Nat Geo Wild draws closer to U.S. cable debut

Time is drawing nearer for the spring launch of Nat Geo Wild, which is taking over the channel space formerly held by Fox Reality Channel in a deal between their parent companies – the same partnership that launched National Geographic Channel in 2001.

Today, Nat Geo Wild execs talked at the Television Critics Assn. about how their new venture will distinguish itself from the National Geographic Channel.

“We’re going to target promotion on particular nights, which are different than what we do on the core channel,” Nat Geo Wild general manager Steve Schiffman said. “We’re going to have wildlife programming that is 24/7 which is a celebration of animals. On the core channel, less than 5% of our primetime content has wildlife features. So it’s a very different genre.

“I think we’re really focused on originality and exclusivity on this channel,” National Geographic Channels International senior VP of development and production Geoff Daniels added. “Our focus is because we’re offering this as a global network, we’re combining our budgets which is going to allow us to produce a high volume of original programming for the channel. We’ve got hundreds of hours in the development pipeline right now.”

Noteworthy programs for Nat Geo Wild will include “Expedition Wild with Casey Anderson,” “Rebel Monkeys,” “Africa’s Lost Eden,” “Mystery Gorillas with Mireya Mayor” and “Predator Island with Enric Sala.”

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