wolf pack in the Arctic; and Rise of the Black Panther, which tells the story of Saaya, the black leopard. Similarly, Wildcats of India takes a look at the big cats that patrol the Indian subcontinent. Finally, March of the Polar Bears follows a team of guides as they prepare for the first-ever attempt to follow the polar bears of Hudson Bay as they move to the surrounding sea ice.
Returning are fan favorites such as “SharkFest” (not to be confused with Discovery’s “Shark Week,” although Nat Geo Wild is fine if you get confused and watch “SharkFest” instead) and Thanksgiving’s marathon of vet-themed programming, “Vetsgiving.”
Meanwhile mother channel National Geographic on Friday placed an order for global event series Queens, which tells stories of distinctively feminine behavior in animals, including hyenas, elephants, ring-tailed lemurs, insects, primates and killer whales. An all-female team from Wildstar Production is producing the natural-history series with Vanessa Berlowitz executive producing.