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Nature

Nature

Nature_season_31_241x208
Photo Credit:  PBS
  • Premiered: 
    October 10, 1982
    (Click date to see TV listings for that day)

  • Network: PBS
  • Category: Series
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Type: Live Action
  • Concept: 
    Created by George Page 
  • Subject Matter: Animal
  • Tags:

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Plot Synopsis

NATURE is a series of one-hour documentaries that highlight various animals and ecosystems -- everything from stallions to black mambas to Arctic bears to housecats and everywhere from the edge of the world's most active volcano (Kilauea) to the top of the earth's largest waterfall (Victoria Falls). The series has won more than 600 honors from the television industry, parent groups, the international wildlife film community and environmental organizations, including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. In October of 2010, the series won the Christopher Parsons Outstanding Achievement Award, given to "an organization or individual that has made a globally significant contribution to wildlife filmmaking, conservation and/or the public's understanding of the environment." The award, given by the Wildscreen Festival in Bristol, England, is one of the wildlife film industry's highest honors.

The program's 32nd season debuted on Wednesday, October 16, 2013 at 8pm on PBS, with a season opener, "Saving Otter 501," documenting how the Monterey Bay Aquarium made its 501st attempt to save an orphan otter, while showing how its otter rehab program has developed over the past few decades.

NATURE returned for its 33rd season on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 8pm on PBS. The season opener, "Animal Misfits," reveals some surprising details about how evolution really works, demonstrating that all animals are remarkably well-adapted to their chosen way of life -- even if some odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures seem ill-equipped for survival. Other upcoming episodes in Season 33 include: "Big Thinkers of the Forest," "A Sloth Named Velcro," "Invasion of the Killer Whales," and "The Animal Home Show."

PBS premiered the 34th season of NATURE on Wednesday, September 23, 2015 at 8pm (check local listings). Season 34 kicks of with a two-part story that profiles how rescue centers raise and rehabilitate nature's wild baby orphans, giving them a second chance at life. The season opener, "Nature's Miracle Orphans," follows the work of animal rescue centers around the world and introduces the extraordinary people who have devoted their lives to helping all sorts of wild orphans get back on their feet. It follows the different stages of caring for these little heroes, from rescuing and tending to young babies in the early stages of life, to teaching them how to look after themselves, and finally looking to the future when, hopefully, they will one day be released back into the wild. Part 2 premiered one week later. Subsequent episodes include: "Big Birds Can't Fly"; "Soul of the Elephant"; "Pets: Wild at Heart"; and more.

Season 35 of NATURE premiered on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). The season opener, "Super Hummingbirds," is narrated by actress Patricia Clarkson, as Emmy-winning filmmaker Ann Johnson Prum returns with her second film on hummers. For the first time, this new documentary reveals how the birds mate, lay eggs, fight, and raise families. Subsequent documentaries in the 35th season include: "My Congo"; "Giraffes: Africa's Gentle Giants"; "The Story of Cats (Part 1): Asia to Africa"; "The Story of Cats (Part 2): Into the Americas"; and many more.

Season 36 of NATURE premiered on Wednesday, October 4, 2017 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). The season opener, "Naledi," tells the story of Naledi, a baby elephant orphan who finds her place in the herd with the help of her caretakers. Kiti, a gentle elephant in Botswana, was in her 661st day of pregnancy, a normal gestation period, when she finally gave birth to a baby girl. For nearly two weeks, the staff of Abu Camp, a halfway house for orphaned and former zoo and circus elephants, had been passing the time by coming up with a list of possible names for Kiti's offspring. Perhaps because the calf was born at night, they called her Naledi, which means star in the local language. Naledi was an instant hit with the Abu Camp caretakers including elephant manager Wellington 'Wellie' Jana who compared her arrival to getting a new daughter in the family. Wildlife biologist and Botswana native Dr. Mike Chase, who is also tasked with looking after Naledi's herd, hopes she will have the option to be reunited with her extended family. That's the aim of Abu Camp caretakers, to release capable animals back into the wild. Mike and Wellie are pleased with how Naledi is being accepted into the herd and the care she's receiving from her mother Kiti. But six weeks after giving birth, Kiti dies from a prolapse of the large intestine, and Naledi is left an orphan. How the dedicated caretakers rallied to adopt the baby elephant, save her life, and reintroduce her to the herd that had forgotten her, is the focus of this episode.

The 38th season of NATURE premiered on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). In the one-hour season opener, "Octopus: Making Contact," an Alaskan professor raises a pet octopus in his home and makes several remarkable discoveries. Octopus behavior has fascinated humans for centuries; their unique shape and skillsets often provide the inspiration for extraterrestrials in science fiction. New in the world of cephalopod research is the extent to which these intelligent animals are individual personalities -- able to recognize faces and interact with other individuals -- all of which is an odd adaptation for an animal thought to live an asocial existence. Dr. David Scheel, a professor of marine biology at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage, raises a day octopus in a tank in his home with assistance from his teenage daughter Laurel. Given the name Heidi, the octopus bonds with the Scheels, showing recognition of their faces, excitement when the humans come near and an inclination for playing with Laurel. Scheel links his discoveries -- which also include Heidi's demonstrated abilities to change color, solve puzzles, use tools and escape through small spaces -- to octopus findings from all over the world, further proving the extraordinary intelligence of these incredible creatures.

NATURE returned for its 39th season on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). In the season open, "Pandas: Born to be Wild," the Giant Panda may be one of the most recognizable endangered species on our planet, but the daily lives of wild pandas remain a mystery, until now. Filming over three years, two Chinese cinematographers trek through the steep forested trails of the Qinling Mountains to catch a glimpse of wild pandas. With the help of scientists and rangers on this journey, they capture startling new wild panda behavior on screen. Unlike the playful image of captive pandas, wild pandas are solitary and territorial. The film crew also follows the training of a young panda born in captivity learning to be a panda in the wild.
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Season 40 of NATURE premiered on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 8pm on PBS (check local listings). From the wild Rocky Mountains to the Pony Express Trail, witness some of North America's most iconic wildlife in their natural habitat, including grizzly bears, bison, wild mustangs, Appaloosas, ospreys, bighorn sheep and many more. Using the latest filmmaking technology, Nature reveals new information about beloved animal favorites, such as elephants, penguins and wild horses, and the threats they face. The new season premieres with "My Garden of a Thousand Bees," which follows wildlife cameraman Martin Dohrn, who filmed all the bees he could find in his tiny urban garden in Bristol, England, during the COVID-19 lockdown. By the end of the summer, Dohrn saw more than 60 species of bees and unlocked new knowledge about the diversity of personalities in this insect family. New episodes include:

"My Garden of a Thousand Bees" (Premieres Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 8pm on PBS): A story of surprise and revelation. A veteran wildlife cameraman is bee-obsessed. Seeking refuge from the pandemic in a small city garden, he is filming the wild bees that live there with mind-blowing results. From giant bumblebees to scissor bees the size of a mosquito, he has seen more than 60 species of bee. But more importantly, he is developing a close relationship with an individual bee he follows through its entire life.

"Season of the Osprey" (Premieres Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 8pm on PBS): A veteran pair of ospreys return home to a Connecticut saltmarsh. Over one summer they must battle their enemies, withstand the elements, and hunt hundreds of fish, all to raise the next generation of these consummate sea hawks.

"The Elephant and the Termite" (Premieres Wednesday, November 3, 2021 at 8pm on PBS): Witness the creation of one of Africa's greatest wildlife meeting places and the site of extraordinary drama: the waterhole. From mighty elephants to tiny termites, an entire community of creatures call the waterhole their home.

"Born in the Rockies" (Two-Part Special Premieres Wednesdays, November 10 & 17, 2021 at 8pm on PBS): Journey deep into the wild heart of North America's Rocky Mountains and experience this rugged land through the eyes of its iconic wildlife. Follow the drama as newborns make their way in one of the world's most challenging and spectacular habitats on Earth.

"Animals with Cameras (Two-Part Special Premieres Wednesdays, January 19 & 26, 2022 at 8pm on PBS): Animals become wildlife cinematographers when they are fitted with lightweight, specially designed cameras in this two-part series that feature turtles, sharks, koalas, bats, kangaroos and more. Our animal "camera specialists" reveal behavior new to scientists.

"Penguins: Meet the Family" (Premieres Wednesday, February 9, 2022 at 8pm on PBS): A celebration of one of Earth's most iconic and beloved birds, featuring footage of all 17 species of penguins for the first time, from New Zealand, Cape Town, the Galapagos Islands and Antarctica.

"The Ocean's Greatest Feast" (Premieres Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 8pm on PBS): New filming technology brings the story of South Africa's annual sardine run vividly to life like never before. Between May and July each year, the sardine run sees billions of sardines spawning and traveling up the coast, providing a feast for an array of marine predators.

"American Horses" (Premieres Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 8pm on PBS): American horses are icons. Following the popularity of "Equus: Story of the Horse," NATURE turns its cameras to the uniquely American horse breeds that helped shape our nation, such as the Mustang, Appaloosa, Morgan and Quarter Horse. Each breed has a unique story to tell, and each story is rooted deep in the American experience. Grounded in historical moments and told by charismatic people, this program traces the emergence of these remarkable breeds and the role they played in the development of our country.

"Running with the Best" (Premieres Winter/Spring 2022): It is one of nature's most spectacular events -- the million strong wildebeest migration across the heart of East Africa culminating in the dramatic moment they must cross the Mara River. See how this iconic wildlife event is a major moment in the life cycle for every predator, prey and scavenger involved.

Cast

Production & Distribution

  • Produced by THIRTEEN
  • In association with WNET.ORG