WASHINGTON & LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--National Geographic Global Networks CEO Courteney Monroe announced today during the network’s session at the Television Critics Press Tour that famed adventurer and survivalist Bear Grylls (“Running Wild With Bear Grylls”) will serve as host and narrator of HOSTILE PLANET (working title), the network’s upcoming six-part docuseries that will breathe new life into the natural history genre. Executive produced by Academy Award-winning cinematographer and director Guillermo Navarro (“Pan’s Labyrinth”), Emmy-nominated producer Martha Holmes (“The Blue Planet”) and Emmy award-winning Tom Hugh-Jones (“Planet Earth II”), BAFTA winner Bear Grylls (“The Island) and BAFTA winner Delbert Shoopman (“The Island”), HOSTILE PLANET will premiere globally in spring 2019 in 172 countries and 43 languages.
From Plimsoll Productions, the series draws attention to the most extraordinary — almost supernatural — accounts of animals that have conformed to the cruelest evolutionary curveballs. Each episode characterizes one of the planet’s roughest environments — including jungles, mountains, deserts, oceans, the poles and grasslands — and how each of its inhabitants acclimate to its turn of events. Grylls will act as guide through these extreme locations as we look at the incredible ways in which animals have adapted to survive against all odds.
“I’m so proud to be hosting this poignant and epic natural history saga,” said Grylls. “Along with National Geographic and Plimsoll Productions, I hope we can not only celebrate the epic survival skills of these unique animals that live in these most hostile environments, but also underscore a sense of urgency to the effects of climate change. This is a totally fresh look at the ruthlessness and fragility of Earth. Get ready for a survival story unlike any other.”
“The name Bear Grylls is synonymous with adventure, and I cannot think of a person better suited to help us tell this story of the remarkable resiliency of life on our planet,” said Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager, Nat Geo WILD, and interim president of original programming and production, National Geographic. “Bear is not only entertaining and surprising, but his unrivalled expertise and irrepressible determination complement the story of these animals in their most dramatic, culminating moments. With his charisma and knowledge, combined with the unparalleled storytelling techniques of the creative minds at its helm, HOSTILE PLANET will reimagine the ways in which we showcase the natural world.”
Set against the backdrop of a violent and volatile climate, the epic battles for survival take on a new urgency as animals face intensified wildfires, blizzards, droughts and downpours. To some, the new challenges are too much to handle, but for others, they present new opportunities. HOSTILE PLANET is an epic drama told in an intimate manner with new camera technology that allows a close-up vantage point as the animals navigate their changing landscapes.
With Navarro’s expertise in magical realism — a hallmark of his Academy-Award-winning cinematography of the critically acclaimed film “Pan’s Labyrinth” — HOSTILE PLANET infuses a “dark fairy tale” tone into the series to underscore the beauty discovered during the most difficult times on Earth. The imagery may feel otherworldly, but it’s a realistic portrayal of the planet through the animals’ eyes.
In October 2017, National Geographic aired the first three seasons of RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS, and the network also received the first option to air additional seasons of the series produced by Bear Grylls Ventures and Electus, should they be greenlit by NBC.
HOSTILE PLANET is produced by Plimsoll Productions for National Geographic. For Plimsoll Productions, executive producers include Grant Mansfield, Andrew Jackson, Martha Holmes, Bear Grylls, Delbert Shoopman and Tom Hugh-Jones, who also serves as showrunner. Guillermo Navarro is executive producer. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is executive producer.
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About Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls has become known worldwide as one of the most recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure. His journey to this acclaim started on a small island off the U.K. coast, where his late father taught him to climb and sail. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Grylls spent three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, as part of 21st SAS Regiment. It was here that he perfected many of the survival skills that his fans all over the world enjoy, as he pits himself against the worst of Mother Nature. Despite a free-fall parachuting accident in Africa, where he broke his back in three places and endured many months in military rehabilitation, Grylls went on to become one of the youngest climbers ever to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
He then went on to star in seven seasons of the Discovery Channel’s Emmy award-nominated “Man vs. Wild” TV series, which became one of the most watched shows on the planet, reaching an estimated 1.2 billion viewers. Since then he has hosted more extreme adventure TV shows across more global networks than anyone else in the world, including the BAFTA award-winning “The Island With Bear Grylls,” “Bear Grylls’ Survival School,” “Man vs. Wild,” “Running Wild” for NBC and “Absolute Wild” for Chinese TV. He is a No. 1 best-selling author, an honorary colonel to the Royal Marine Commandos and the youngest-ever chief scout, an inspiration to 55 million scouts worldwide.
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
About Guillermo Navarro
Guillermo Navarro has transitioned to a television directing career after a tremendous career in cinematography. He won the Academy Award for his work on “Pan’s Labyrinth” and received acclaim for his work on “Pacific Rim,” “Twilight” and “Night at the Museum.” In the television world, he directed many episodes of “Hannibal” as well as episodes of “Narcos,” “The Bridge” and “Preacher.” He also recently directed “Cocaine Godmother.”
About Plimsoll Productions
Plimsoll Productions creates and produces nonscripted programming for the international television market from offices in Bristol, Los Angeles and Cardiff. The award-winning creative team has produced some of the biggest factual hits of recent years, winning Emmy awards as well as top honors from BAFTA and RTS. Since launching five years ago, the company has produced over 40 series for domestic and international networks, including Earth Live (Nat Geo), “Rescue Dog to Super Dog” (Animal Planet), “Teach My Pet to Do That” (ITV) as well as the upcoming “Camp Zambia” (Love Nature, Smithsonian Networks) and Yellowstone Live (Nat Geo) among many more. Last year, the company earned the fifth position in the Sunday Times’ annual Fast Track 100, and the British Chamber of Commerce awarded the company the High Growth Business of the Year award, making Plimsoll the first independent production company to ever be honored with the award.