Honeyborne is an internationally acclaimed producer of blue-chip natural history programming. He recently left U.K. pubcaster the BBC’s Natural History Unit to set up his own banner, Freeborne Media, with director Renee Godfrey. They have inked a multiyear deal to make natural history and science programming for Netflix, the streamer said Wednesday.
Netflix is pushing more deeply into natural history originals. It has already greenlit “Our Planet,” a huge-scale eight-part wildlife series that will be voiced by the naturalist and broadcaster David Attenborough. It is being produced by another well-known ex-BBC natural history producer from the U.K., Alastair Fothergill, through his Silverback banner.
In a long career at the BBC’s vaunted Natural History Unit, Honeyborne made more than 30 shows including “Blue Planet II” and “Africa.” Godfrey’s credits include “Tribe” and “Human Planet.”
Freeborne is based in Bristol, England, the center for the U.K.’s well-regarded wildlife filmmaking community. “There is a pressing need to tell important, surprising and inspiring stories about our world,” Honeyborne said. He added that “working with Netflix means we can create game-changing documentaries that can reach and engage a huge global audience.”
“James has created some of the most captivating natural history series of our time, with breathtaking sweep and vision,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of documentaries and comedy at Netflix. “I am thrilled that he will be working with us at Netflix, bringing his unique exploration of the wonders of the natural world to our viewers.”
Deadline was the first to report the news.