Narrated by Ryan Reynolds, the series will spotlight the unique and unpredictable behaviors of a cast of little-known animal characters in the natural world, including their camouflage techniques, parenting skills and courtship rituals.
“I love nature series and I love making things my kids can actually watch,” Reynolds said in a statement. “We’re already having a lot of fun trying to bring a new voice to animal docs. Wildstar has the expertise, experience and cutting-edge film tech to help us chew up that healthy National Geographic budget. We’ll deliver a show that is entertaining, surprising and will do justice to animals usually stuck as supporting cast.”
From National Geographic Content, “Underdogs” will be produced by Wildstar Films and Reynold’s Maximum Effort. Executive producers include Reynolds and George Dewey for Maximum Effort, along with Vanessa Berlowitz, Mark Linfield and Dan Rees for Wildstar. Dave Denny will serve as series producer.
“‘Underdogs’ represents an entirely fresh take on the natural history genre that is sure to delight and inform audiences of all ages,” said Courteney Monroe, National Geographic Content president. “With Ryan and Maximum Effort’s irreverent spirit and Wildstar’s award-winning expertise in wildlife storytelling, we have assembled the perfect team to tell the entertaining stories of nature’s unsung heroes with both humor and heart.”
Added Rees, “’Underdogs’ explores the animal world with a fresh, fun and highly entertaining perspective. Partnering so closely with Ryan and Maximum Effort has allowed us to bake in their inimitable humor every step of the way – from conception to delivery of this unique series. As a result, ‘Underdogs’ will make you snort with laughter and possibly even spill your coffee on your lap, but ultimately it puts a new spotlight on some of the weirder and less explored denizens of our planet, and all underpinned by sound science and research.”
In addition, National Geographic has greenlit two unscripted anthology franchises: “One Day in America” and an unnamed franchise that will explore the biggest natural disasters in recent history.
The “One Day in America” franchise, which launched with 2021’s “9/11: One Day in America,” will next focus on “The Cult: One Day in Jonestown,” a three-part series focusing on the mass suicide of 900 people at a cult temple run by Jim Jones, and “JFK: One Day in America.” The John F. Kennedy three-part series, which follows the assassination of the former U.S. President, features new and archival interviews with eyewitnesses, police radio recordings and live broadcasts. David Glover, TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay serve as executive producers on both series.
In the natural disaster franchise, current projects include a five-part series on Hurricane Katrina (with working title “Katrina”) and a series on the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami (with working title “Tsunami”). The “Katrina” series is executive produced by Danny Horan, Tanya Winston and Daniel Bogado, while Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn serve as executive producers on “Tsunami.”
Watch the official teaser for “Underdogs” below.