In April 1970, millions of people around the world mobilized to demand protection of the planet we call home. That historic day gave birth to the modern environmental movement known as Earth Day, and 50 years later it’s become the planet’s largest civic event, with more than a billion people participating each year. On this momentous occasion, people worldwide would normally step outside to help clean up our planet, plant trees and restore the beauty of Earth. But this isn’t a normal year; this year is different — very different. While most of the world is stuck indoors, National Geographic is bringing the natural world inside to inspire hope and awe for the planet.
At a time when people around our interconnected world need hope more than ever, National Geographic commemorates Earth Day with two primetime global, emotionally evocative specials that inspire hope for our dynamic planet, love for its animal inhabitants and actions of stewardship for this generation and those to come.
Beginning at 8/7c, simulcast on National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD, prepare for cuteness overload from around the world when BORN WILD: THE NEXT GENERATION premieres. Immediately afterward, at 9/8c on National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD and streaming on Disney+ and Hulu beginning that day, the two-hour documentary special JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE takes viewers through chapters of Dr. Goodall’s journey, highlighting how she inspires future generations. Both programs will air globally on National Geographic in 172 countries and 43 languages.
“The need to protect our planet has never been more urgent, and we’re using Earth Day 50th as an opportunity to inspire viewers through the wonders of our planet and its incredible species for viewers around the world,” said Courteney Monroe, president, National Geographic Global Television Networks. “With the Earth Day takeover across all of our networks and platforms, we are able to reach the largest audience possible to celebrate this momentous day and ensure that viewers fall in love with our planet and act to protect it.”
National Geographic’s Earth Day event also features the very best of natural-history programming, including recent feature documentaries such as JANE and BEFORE THE FLOOD;an array of Destination WILD natural history specials; and Joel Sartore’s PHOTO ARK: RAREST CREATURES.Throughout the day, additional featurettes will showcase the National Geographic Explorers and photographers working around the world to protect and honor our planet. The full programming line-up for the day is attached.
This daylong Earth Day programming across National Geographic’s networks complements efforts by the company’s full portfolio. National Geographic magazine’s April issue is timed to Earth Day and explores broad issues affecting the planet today. It is the magazine’s first-ever flip issue, as two mini-magazines take an optimistic and a pessimistic vision of 2070. The issue can be found online at natgeo.com/earthday and on newsstands now.
A special “Save the Animals!” issue of National Geographic Kids magazine, on newsstands now, focuses on five previously endangered animals that have made a comeback and is packed with kid-friendly tips on how we can continue to save animals. An Earth Day Kids digital hub — natgeokids.com/EarthDay — offers family guides with resources and activities to raise awareness about and help wildlife conservation. This fun site, available now, includes an exclusive “Which Comeback Animal Are You?” personality quiz.
ABOUT BORN WILD: THE NEXT GENERATION
Produced in tandem with ABC News and hosted by “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts, BORN WILD: THE NEXT GENERATION features National Geographic Explorers and photographers,global superstar Chris Hemsworth and leading ABC News anchors and correspondents who present stories of hope, taking viewers on a journey into the most fascinating, breathtaking environments around the world to witness and celebrate the diversity and resilience of charismatic baby animals, their families and habitats. The dynamic special gives viewers a revealing look at Earth’s next generation of animals and their ecosystems, which face challenging environmental changes. The animals’ existence and habitats are essential for a healthy planet.
BORN WILD: THE NEXT GENERATION showcases diverse geographic locations where both land and aquatic animals deserve special attention. Through cinematically sweeping segments, our cameras spotlight epic stories of life on Earth and provide unprecedented access to the following:
- Humpback Whale Calves in the Waters of Hawaii — National Geographic Explorer and renowned marine photographer Brian Skerry encounters baby humpback whales and their mothers. The tender moments shared between these gentle giants help viewers appreciate the importance of their precious ocean sanctuary.
- Lion Cubs in the Savannas of Kenya — Big cat experts, conservationists and National Geographic Explorers Dereck and Beverly Joubert and “Nightline” co-anchor Juju Chang embark on an up-close-and-personal journey to locate a specific pride of lions, which the Jouberts have been following for years. Across the African continent, the next generation of lion cubs are under threats from habitat loss, poaching and trophy hunting.
- Black Bear Cubs in the Forests of Minnesota — National Geographic Explorer and wildlife ecologist Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant and ABC News’ chief meteorologist Ginger Zee join a group of renowned researchers leading a long-term study of black bears. The team encounters newborn black bear cubs, adorable additions to a population that is learning to adapt to an ever-changing world.
- Baby Primates in the Jungles of Sri Lanka — National Geographic Explorer Sandesh Kadur travels to a nature reserve among Buddhist temple ruins to meet with primatologist Dr. Wolfgang Dittus, to experience monkey society up close and personal.
- Harp Seal Pups on the Icy Floes of Canada — National Geographic photographer Jennifer Hayes and “Good Morning America” correspondent T.J. Holmes set out on Prince Edward Island to witness the magic of harp seal pups being cared for by their mothers.
- Koala Joeys in Australia’s Reserves — Global movie star Chris Hemsworth takes us to the wildlife rescue group Friends of the Koala in New South Wales, Australia. There he tells the stories of two young koalas: Ember, a survivor of the recent wildfires, and Dimples, a joey orphan being hand-raised to return to the wild.
ABOUT JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE
Continuing the optimism of Earth Day is the two-hour documentary JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE, premiering at 9/8c on National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD, and streaming on Disney+ and Hulu that same night. The sweeping film highlights Dr. Goodall’s vast legacy of four decades, having transformed environmentalism, nonhuman animal welfare and conservation through her innovative approaches, and becoming a worldwide icon. This special depicts the formation of the Jane Goodall Institute’s (JGI’s) “Tacare” community-centered conservation approach and Roots & Shoots youth-empowerment program; her remarkable advocacy and leadership on behalf of chimpanzees and humanity; and the next chapter for generations to come. This singular story is of one remarkable woman who not only hoped for a better world — she achieved it!
“Being out in the forest of Gombe, I had a great sense of spiritual awareness; I began to realize that everything is interconnected,” said Goodall. “Since then, every day, it’s become clearer that climate change is an existential threat to our natural world, and if we destroy this world, we destroy our own future. Each day, every single person has the chance to make an impact through small, thoughtful choices, and when billions of people make the right choices, we start to transform the world. Don’t give up; there’s always a way forward.”
Picking up where National Geographic Documentary Films’ 2017 award-winning JANE left off, the two-hour special follows Goodall throughout her constant travels, capturing her relentless commitment and determination to spread a message of hope. The film offers an intimate perspective of Goodall’s pivotal transformation from scientist to inspirational activist and leader in holistic conservation. Featuring an extensive collection of photographs and footage that spans more than seven decades, the documentary illustrates how her passion for wildlife and unshakable drive has persevered, making her one of the most important figures in wildlife conservation and someone who has galvanized future generations to create lasting change.
Expanding upon Goodall’s past and highlighting the ways in which she has changed the world, the film features The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry, who has been a leader in conservation and global environmental issues, and presents exclusive interviews with James Baker, former U.S. secretary of state, who received the first JGI International Conservation Award for his work with chimpanzees. It also features interviews with Dr. Richard Wrangham, a professor of biological anthropology at Harvard University, who founded the Kibale Chimpanzee Project; Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), who championed for the retirement of all government research chimpanzees from the NIH after speaking with Goodall; world-famous Dr. Robert Gallo, co-founder and director of the Institute of Human Virology, who co-discovered HIV, the cause of AIDS, in 1984; and many others.
Expanding upon National Geographic’s tribute to Goodall, the National Geographic Museum partnered with JGI for its current exhibition “Becoming Jane: The Evolution of Dr. Jane Goodall” in Washington, D.C., which celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Jane Goodall. The exhibition is temporarily closed, but audiences now for the first time, have the opportunity to take a virtual tour from the comfort of their homes.
BORN WILD: THE NEXT GENERATION is produced in partnership with ABC News. John R. Green serves as executive producer and Ann Prum is co-executive producer for ABC. Morgan Zalkin serves as executive broadcast producer. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs is executive producer and Drew Jones is supervising producer.
JANE GOODALL: THE HOPE is produced by Lucky 8 for National Geographic in partnership with Dr. Jane Goodall and the staff of JGI. For Lucky 8, executive producers are Kim Woodard, Greg Henry, George Kralovansky and Isaac Holub. The special is produced and directed by Kim Woodard and Elizabeth Leiter. For National Geographic, executive producer is Tracy Rudolph Jackson, senior vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering, and executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment is Geoff Daniels.