Nature Gets Up to Monkey Business With Primates, a New Miniseries Premiering
Wednesdays, November 4-18 at 8 p.m. on PBS
Visit 17 countries to uncover the mysteries of countless species, including gorillas, orangutans, lemurs, macaques and more
Welcome to the planet of the apes. Primates are called the highest order of animal on the planet. With their big brains, they are smart and adaptable; they use tools, self-medicate, hunt and swim. They are social and political, form hierarchies and friendships and can be very mischievous. Get to know the many species of primates, from the familiar chimpanzee and gorilla, to the more obscure species like the owl monkey, the tamarin, the barbary macaque and many more in the three-part miniseries Nature: Primates, premiering nationwide Wednesdays, November 4-18 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/primates and the PBS Video app.
Filmed across the globe over two years on 28 filming expeditions, from snow-capped mountains to the hottest deserts, Nature: Primates combines family drama with the latest science. Uncover primates’ complex relationship dynamics, how they learn to hunt and feed, their courtship rituals and more. Discover the unexpected reason a silverback father chooses not to engage in gorilla warfare, watch macaques go bananas in pursuit of food in populated areas, and learn why “King of the Swingers” is a gibbon title.
Advances in technology allowed the team behind Nature: Primates to film several extremely rare or never-before-seen moments, including one of the first images of the bald uakari and the recently discovered Tapanuli orangutan. In Equatorial Guinea, one team spent more than two months camped on a remote beach to capture the most intimate images ever seen of a drill, one of the world’s least understood primates. In Sri Lanka, another crew captured the very first low-light color images of the elusive gray slender loris at night in the wild. In Malaysia, experience the lar gibbons’ canopy world from their perspective — a filmmaking first.
Episode 1, “Secrets of Survival,” premieres Wednesday, November 4 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/primates and the PBS Video app.
Monkey see, monkey do. From baboons facing down leopards, to lemurs exploiting a jungle pharmacy or rhesus macaques charming their way to an easy life, discover the survival strategies used by primates, often in the most unexpected places. Bearded capuchins, counted among the smartest animals in the world, teach their young how to use tools in Brazil’s badlands. A silverback gorilla gives in to his softer side to raise his boisterous offspring in the Congo basin. Bush babies conduct an after-hours raid of a city zoo to find food in the South African winter.
Episode 2, “Family Matters,” premieres Wednesday, November 11 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/primates and the PBS Video app.
Family is everything for primates. They have the most complex social lives of any animal group on the planet. Meet devoted monkeys’ uncles, playmate apes and tender troops. Dusky leaf monkeys compete to babysit a bright orange infant and rally to defend him from a python. Gibbons learn treetop acrobatics with their playmates. In Sri Lanka, a single gray slender loris mother takes care of her twins— the most intimate video ever captured of the species. In the Amazon, an elder female spider monkey leads her troop to a unique food resource. See the first moving images of a Tapanuli orangutan mother and her infant, discovered to be a new species in 2017.
Episode 3, “Protecting Primates,” premieres Wednesday, November 18 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/primates and the PBS Video app.
More than half of the world’s primates are under threat. Meet the scientists making ground-breaking discoveries to safeguard their future. In Malaysia, conservationists are building bridges to help dusky langurs cross busy roads. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, rangers face danger while trying to protect mountain gorillas. Conservationists in Borneo help prepare orangutan orphans for life in the wild. Two ecologists team up to locate some of Madagascar’s most elusive lemurs, and one renowned primatologist becomes the first person to see every genus of primate that exists.
Now in its 39th season on PBS, Nature brings the wonders of natural history to millions of American viewers. The series has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 19 Emmys and three Peabody Awards. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).
Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer; Bill Murphy is Series Producer; Janet Hess is Series Editor; and Danielle Steinberg is Digital Content & Strategy Lead. Primates is a BBC Studios production for PBS and BBC with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC. Produced and directed by Nikki Waldron, Nick Easton and Victoria Buckley. Gavin Boyland is Series Producer and Michael Gunton is Executive Producer for BBC Studios. Nyambi Nyambi is narrator.
Support for Nature is made possible in part by The Arnhold Family in memory of Henry and Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, The Fairweather Foundation, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Charles Rosenblum, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, Sandra Atlas Bass, The Hite Foundation, Doris R. and Robert J. Thomas, Bradley L. Goldberg Family Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by public television viewers.
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station: parent company of New York’s THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its new ALL ARTS multi-platform initiative, its broadcast channels, three cable services (THIRTEEN PBSKids, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each month. WNET produces and presents a wide range of acclaimed PBS series, including Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, and the nightly interview program Amanpour and Company. In addition, WNET produces numerous documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings, as well as multi-platform initiatives addressing poverty and climate. Through THIRTEEN Passport and WLIW Passport, station members can stream new and archival THIRTEEN, WLIW and PBS programming anytime, anywhere.
About BBC Studios
BBC Studios, a global content company with British creativity at its heart, is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC Group. Able to take an idea seamlessly from thought to screen, it spans content financing, development, production, sales, branded services, and ancillaries from both its own productions and programmes and formats made by high-quality UK independents. Award-winning British programmes made by the business are internationally recognised across a broad range of genres and specialisms, including factual, drama, entertainment and comedy. BBC Studios has offices in 22 markets globally, including six production bases in the UK and production bases and partnerships in a further nine countries around the world. The company, which makes around 2,500 hours of content a year, is a champion for British creativity around the world and a committed partner for the UK’s independent sector. Created in April 2018 by the merger of two existing commercial subsidiaries, BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, the company has revenue of around £1.4bn. In the year to March 2019, it returned £243m to the BBC Group, complementing the BBC’s licence fee and enhancing programmes for UK audiences. Learn more at bbcstudios.com.