22 TV shows we can't wait to watch
Programs about space, nature, science, and animals domestic and wild come to TV this month.
Fri, Feb 28, 2014 at 04:14 PM
'The World’s Oddest Animal Couples' premieres this month. (Photo: ITV)
1. Modern-day shepherdess Natalie Redding and her flocks — animal and human (she has five kids) — are the subjects of the Nat Geo Wild series “Shear Madness,” premiering March 1.
2. Dogs mothering tigers and polar bears befriending huskies — those are just two examples of “The World’s Oddest Animal Couples,” a new Animal Planet series that explains why these unusual pairings occur. It premieres March 1.
3. “Building Penguin Paradise” follows the creation of a new penguin habitat at SeaWorld Orlando, providing a new home for four species of the Antarctic birds at the Florida theme park. It premieres March 2 on Nat Geo Wild.
"Penguin Paradise' (Photo: Jason Collier/Aarow Media)
4. & 5. The latest take on life in the frozen frontier Animal Planet’s “Savage Alaska” focuses on the wildlife that inhabits our northernmost state. The special premieres on March 4. Keeping up with the frigid theme, the channel’s “Ice Cold Gold” launches its second season March 6, following fortune-seeking miners in the forbidding icy terrain of Greenland.
"Ice Cold Gold' (Photo: Animal Planet)
6. Are we alone? Science Channel poses that eternal question in a week of themed programming about aliens. Beginning March 2 with new episodes of “NASA’s Unexplained Files,” it with continue with premiere episodes of the series “Close Encounters” on March 4 and “Through the Wormhole With Morgan Freeman” on March 5.
7. Desk jockeys, couch potatoes and workaholics get an extreme wake-up call — and life overhaul — from survivalist and mountain climber Tim Medvetz, who takes floundering Americans on rigorous adventures of self-discovery in the three-part Nat Geo Wild series “Going Wild,” airing March 3 in back-to-back episodes.
8. The Dog Whisperer is back, and he’s making house calls. Summoned by desperate friends, relatives and co-workers who blow the whistle on problem canines and their owners, he works his training magic on people and pets in the Nat Geo Wild series “Cesar 911,” premiering March 7.
9. Australia’s St. Vincent’s Hospital is the setting for season two of Discovery Fit & Health’s “Sydney ER,” which kicks off with a story about a hip-hop artist who’s stabbed after a performance. It premieres March 7.
"Sydney ER' (Photo: Discovery Fit & Health)
10. CNN’s revisits eight compelling capital murder cases in the new series “Death Row Stories.” Debuting March 9, it’s produced (and in part, directed) by Robert Redford and narrated by Susan Sarandon, who won an Oscar for her role in the death row drama “Dead Man Walking.”
11. It takes a special type of individual to live in the unforgiving, extreme desert environment of places like Death Valley and Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, and History Channel follows five of them in the new series “No Man’s Land,” premiering March 9.
12. Boomers and post-boomers fondly remember the wonders of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos,” the 1980 PBS series that explored the universe, nature, space and time. In the updated, visually spectacular “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson takes over the helm of the Ship of the Imagination to guide viewers through a 13-part trek to the stars, premiering March 9 on Fox and March 10 on National Geographic Channel.
13. BBC America launches a new night of Earth-centric programming on March 11 with an encore of “The Blue Planet” followed by the U.S. premiere of “24 Hours on Earth.” Narrated by Matthew McFadyen, the breathtakingly beautiful nature documentary divides the day in half, the first installment focusing on daylight hours, the March 18 episode set at night.
"24 Hours on Earth' (Photo: Tom Walker/BBC America)
14. On March 14, Nat Geo blasts off with a truly global TV event: the two-hour special “Live From Space” takes viewers into orbit with astronauts aboard the International Space Station, showing how they live and work 250 miles above the earth. Soledad O’Brien anchors from Mission Control in Houston beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
15. Nat Geo Wild asks “How Human Are You?” in a three-part special premiering March 14, exploring the intricacies of human behavior in a series of play-along experiments.
16. “Survivor” with no clothes, no prize money, but plenty of drama, “Naked and Afraid” was a big hit for Discovery Channel when it premiered last year. On March 16, it returns with more brave strangers willing to shed their inhibitions and battle the elements (and often, each other) for 21 days in the wilderness. Immediately following, the participants will discuss the experience on the talk show “Discovery After Dark.”
17. There’s a lot more to the 50th state than beautiful beaches and lavish resorts, a point made spectacularly in the six-part Nat Geo Wild series “Wild Hawaii.” Premiering March 23, it explores the unique wildlife, lush vegetation, volcanic topography, and the underwater world surrounding the tropical island paradise.
18. Premiering March 23 on NBC, “American Dream Builders” is a home renovation competition that keeps sustainability and conservation in mind. “We use a lot of vintage things, a lot of antiques, a lot of architectural salvage. We are reusing a lot of things because, in real high‑end design, that's what designers use. We are not flying things in from 10,000 miles away just because we need the right sofa,” says host Nate Berkus, noting that the landscaping is “easy to maintain and doesn’t require a lot of water. We recycling things so we can show people how much more interesting a room is when it's layered with a mix of old and new.”
19. Even if you hate math, you’re likely to find “The Numbers Game” fun and fascinating. Hosted by data scientist Jake Porway, the Nat Geo series blends science and statistics in an interactive exploration of such topics as heroism, toughness, lying, and desirability. It premieres March 24.
'Numbers Game' (Photo: Nat Geo)
20. In the new Nat Geo series “None of the Above,” premiering March 24, affable British engineer Tim Shaw conducts on-the-street scientific experiments — many involving explosions — that challenge witnesses and the viewer to guess the outcome in a multiple choice quiz, with entertaining and often surprising results.
21. Dominic Monaghan sets off in search of more “Wild Things” in the second season of his BBC America series, which kicks off in Kenya with an expedition to find the über-poisonous giant spitting cobra. It premieres March 25, preceded by two retrospective episodes from season one on March 11 and 18 that include highlights and reminiscences from the intrepid actor.
'Wild Things' (Photo:Cream Productions Inc./Mike Reid)
22. Most people thing tuberculosis is a disease of the past, but that’s sadly no longer the case. Drug-resistant strains are causing new outbreaks, and eight million people are infected per year. The crisis is the subject of the PBS “Frontline” documentary “TB Silent Killer,” premiering March 25. March is TB Awareness Month.
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