THIRTEEN’s Nature Brings the Natural World to Life in
New Season Wednesdays at 8 p.m. beginning October 24 on PBS (check local listings)
The landmark series returns with new documentaries about cats, dogs, squirrels, horses, Vikings, volcanoes and more, culminating in live three-part special
Preview Season 37 at pbs.org/nature
(NEW YORK – September 17, 2018) This fall, THIRTEEN’s Emmy and Peabody Award-winning series Nature returns to PBS for its 37th season, presenting new episodes Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on PBS beginning October 24 (check local listings) with Super Cats, A Nature Miniseries, which introduces wild cat behavior captured on film for the first time.
Visiting destinations across the world, Nature provides an awe-inspiring look into the lives of a diverse group of wildlife. From a tiny squirrel’s successful exploits, to the perilous journey of newborn polar bear cubs leaving their den for the first time, to the precious life inside an egg, the new season focuses on the emotional stories of heartbreak and triumph in the natural world, utilizing the latest filmmaking techniques to capture footage never seen before. Each documentary will stream the day after the broadcast premiere via pbs.org/nature and PBS OTT apps.
Nature will culminate its season in May 2019 with a live television event, Spring Live (w.t.), which will follow a large group of researchers, scientists, and citizens as they investigate – in real time – how nature and wildlife respond to the change of seasons, in ecosystems ranging from Montana’s Rocky Mountains to Florida’s Everglades, from inner-city parks on the East Coast to remote wilderness preserves in the desert Southwest.
New documentaries in Nature Season 37 include:
Super Cats, A Nature Miniseries (three-part series)
Premieres Wednesdays, October 24-November 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Stalking in the shadows, prowling almost every continent, cats are among the world’s most diverse and successful predators. But there is far more to these charismatic and misunderstood animals. Filmed over 600 days in 14 countries and featuring 31 species of cat, this groundbreaking three-part miniseries narrated by F. Murray Abraham uncovers the secret lives of big cats and introduces behaviors captured on film for the first time, using the latest camera technology and scientific research. From the solitary bachelor snow leopard in the Himalayas, to the very elusive swamp tiger of South Asia, to the tiny but deadly black-footed cat in South Africa, Nature brings these animal superstars out of the shadows.
Nature: A Squirrel’s Guide to Success
Premieres Wednesday, November 14 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
The squirrel family, from tiny chipmunks to big prairie dogs, is one of the most widespread on Earth. There are almost 300 species of squirrels that can glide through the air, outwit rattlesnakes, and survive the coldest temperatures of any mammal. So what is the secret to their success? Uncover the extraordinary abilities of these cheeky nut lovers as a filmmaker puts their problem-solving to the test on a specially designed obstacle course. Join some of the world’s top squirrel scientists who are making ground breaking discoveries – from the brainy fox squirrel who can remember the location of 9,000 nuts, to the acrobatic gray squirrel whose tree-top leaps are the basis of new designs in robotics. And see the world through the eyes of an orphan red squirrel called Billy, as he grows up and develops all the skills he will need to be released back to the wild.
Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions
Premieres Wednesday, November 21 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Filmed over two years by cinematographer Kim Wolhuter (Nature: The Cheetah Children), Nature: Dogs in the Land of Lions takes viewers into the heart of an African wild dog family. When lions kill her mate, a wild dog mother called Puzzles suddenly must raise two generations of pups all on her own without the help of a pack. Witness the loyalty and selflessness that sets wild dogs apart from other large, social carnivores in this deeply intimate portrayal of motherhood. But in this unforgiving Zimbabwe wilderness, it turns out the top dogs are the big cats. Lions are the wild dogs’ ultimate enemies. The young dogs provide some light-hearted moments while discovering the world around them, but as they grow up, they must face these eternal enemies on their journey to independence.
Nature: Snow Bears
Premieres Wednesday, November 28 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Set against the harsh backdrop of the Arctic, Nature: Snow Bears is a dramatized story based on the extraordinary adventures and life-changing journey of newborn polar bear cubs as they leave the safety of their den for the first time. Bravely led by their mother, the cubs must make the perilous 400-mile voyage to the sea to feed. Encountering many dangers and adventures along the way — marauding male bears ready to kill, extreme weather, Arctic foxes, Walruses, Narwhal whales, snowdrifts and ice cracks — they undertake an epic survival challenge. These cubs are rarely seen in their natural habitat, and this is a unique glimpse into their world. Kate Winslet narrates.
Nature: Attenborough and the Sea Dragon
Premieres Wednesday, January 9 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
A remarkable chance discovery is about to reveal secrets that have laid hidden for 200 million years. A super predator that ruled the ocean at the time of the dinosaurs was found in a crumbling cliff face. It’s an Ichthyosaur, a fish lizard. Older than dinosaurs, these fearsome predators had the very best characteristics of reptiles and mammals in one formidable package. They could regulate their own body temperature, had astonishingly acute eyesight, and combined speed, sensitive “prey-detecting” organs and an impressive set of teeth to hunt successfully. Sir David Attenborough hosts this detective story, from the challenging onsite extraction of the fossils to the 3D reconstruction of the creature. He looks at evidence from animals across the world to try and piece together how this “sea dragon” lived.
Nature: Equus: Story of the Horse (two-part series)
Premieres Wednesdays, January 16-23 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
The relationship between man and his noble steed is almost as old as civilization itself, allowing our species to explore, conquer and flourish side by side with the horse. Nature traces this revolutionizing partnership with anthropologist Niobe Thompson, who treks around the world in search of the moment when man first climbed into the saddle and explains how the relationship between humans and horses has evolved in today’s modern world. Discover the habits of these majestic animals and their unique biological makeup, which made them a perfect fit for our ancestors. Ride along with the world’s last nomadic tribes, who view the horse not just as an animal, but a means of survival. Witness the return of horses to the wild as mankind preserves the hardest-working animal partners we’ve ever had. Locations in this two-part series include Mongolia, Montana, Kentucky, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Siberia, and Sable Island, Nova Scotia.
Nature: Wild Way of the Vikings
Premieres Wednesday, February 13 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Experience the natural world through the eyes of the Vikings, when nature meets history in a journey showcasing the wildlife of the North Atlantic. Combining blue-chip natural history filmmaking and dramatic recreations, Nature travels from Norway to Newfoundland, just as the seafaring warriors did in 1,000 A.D., to get a glimpse of the Vikings’ world in the Americas hundreds of years before Columbus. Experience the deep history and cultural respect the Vikings had with the land and sea: from the killer whales of the North Sea to the puffins and otters of the Scottish coast to the volcanic mounts of Iceland and the frozen tundra of Greenland. Go back to the age where Vikings ruled the northern seas; when their only compass was the birds in the sky and the whales pushing through the icy waters. Ewan McGregor narrates.
Nature: Volcano Day (w.t.)
Premieres Wednesday, February 20 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
Volcanoes are the portal to the earth’s fiery magma heart; one might imagine that life above ground would avoid living nearby. But a surprising number of animals survive and thrive alongside them. Right now, in any 24-hour period, some 30 volcanoes are erupting on our planet. This film will uncover the varied activity – both human and natural – that occurs on the slopes of active volcanoes. All life on Earth owes itself to their existence. Volcanos create the land we live on, emit gas that forms the air we breathe, spew minerals from the center of the Earth and make homes for spectacular natural history – they are the source of life.
Nature: The Incredible Egg with David Attenborough (w.t.)
Premieres Wednesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
The egg is perhaps nature’s most perfect life support system. These remarkable structures nurture new life; protecting it from the outside world at the same time as allowing it to breathe. They are strong enough to withstand the full weight of an incubating parent and weak enough for a hatchling to break free. But how is an egg made? Why are they the shape they are? And perhaps most importantly, why lay an egg at all? Step by step as the egg hatches, host David Attenborough reveals the wonder behind these incredible miracles of nature.
American Spring: LIVE on PBS (w.t.) (three-part live event)
Premieres April 29 – May 1 at 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
It is one of nature’s greatest performances. Spring is a symphony in green, a time of renewed energy, an awakening. For both plants and animals, age-old survival strategies are on full display at this time of year, and intimate relationships are laid bare. The transformations wrought by this season can be sudden and dramatic – epic migrations culminate in dazzling displays. Or they can be intimate and barely perceptible – like the seduction of a bumblebee by a blossom. American Spring LIVE will be an unprecedented Nature event, broadcast over three consecutive days from iconic locations across North America – varied ecosystems ranging from the Rockies to the Everglades, from inner-city parks to remote wilderness preserves. A diverse group of researchers and citizen scientists will investigate in real time how a wide range of organisms respond to the change of seasons. They will share their insights into the natural world and reveal new technologies that make their discoveries possible. A strong social media component will encourage the audience to participate in the event on a second screen, inspiring them to join in the adventure of science.
Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Throughout its history, the series has brought the natural world to millions of viewers and been consistently among the most-watched primetime series on public television.
Nature has won more than 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities and environmental organizations, including 18 Emmys and three Peabodys. The series received two of the wildlife film industry’s highest honors: the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award, given by the Wildscreen Festival, and the Grand Teton Award, given by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. The International Wildlife Film Festival honored Nature executive producer Fred Kaufman with its Lifetime Achievement Award for Media.
Nature’s award-winning website, pbs.org/nature, features full episodes, short films, behind-the-scenes content, nature-related articles, educational resources and more.
Nature is a production of THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET and PBS. Fred Kaufman is executive producer. Bill Murphy is series producer.
Support for Nature is made possible in part by the Arnhold Family in memory of Clarisse Arnhold, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust, Kathy Chiao and Ken Hao, the Anderson Family Fund, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, Rosalind P. Walter, the Halmi Family in memory of Robert Halmi, Sr., Sandra Atlas Bass, by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by the nation’s public television stations.
WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through 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 week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! And Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history experience. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Theater Close-Up, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender identity, First Person. Through multi-platform initiatives Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America and Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change, WNET showcases the human stories around these issues and promising solutions. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere: www.thirteen.org/passport.