At the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, National Geographic announced details on a new documentary series, “Secrets Of The Penguins”. This is an expansion of the “Secrets Of” franchise, which includes “Secrets Of The Whales” and the upcoming “Secrets Of The Elephants” series, which are released on Earth Day. Next years special will be “Secrets of the Octopus”.
Three years in the making, 20 years after the Academy Award-winning March of the Penguins, Secrets of the Penguins will tell a brand new, world-first story on the charismatic, plucky and sentient birds at the other end of the Earth. Using newly developed technology, world-class scientific research and unprecedented access, National Geographic will unlock the secrets of the species that make their home in surprising and challenging landscapes around the world.
Over three episodes, the series unlocks previously untold stories and revelatory behaviors from global penguin societies, quick to feel love, hate or fear. Antarctica’s strong, powerful but sensitive emperors battle to survive on the dangerous front line of climate change. The street-smart African and little blue penguins live in cities, deserts and beyond, relying on tenacious and “talkative” adolescents to forge new paths into the unknown. Powerful modern themes emerge among the macaronis and chinstraps of wild South Georgia, from strong female leadership to diversity, crime and extreme bravery. Their moving narratives will astonish and inspire, showing penguins to be more like us than we ever realized before.
Emmy Award-winners James Cameron and Maria Wilhelm for Earthship are executive producers. For Talesmith, Emmy and BAFTA-winning executive producers are Ruth Roberts and Martin Williams.
In a statement, James Cameron said:
“On the Avatar films, we’re creating a fantasy view of nature but, thematically, underneath all that is this idea of the interconnectedness not only of nature itself but of us with nature, as inhabitants of nature. In the Secrets series we try to forge an even more intimate and emotional connection with nature – to illuminate how these amazing creatures think, how they feel, how they communicate, how they function as complex societies and cultures.”
Courteney Monroe, National Geographic Content President, also added:
“With an over 135-year-old legacy in natural history content, we’re just as passionate about who’s telling our stories as the stories we tell. Whether it be our onscreen scientists in Secrets of the Elephants, our narrators like Natalie Portman, or our filmmakers like Jim Cameron, we have become a port-of-call for best in class talent who want to tell meaningful stories that inspire a deeper connection to our world. Our “Secrets Of” franchise reinforces our commitment at National Geographic to remaining THE leader in natural history storytelling.”
The new series will be released on Disney+ and the National Geographic channel. No release date has yet been announced, but it’s likely to be Earth Day in 2025 or 2026.