Nat Geo Launches Genre-Busting Hostile Planet

Nat Geo nature doc-series Hostile Planet premieres tonight, April 1 at 9p. Geoff Daniels, EVP of Global Unscripted Entertainment at the network, shares how the series is refreshing the genre – and why its host was a Bear necessity.

Cynopsis: How is Hostile Planet pushing the boundaries of the genre?

Geoff Daniels: By combining the creative talents and perspectives of Academy Award-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, world-renowned survival expert Bear Grylls and the extraordinary talents of the team at Plimsoll, we were determined to deliver a landmark event series that’s not your typical mother nature show. Instead, Hostile Planet pushes hard into the breathtaking and intimate realities of animals fighting for their lives in the most extreme and increasingly volatile environments on Earth, telling the story through their eyes as we witness the triumph of life against all odds. To achieve this, we used an arsenal of groundbreaking camera technologies, an absolute commitment to cinematic storytelling and true grit in the field to create a game-changing experience of the natural world that will take our viewers to places beyond their wildest imaginations.

Cynopsis: How did Bear Grylls enter the picture?

Daniels: We wanted to send a message to audiences around the world that this was going to be a bolder, more distinct and powerful series than anything we’ve attempted before. In Bear we couldn’t have found a more perfect fit. Not only is he an incredibly dynamic presenter, but his survival experience injects intensity, urgency and determination into every scene — because he has been through what these animals face every day and knows the stakes firsthand. That gave us an unmistakable edge and level of authenticity that I have no doubt will be an incredible draw for his legion of fans — and ours.

Cynopsis: What is Nat Geo’s mission in unscripted content moving forward?

Daniels: Bold, impactful, premium storytelling is at the center of everything we do. With all our programming, we’re looking for stories that captivate, enlighten and enable our audiences to find a deeper connection to the world and an understanding of their place in it. So, we look to take traditional genres like science, exploration and natural history — and with innovative and ambitious swings in partnership with the most brilliant creative minds on the planet — and create experiences across all our platforms that are as authentic, powerful and dynamic as National Geographic itself. All of this is done in service of inspiring the next generation of explorers to join us on a lifelong quest to unlock the wonders of this amazing planet and make it a better place for all of us to live.

The Cynsiders column is a platform for industry leaders to reach out to colleagues, followers, and the public at large. In their own words and in targeted Q&As, columnists address breaking news, issues of the day, and the larger changes going on in the ever-evolving world of television, video and digital. Cynsiders columns live on Cynopsis’ main page and are promoted across all daily newsletters. We welcome readers’ comments, queries, and column ideas at Lynn@Cynopsis.com.

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