Rotten Tomatoes’ premiere dates calendar keeps track of the most anticipated new series of fall TV and your favorite returning shows. Bookmark this page to get updates on when the latest Netflix series launch, when Disney+ shows will premiere, what the holiday films and specials are coming your way, and more. 


Locke and Key (Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

Click to open full image in new tab.

Netflix has set February 7 for the premiere of Locke and Key, the Carlton Cuse–produced adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s IDW comic book series that has been in development for more than a decade. The mystery series revolves around the Locke family, three siblings and their mother who move into their ancestral home – Keyhouse – after the murder of their father. Keyhouse, as the Lockes quickly discover, is filled with magical keys that hold special powers. That draws out a demon who wants to steal the keys, which may have played a role in the murder of the Locke paterfamilias. The series stars Darby Stanchfield (Scandal), Jackson Robert Scott (IT), and Connor Jessup (American Crime).



The Thirteenth Doctor (Jodie Whittaker) returns with the launch of season 12 on Wednesday, January 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT with friends Ryan (Tosin Cole), Yasmin (Mandip Gill) and Graham (Bradley Walsh). Subsequent episodes will air Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning January 5 on BBC America. The season kicks off with a two-part episode entitled “Spyfall.”



Last season on The Magicians, magic was saved, but at a terrible cost: Quentin Coldwater died heroically to save his friends — and the world. Julia (Stella Maeve), Alice (Olivia Taylor Dudley), Eliot (Hale Appleman), Margo (Summer Bishil), Penny (Arjun Gupta), and their friends (and frenemies) must learn to navigate a world without him. In season 5, premiering January 15 at 10 p.m. ET/9C, a new threat has arisen: in freeing magic, the balance tipped the other way and there’s too damn much of it. As the excess builds, an apocalypse looms.



Cantankerous Larry David returns for season 10 of his HBO drama in January. Vince Vaughn joins the fun in a multi-episode arc.



Better Call Saul will return with a two-night premiere event on February 23 and 24, 2020. The fifth season will premiere on Sunday, February 23 at 10 p.m. ET/9C following a new episode of The Walking Dead. The season will continue the next night, Monday, February 24, with an encore presentation of the season premiere at 8 p.m. ET/7C followed by the season’s second episode at 9 p.m. ET/8C. Subsequent episodes will air Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/8C. The new season will find Bob Odenkirk’s Jimmy McGill finally embracing his Saul Goodman persona to practice law, and the fallout that ensues for everyone around him, including fellow attorney and girlfriend Kim Wexler (Rhea Seehorn), fixer Mike Ehrmantraut (Jonathan Banks), meth kingpin/restauranteur Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito), and Jimmy’s criminal associate Nacho Varga (Michael Mando).


Find out when the rest of your favorite shows return and new shows premiere below.

Update (12/12): Pavarotti (Dec. 30), Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Jan. 24), Next in Fashion (Jan. 29), Briarpatch (Feb. 6), The Sinner (Feb. 6), Interrogation (Feb. 6), Wrong Man (Feb. 9), Hillary (Mar. 6), Ride with Norman Reedus (Mar. 8); Messiah (Jan. 1)


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.


  December | 2020 TV Premiere Dates

ARCHIVE: January | February | March | April  | May | June | July | August | September

OctoberNovember | 2018 Premieres

Also: Renewed & Cancelled


December


Sunday, Dec. 1
Dead Kids (2019) 17% Netflix
Brain Games: Season 8 (2020)  8 p.m., National Geographic

Monday, Dec. 2
Making It: Season 2 (2019)  NBC

Tuesday, Dec. 3
Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah (2019) Netflix
The First Temptation of Christ (2019) Netflix
Team Kaylie: Part 2 ()  Netflix
One Day at Disney (2019)  Disney+

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Let's Dance (2019) Netflix
() % Netflix
Magic for Humans: Season 2 (2019)  Netflix
The Moodys: Season 1 (2019) 64% 9 p.m., Fox
Vikings: Season 6 (2019) 100% 9 p.m., History
Five Day Biz Fix: Season 1 (2019) CNBC
The Gulf: Season 1 (2019)  Sundance Now

Thursday, Dec. 5
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel: Season 3 (2019) 79% Amazon Prime Video
A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019) 36% Netflix
Same Time, Next Christmas (2019) Netflix
Apache: The Life of Carlos Tevez: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix
Home for Christmas: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix
V Wars: Season 1 (2019) 56% Netflix
Growing Up Hip Hop: Season 5 (2019) WE tv
Tell Me a Story: Season 2 (2019)  CBS All Access

Friday, Dec. 6
Reprisal: Season 1 (2019) 53% Hulu
Into the Dark, Episode 3: "A Nasty Piece of Work" 82% Hulu
Astronomy Club: The Sketch Show: Season 1 (2019) 100% Netflix
The Chosen One: Season 2 (2019) Netflix
The Confession Killer: Season 1 (2019) 100% Netflix
Fuller House: Season 5 (2019)  Netflix
Glow Up: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix
Marriage Story (2019) 94% Netflix
Spirit Riding Free: The Spirit of Christmas (2019)  Netflix
Three Days of Christmas: Season 1 ()  Netflix
Teasing Master Takagi-san: Season 2 (2019)  Netflix
Triad Princess: Season 1 (2019) Netflix
Virgin River: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix
Truth Be Told: Season 1 (2019) 31% Apple TV+
One Day at Disney: Shorts: Season 1 (2019) Disney+
Clifford the Big Red Dog: Season 1 () Amazon Prime Video

Sunday, Dec. 8
The L Word: Generation Q: Season 1 (2019) 81% 10 p.m., Showtime
Expedition Bigfoot: Season 1 (2019)  10 p.m., Travel Channel
Work in Progress: Season 1 (2019) 100% 11 p.m., Showtime

Monday, Dec. 9
A Family Reunion Christmas, Netflix
The Heart Guy: Season 4 (2019) Acorn TV

Tuesday, Dec. 10
Michelle Wolf: Joke Show (2019) 100% Netflix
Ellen's Greatest Night of Giveaways: Season 1 (2019) NBC

Thursday, Dec. 12
Jack Whitehall: Christmas with my Father (2019) Netflix

Friday, Dec. 13
The Expanse: Season 4 (2019) 100% Amazon Prime Video
6 Underground (2019) 37% Netflix
Marvel's Runaways: Season 3 (2019) 83% Hulu
The Grand Tour: Season 4 (2019) Amazon Prime Video

Sunday, Dec. 15
A Very Merry Cavallari, 10 p.m., E!

Monday, Dec. 16
Slings & Arrows: Season 3, Acorn TV
Laurel Canyon, 9 p.m., Epix

Tuesday, Dec. 17
Ronny Chieng: Asian Comedian Destroys America! (2019) Netflix

Wednesday, Dec. 18
Don't F**K with Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer: Limited Series (2019) 67% Netflix
Soundtrack: Season 1 (2019) 38% Netflix
Mad About You: Season 1 (2019) 42% Part 2, Spectrum On Demand
Wisting, Sundance Now
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: 'All in the Family' and 'Good Times' (2019) 80% ABC
Good Times: Live in Front of a Studio Audience, ABC

Thursday, Dec. 19
() Netflix
Ultraviolet: Season 2 (2019) Netflix
Season 1: Season 1 (2019) Netflix
A Christmas Carol (2018) 52% 7:30 p.m., FX

Friday, Dec. 20
The Two Popes (2019) 89% Netflix
The Witcher: Season 1 (2019) 68% Netflix
The Aeronauts (2019) 71% Amazon Prime Video
Pick of the Litter: Season 1 (2019)  Disney+
Togo (2019) 92% Disney+

Saturday, Dec. 21
Crash Landing on You: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix

Monday, Dec. 23
From Father to Daughter, Acorn TV

Tuesday, Dec. 24
Lost in Space: Season 2 (2019) 85% Netflix
John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch (2019) 96% Netflix
Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020: Part 2, Netflix
Carole & Tuesday: Part 2, Netflix
Como caído del cielo (2019) Netflix

Wednesday, Dec. 25
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 13, Acorn TV
Call the Midwife: Holiday Special, PBS
Lucy Worsley’s 12 Days of Tudor Christmas, PBS

Thursday, Dec. 26
Close to the Enemy: Miniseries (2016) Sundance Now
You: Season 2 (2019) 87% Netflix
The App (2019)  Netflix
() % Netflix
Fast & Furious: Spy Racers: Season 1 (2019) 83% Netflix

Friday, Dec. 27
Into the Dark, Episode 4: "Midnight Kiss" 56% Hulu
The Gift: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix
Kevin Hart: Don't F... This Up: Season 1 (2019)  Netflix
()  Showtime
Duran Duran: There's Something You Should Know (2018) 83% Showtime

Saturday, Dec. 28
Hot Gimmick: Girl Meets Boy, Netflix

Sunday, Dec. 29
Flirty Dancing: Season 1 (2019) 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, Fox

Monday, Dec. 30
Alexa & Katie: Season 3 (2019) : Holiday Episode, Netflix
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: Reawakened, Netflix
Pavarotti, 8 p.m., Showtime

Tuesday, Dec. 31
The Degenerates: Season 2 (2019) Netflix
The Neighbor​, Netflix
Yanxi Palace: Princess Adventures, Netflix
Ghost Stories (2020) 33% Netflix


Back to Top



Back to Top


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

  December |  | 2020 TV Premiere Dates

ARCHIVE: January | February | March | April  | May | June | July | August | September

October | November | 2018 Premieres

Also: Renewed & Cancelled

Gwendoline Christie as Brienne in Game of Thrones season 8 (Helen Sloan/HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

This year’s Emmy nominations announced Tuesday were a last hurrah for the final seasons of Game of Thrones and Veep, going out on top with their sweeps of nominations, and new beginnings for shows earning their first nominations.

New shows Russian Doll, The Kominsky Method, Dead to Me, Black Monday, PEN15 and Pose got nominated and Fleabag, GLOW and Schitt’s Creek finally got recognized.


Read More: “2019 Emmy Award Nominations


Many of the actors, creators and behind the scenes crews celebrated their Emmy nominations on social media or in statements sent to Rotten Tomatoes. Here are some of the best reactions to 2019 Emmy nominations.


Gwendoline Christie was first out of the gates of Winterfell to celebrate Game of Thrones’ last batch of Emmy nominations that included the show, as well as costars Alfie AllenEmilia ClarkeNikolaj Coster-WaldauPeter DinklageKit HaringtonLena Headey,  Sophie TurnerCarice van Houten, and Maisie Williams:

Allen responded to his nomination in a statement:

“The truth is, I’m at a loss for words! Thank you to the Academy for recognizing me alongside such formidable actors. To my friends: Kit, Peter, Gwen, Lena, Emilia, Nikolaj, Maisie, Carice, and especially Sophie whom I was in the trenches with for so much of this journey – I am honoured to share this with you. Dave, Dan, our amazing HBO team – for 10 years you pushed me to my limits. Many moments I questioned why – but now I realize that it was because you believed in me. And finally, to our truly amazing fans, thank you for sticking with me, for sticking with us, through it all. I am forever grateful for your support!”

Van Houten riffed on her character in her response to the Game of Thrones’ Twitter account’s parade of tweets about its nominees:

Williams also responded:



Alan Arkin of THE KOMINSKY METHOD (Mike Yarish/Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

Alan Arkin reacted to his Emmy nomination for Supporting Actor in The Kominsky Method in the most Alan Arkin way possible:

“Wow, I am 85 years old, so this comes in just the nick of time,” Arkin said in a statement via Netflix.


Joey King shaved her head to play Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy victim Gypsy Rose Blanchard on Hulu’s The Act. She shared her emotional reaction to the nomination with double nominee Patricia Arquette (for The Act and Escape At Dannemora) on Twitter.


This Is Us earned acting nominations for Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, Sterling K. Brown, Chris Sullivan, guest stars Ron Cephas Jones, Phylicia Rashad, and Michael Angarano and composer Siddhartha Khosla (who is at least 50 percent of the reason This Is Us makes us sob uncontrollably.)

Brown had his son join him in thanking the Academy.

Creator Dan Fogelman thanked the Academy for recognizing them all and nominating the show again for Best Drama.

Angarano responded in a statement.

“I’m honored to be nominated for This Is Us,” Angarano said. “Thank you Dan Fogelman and the special group of writers for giving me a temporary home. Congratulations to the cast and crew on all of their nominations. It was truly a dream job and I’m so grateful for it.”


One Day At A Time (Netflix)

Netflix may have cancelled One Day At a Time, but Pop saved it, and now Pop has a three-time Emmy nominee with the latest nod for Editor Pat Barnett, who was nominated last season too. Could this be the year they win? Creator Gloria Calderon Kellett sang Barnett’s praises on Twitter.


The women of Killing Eve had a love fest on social media congratulating each other for their nominations, the second year in a row for the show’s two seasons.


Christina Applegate earned her fifth nomination for the first season of Dead to Me. She shared that her daughter found out before she did.


Ryan Murphy’s FX drama Pose broke ground in television for its cast of trans actors and characters. Now it adds an Emmy nomination Billy Porter as Lead Actor in a Drama Series to its legacy.

“The Category Is: Speechless!” Porter said in a statement. “I’m so grateful to have lived long enough to see this day. Pose speaks a truth that has the power to transform hearts and minds. I’m honored and humbled to be counted in the number.“

Co-creator and writer Steven Canals congratulated Porter on Twitter too.


Phoebe Waller-Bridge isn’t on social media to react to her nominations for acting in and creating the comedy series Fleabag but her TV sister Sian Clifford is for hers!

The official Fleabag account celebrated them all, including Supporting Actress Olivia Colman, with Fleabag worthy one-liners.


House of Cards (Netflix)

(Photo by Netflix)

The show goes on for House of Cards with the final season led by Robin Wright earning a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Michael Kelly.

“What an incredible honor to be nominated alongside such talented men and women this year,” Kelly said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more thankful to the TV Academy, and to my fearless cast and crew who made this all possible. Excited to be going back to one of my favorite nights of the year!””


The show didn’t go on for Rent Live when an injury forced Fox to air a dress rehearsal instead. That didn’t stop the production from earning Emmy nominations in five categories: Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special, Outstanding Lighting Design/Lighting Direction For A Variety Special, Outstanding Makeup For A Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic), Outstanding Variety Special (Live) and Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special.

“We are grateful to the Television Academy for recognizing Rent among its Emmy nominations this morning,” EPs Marc Platt, Adam Siegel, and Julie Larson said in a joint statement. “It was a joyous experience gathering together members of the original Broadway creative team with our talented young cast in presenting this beloved musical to a wider audience, and we congratulate the entire team for their stellar work.”


When They See Us

(Photo by Netflix)

Netflix shed light on the Central Park Five by airing Ava Duvernay’s series When They See Us. The show’s Emmy nominations, including Aunjanue Ellis for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, will bring them even more attention.

“This nomination is a tribute to Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Raymond Santana, Korey Wise and Yusef Salaam,” Ellis said in a statement. “Let’s all say their names. Yusef’s mother, Sharonne Salaam, is nothing less than a warrior for her son and a survivor of an emotional violence few of us will ever understand. I am utterly grateful to her. Thank you to the visionary Ava DuVernay and Netflix for giving me the blessing to be a part of this act of restorative justice.”

John Leguizamo also earned a nod for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie and said in a statement: “This nomination is not for me, but for the parents of the innocent children who have been put through the unimaginable. Just because their vulnerable children were unjustly accused of a crime by racial profiling, and how almost impossible it was to clear themselves.”

For her Supporting Actress nom, Vera Farmiga said in a statement, “Astonished by the surprising Emmy pat on my back, humbled. My heart is bursting with pride for all my When They See Us brothers and sisters and their noms. I pray that Kevin, Antron, Raymond, Korey and Yusef continue to absorb healing from this sweeping acknowledgment. Thank you to the Television Academy.”

Niecy Nash shared her gratitude with her on screen son Jharrel Jerome, also nominated:

Young Asante Blackk also tweeted his thanks.

DuVernay tweeted:


Chernobyl Jared Harris (HBO)

(Photo by HBO)

Chernobyl terrified viewers and critics alike in its stark, harrowing portrayal of the nuclear meltdown. As a reward for giving us all nightmares, Chernobyl was nominated for Outstanding Limited Series, Jared Harris, Emily Watson, and Stellan Skarsgard for Acting and 15 other nominations.

Harris responded in a statement while creator Craig Mazin took to Twitter.

“I am so happy for everyone involved,” Harris said. “These nominations in so many categories speak to the excellence of Chernobyl as a whole; Craig and Johan deserve all the praise. Personally I am delighted and thrilled for Stellan & Emily, who are both magnificent. The international reception to Chernobyl took many industry insiders by surprise. My hope is that its impact emboldens programmers to keep taking risks to not only delight, but also challenge their audiences.”


Adam McKay was nominated for directing Succession, also the show’s first Emmy nomination. He thanked the Academy, and also congratulated Drunk History and I Love You, America.


Full Frontal with Samantha Bee was nominated for Outstanding Variety Talk Series and Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series.

“It’s such an honor to be nominated with so many of my friends,” Bee said in a statement. “I am truly grateful to the Academy for recognizing the hard work of my entire staff. It is always a group effort and any day I can order celebratory cake to be delivered to the office is a good day. See you in LA!”


Conan cut half his show out but still earned three nominations for his half hour edition. Conan O’Brien mixed sincere gratitude with a wacky joke

“I have an excellent staff and I’m very happy to see them recognized with 3 Emmy Nominations,” O’Brien said in a statement. “Next stop: the Latin Grammys.”


Amy Sedaris launched her comedic variety show At Home with Amy Sedaris and earned two Emmy nominations. Maybe she’ll do an episode on how to prepare for an awards show!

“It’s always nice to be invited to a party!” Sedaris said in a statement. “Thanks so much to the Television Academy for nominating us again and everyone at truTV, the writers, cast and crew for making our show possible. I must admit this year’s Emmy nomination is slightly bittersweet – I had my eye on hosting.”


Netflix swept reality TV too. For his nomination for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, Somebody Feed Phil Host and Executive Producer Phil Rosenthal said in a statement, “I’m thrilled for our team who work so hard trying to make me look sexy. The best thing about this is that hopefully I get to keep working with my friends, my family, meeting new families around the world, and eating all their food.”

Meanwhile, Netflix’s Chef’s Table earned a nomination for Outstanding Documentary or Non-Fiction series. “It’s a huge honor to be nominated amongst such great company, and we are thrilled to see Chef’s Table continue to receive recognition as the show has evolved over the years,” Creator and EP David Gelb said in a statement. “We are beyond grateful – to Netflix for believing in us, and to our chefs for sharing their lives with us and the world.”

The Fab Five celebrated Queer Eye’s six nominations including Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program with group hugs.


National Geographic swept documentary categories as one should expect from the longtime contender. Angela Bassett earned a nomination for Outstanding Narration for The Flood.

“I am deeply honored to receive this Emmy nomination for such an important project,” Bassett said in a statement. “I truly hope it will bring more much-needed attention to this rarely seen kingdom of resilient, beautiful animals in a way that inspires everyone to help protect it for years to come.”

Hostile Planet received three nominations including Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series.

“It’s been so inspiring to be part of Hostile Planet, a series unlike any other that I’ve been involved in before,” Host and EP Bear Grylls said in a statement. “There’s no doubt that it shines new light on how unforgiving and challenging life can be for animals at the toughest of times. I’m incredibly grateful to the Television Academy for honoring my role in this groundbreaking series and to National Geographic for the privilege of being able to guide viewers through these powerful, and at times shocking stories of survival.”

The Emmys air September 22 at on Fox.

Bear Grylls in Hostile Planet "Grasslands" episode; CR: Hostile Planet; National Geographic; NatGeo; African Photo Productions © 2018

(Photo by Hostile Planet; National Geographic; NatGeo; African Photo Productions © 2018)

Earth Day is on April 22, and National Geographic is celebrating all month long with Hostile Planet, a new natural history series that focuses on the brutal realities of nature rather than breathtaking vistas. There are plenty of those, too, but the series, hosted by Bear Grylls, focuses on how six different environments — mountains, oceans, grasslands, jungles, deserts, and polar — are increasingly more punishing on the animals who live there.

Grylls executive produces the show alongside Oscar-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, BBC natural history grads Martha Holmes and Tom Hugh-Jones, and Grylls’ collaborator Delbert Shoopman — which means there is plenty of talent behind the camera too. They employed approximately 245 crew members during their 82 shoots, which covered more than 1300 days of filming and approximately 1800 hours of footage on all seven continents.

The star, who’s bringing back his popular Running Wild series on Nat Geo later this year and is hosting the interactive series You vs. Wild on Netflix beginning April 10 — talked to Rotten Tomatoes about why Hostile Planet is different from other natural history shows.

“I grew up on all the classic BBC Planet Earth, Blue Planet [series],” he said. “It was and still is incredible TV, but I suppose what we’re trying to do is really going to give it a really strong, powerful refresh and make it really powerful for a young generation of people who maybe have never experienced wildlife, natural history programming before.”

He also told us what he’s watching on TV when he’s not camping out in the wilderness somewhere, and his answers might surprise you.


What’s appointment viewing for you?

Cameraman, David Reichert filming the Emperor Penguins march to the ice edge at the Cape Washington Emperor Penguin colony. (National Geographic/Tanja Bayer)

(Photo by National Geographic/Tanja Bayer)

To be honest, I’m not a great TV watcher. But I think the things I end up watching are things that involve friends. Over the years I’ve got a few great friends who do TV, so I’ll watch other survival stuff and adventure-y stuff when they have things coming out. The landmark natural history stuff is always in my heart.


What’s in your streaming queue?

(Photo by ABC)

I’m married and have a family and a lovely wife and children, so I end up watching things that they really like. [My wife] Shara at the moment is knee-deep in Netflix’s Money Heist. Because we’re traveling, she’s going, “Make sure you’ve watched up to episode 12, so when we get back we can watch the finale together.” So I’m on the plane catching up on this. I quite enjoy a bit of escapism like that. And actually, what I don’t enjoy is: I find long series that don’t conclude really annoying. And I think in the early days all these streaming services with hundreds of episodes, everyone would plow through it to get to episode 24 and then it still wouldn’t end. You’d think, “that was such a waste of time.” Shara did that with Nashville the other day. We watched the first 15, and I was hooked. We all loved it. It was great. And then I go, “There’s another series?” She goes, “Oh, there’s another seven series.” I go, “How many episodes?” She goes, “130 or so.” We’re not waiting 130 episodes. So I said, “Do me a favor, go to the last episode of season 6 or 7, watch it, tell me if I’ve missed anything.” She watched it, she went, “You didn’t miss anything.”


What shows are on your DVR?

We’re actually big fans of Amazon and Netflix stuff.


What’s coming soon that you can’t wait for?

Cameraman Tom Walker uses a gyro-stabilized camera to film meerkats (Suricata suricatta) in the Kalahari Desert. The meerkats are being studied as part of a long-term university project and have becoming completely used to seeing human beings. To a meerkat habituated in this way, a human being is no more a threat than a tree or bush. Working alongside scientists, the crew were able to get intimate, close-up shots of these meerkats, despite them being completely wild. (National Geographic/Holly Harrison)

(Photo by National Geographic/Holly Harrison)

Nashville season 7. [Laughs]

I really do think the natural history stuff is a strong one for us. I have quite a savvy family who are quite hard to please on TV stuff, but they watched the Hostile Planet trailer, and the boys have been texting me, and Shara has been going, “This looks insane!” They almost didn’t really know what I was doing, you know? They knew I was hosting it, but they hadn’t seen any of the footage, and just seeing a bit of it, they’ve all separately been texting me, “OK, this show looks insane.” So from a heart perspective, I’m really excited about that one, and I hope that there’ll be millions and millions of fans around the word. I think traditionally with natural history you’re meant to be wowed. Hostile Planet you go to be almost shocked, because it is hard reality of what a lot of animals are going through. I don’t often cry in programs, but there were definitely tears involved. I mean, we were doing the voiceover yesterday and just even doing the voiceover, it was quite emotional — when the elephants die in the drought and that whole thing.

I am excited about Running Wild, because that is coming back to Nat Geo. We’re moving it from NBC after five seasons. It’s a really good pairing with Hostile Planet, and we’re signing some of the biggest guests we’ve ever had. I don’t know why it’s suddenly happened this year, but it’s been amazing. We’re in the middle of filming at the moment. That’s a big one. A lot of my TV focus at the moment is what we’re juggling. We’re finished Hostile Planet and now we’re rolling on to that.


Jean Bentley for Rotten Tomatoes: How is Hostile Planet different from other natural history shows?

I think a lot of these other ones that we all grew up with were celebrating the beauty of the world, but sometimes it’s almost like you’re looking at a picture, but you’re not seeing the reality of the hard stuff. Hostile Planet really shows that raw, difficult, heartbreaking, painful, hostile end of what wildlife are going through. And I think animals that have been on the edge already, climate change has now pushed them over the edge, but yet these creatures have this incredible resilience and adaptability and survival instinct. Under that pressure is this really amazing and beautiful and heartbreaking [spirit that is] powerful to see. Sometimes it’s a triumph and a lot of times it isn’t. But that is what Hostile Planet is showing: just how hostile the conditions are and what the wildlife are having to go through. It will make you cry. The other ones maybe made you cry because it was so beautiful, if you’re that way inclined, this one, even if you’re not that way inclined, you will cry because it’s very powerful.

How do you tackle death on the show?

Head on — but the thing is the animals tell that story, actually. And I think, again, beforehand maybe the genre just showed the animals, but now it really follows that journey, and often from different perspectives. So instead of celebrating the lion killing whatever, now it’s a story of the little fawn who, you know, 99 percent of the fawns are dead within their first hour because they’re so vulnerable on these plains. So now this flips it on its head and follows the little fawn deer, and how can they survive when they’re surrounded by hyenas? And that’s why it’s like, “Oh my God” when you watch it.

So it’s different from a show like Nat Geo’s Savage Kingdom, for example, which just focuses on the predators. Right?

This turns it on its head. This is about the survivors. How do these animals survive when they’re battling climate change, the terrain, and the predators?


Jaguar hunting a crocodile on the river banks in the Pantanal, Brazil. (National Geographic/Adrian Seymour)

(Photo by National Geographic/Adrian Seymour)

How deeply do you go into climate change and how do you talk about it on the show?

We just show how finely balanced so many of these ecosystems are and the change that has happened over the last 150, 20, 10 years and the effects it’s having on animals. So when you see baby elephants dying in the drought after walking hundreds and hundreds of miles to their traditional watering holes and there’s nothing there, it’s pretty heartbreaking when you see it.

Is there a call to action at all, or are you just hoping people will be inspired by the message?

I think the call to action is awareness, if you can show people [what’s happening]. We live in a cynical world and we’re always battling apathy and cynicism, and the animal stories battle that the best.

For Running Wild, you’ve had an insane list of people on the show. Who do you think coped the best with their surroundings?

I always resist singling people out as the best or worst, because I never think that’s a particularly good vibe. But what I always say is that people often really surprise you, and I think I’ve learned not to judge books by their cover — especially with some of the ladies, who have just been remarkably resilient and strong and tenacious. I think it’s inspiring because they often don’t expect it themselves because they’ve never done anything like this before. And it’s a reminder that the wild doesn’t care what color you are, what gender you are, how big or small your bank account is. It rewards character and tenaciousness and facing your fears. So that’s always been an inspiring thing for me.

Which current celebrities would you love to have on the show?

I’ve always had three that I’ve really dreamt of getting on the show. We haven’t got them for five seasons, but I think we’re going to get them in this season. So that’s pretty cool. But we’re not going to say who it is.

Is there any pie in the sky person you want?

Three of them, and we’re getting them.


Switzerland - Bear Grylls filming in the Swiss Pennine Alps for the 'Mountains' Episode. (National Geographic/Oliver Clague)

(Photo by National Geographic/Oliver Clague)

Why do you think people are drawn to shows about nature?

I think because it’s real and it’s often about families. I think we all relate to that. We all care about our families and then you see it in the wildlife sense, and it’s often so heartbreaking when families are separated and then worse than that when babies lose their lives. And that’s why Hostile Planet is so powerful. It shows warts and all. I think there’s always going to be a hunger in all of us for natural things. You can’t fight hundreds of thousands of years of DNA in us and to think in 50 years suddenly we’re not going to be interested in the wild or adventure or things of the heart because it’s deep in our DNA, that’s [silly]. I think that’s why people love Running Wild. There is something about starting a fire. Why is that exciting for people? But if they’ve never done it before and they’re cold and they’re shivering and they’re desperate and it’s a really powerful moment.

What was something that surprised you about producing Hostile Planet and not having to be out in the field as much?

Well, I still am out in the field. The only thing that’s changed is now we’re executive producing as well. The privilege of doing that on all of our shows is that it means we pick where we go when we go and the people we go with. And when you spend the amount of time away as we do as a team, it makes a huge difference to be able to have the control to say, “I want to work with great friends and the people that have been alongside me through many adventures.” So for me, executive producing is a privilege of that. And also making sure the stories are told right and truthfully rather than leaving that power to someone else.


Hostile Planet airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.


Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.


Tag Cloud

YouTube Red RT History free movies Discovery Channel See It Skip It Writers Guild of America Reality Competition dreamworks Shudder USA Network transformers marvel comics women Funimation Marvel Television HFPA BBC films video crime YouTube Premium Fox News football based on movie 21st Century Fox trailers archives Amazon Prime Thanksgiving Trailer 93rd Oscars boxing Polls and Games quibi Cosplay Adult Swim Music A&E Arrowverse laika Spike Certified Fresh Avengers 20th Century Fox Opinion witnail rt labs critics edition spider-man facebook TLC El Rey new star wars movies nbcuniversal debate BBC America Star Wars south america obituary Comedy Central Chernobyl natural history aapi TCA award winner Pacific Islander war scary movies Red Carpet anthology heist movie concert Paramount Network new york telelvision scene in color GoT stoner Tomatazos comic books TV FXX LGBT Travel Channel TCA Winter 2020 game of thrones PBS Reality Peacock docudrama Warner Bros. Summer Calendar comic documentary Baby Yoda psychological thriller sopranos romance X-Men streaming movies what to watch 2016 Anna Paquin children's TV Epix Emmy Nominations TV renewals DGA mockumentary foreign ABC Signature Creative Arts Emmys mob Comic Book Pop classics serial killer comic book movies movies Podcast Fantasy IFC Films travel A24 kids Disney+ Disney Plus NBC GLAAD know your critic singing competition Comics on TV Winners Sundance Spring TV space political drama Lucasfilm Tarantino Hear Us Out a nightmare on elm street Television Academy Lionsgate spider-verse 24 frames vs. robots docuseries Esquire Stephen King batman Rocketman cinemax spain king arthur live event Apple Trivia Tags: Comedy Hulu 007 CMT Grammys Exclusive Video nfl FX on Hulu CBS Fox Searchlight king kong Comedy satire prank Bravo black comedy social media adaptation Nat Geo wonder woman game show medical drama Star Trek disaster hidden camera Lifetime Christmas movies Song of Ice and Fire nature supernatural Election WarnerMedia Marathons Dark Horse Comics YA Awards Tour chucky 2017 kaiju blaxploitation Watching Series blockbusters monster movies Marvel royal family NYCC richard e. Grant harry potter critics diversity Black Mirror young adult MTV President Biopics Holidays TIFF cops book adaptation streaming HBO Max teaser art house TV movies Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt suspense toy story Sony Pictures Turner genre TCM sitcom jurassic park The Purge Instagram Live kong The Witch emmy awards hispanic Hallmark Lifetime Crunchyroll Infographic mcc Starz casting scorecard Rocky Western dramedy Mindy Kaling composers breaking bad Amazon E! razzies rom-coms 73rd Emmy Awards Sneak Peek Crackle First Reviews History rt labs crossover Turner Classic Movies TV One dexter series cats name the review 90s strong female leads Pixar Britbox fast and furious American Society of Cinematographers The CW 2020 ratings comiccon Awards indiana jones Amazon Studios best Paramount Trophy Talk Prime Video Schedule YouTube canceled feel good halloween french E3 stand-up comedy comics Film Festival worst movies doctor who Apple TV+ Film Set visit movie politics Photos science fiction Character Guide 4/20 screenings APB VH1 anime WGN vampires Paramount Plus Toys RT21 BET Awards Video Games scary Winter TV christmas movies zombie Drama Shondaland spinoff MSNBC 2015 DirecTV CW Seed mission: impossible 2021 reboot 79th Golden Globes Awards AMC Mary Poppins Returns Action Masterpiece talk show Freeform leaderboard unscripted hollywood VOD joker Syfy cancelled TV series Captain marvel james bond cooking DC Universe Spectrum Originals deadpool justice league Apple TV Plus Tokyo Olympics crime thriller festivals cults book Academy Awards The Walking Dead Ellie Kemper finale TV Land 72 Emmy Awards golden globes Image Comics BBC One screen actors guild remakes lord of the rings Mary Tyler Moore documentaries TBS GIFs slasher Columbia Pictures stop motion Christmas Alien PlayStation godzilla police drama golden globe awards Family Broadway italian crime drama rt archives dc Super Bowl 2018 Acorn TV Sci-Fi 45 cancelled television zero dark thirty spanish Disney Plus basketball mutant trophy SundanceTV asian-american SXSW new zealand Country toronto miniseries Classic Film boxoffice Universal Cartoon Network Endgame franchise Vudu Women's History Month legend Walt Disney Pictures halloween tv zombies hispanic heritage month latino Pride Month Disney streaming service Mystery psycho jamie lee curtis 99% rotten festival target BAFTA San Diego Comic-Con Tumblr period drama Countdown New York Comic Con Television Critics Association TCA Awards posters 1990s Superheroe Animation animated live action technology Premiere Dates Year in Review spy thriller Teen biography Mudbound versus sports die hard black Extras Sundance Now blockbuster saw sequel true crime FOX Rock TCA 2017 australia historical drama sag awards ITV SDCC canceled TV shows renewed TV shows criterion Nominations Marvel Studios Fall TV Netflix AMC Plus Comic-Con@Home 2021 universal monsters 2019 reviews Superheroes adventure revenge Ovation Elton John IMDb TV IFC Interview adenture Box Office independent cartoon Tubi japanese theme song Musical Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Mary poppins Hallmark Christmas movies dark Binge Guide The Academy 71st Emmy Awards slashers cars Martial Arts CNN ESPN BET Pet Sematary news Wes Anderson dragons VICE HBO Legendary Musicals rotten movies we love Best and Worst comic book movie fresh Holiday Ghostbusters parents 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards green book The Arrangement superhero thriller cancelled TV shows video on demand hist Sundance TV Neflix USA TruTV Heroines werewolf worst Food Network Fargo Amazon Prime Video romantic comedy Brie Larson HBO Go DC Comics NBA child's play binge aliens directors tv talk indie dogs spanish language Universal Pictures Disney Channel Emmys Quiz National Geographic biopic Kids & Family Nickelodeon all-time japan TNT Disney CBS All Access DC streaming service The Walt Disney Company pirates of the caribbean discovery ABC FX ABC Family twilight gangster Rom-Com Black History Month MCU action-comedy Logo OneApp PaleyFest marvel cinematic universe Horror critic resources high school venice Valentine's Day Pirates television elevated horror Oscars Hollywood Foreign Press Association Cannes ID OWN international superman ViacomCBS Showtime LGBTQ comedies dceu sequels Netflix Christmas movies ghosts olympics First Look cancelled popular Pop TV