Nat Geo WILD to Air 2-Hour Special on Jane Goodall, 7/13
For centuries, we've known chimpanzees are fascinating and intelligent animals that share many qualities with humans, and now we explore deeper into the complex species to reveal their culture and personality. World-renowned primatologist Jane Goodall introduces the special Kingdom of the Apes, featuring the life stories of some of the best known great apes that have ever lived, premiering globally on Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nat Geo WILD.
The two-hour television event includes the chimpanzee characters from Tanzania's famed Gombe Stream National Park, where Goodall began her pioneering work more than 50 years ago. Her field study revealed the individual personalities of chimpanzees and the complexities of their communities. Kingdom of the Apes features the life chronicles of some the best known great apes that have ever lived. Their individual personalities have shaped the fates and fortunes of each of the animal characters. Some of the best natural history behavior pieces together the most dramatic events in the lives of the key great ape characters. We'll see behaviors including the struggle for Power and politics, going to war to defend their kingdom, and even using sex as part of their social strategy - questioning the line between what is ape and what is human.
Our closest cousins in the animal kingdom are living out dramas that are totally epic, and yet startlingly familiar. Young warriors go to war, kings rise and fall and mothers lovingly raise their young while preparing them for the challenges ahead. We follow along as two brothers, Frodo and Freud, battle for supremacy in a story worthy of Shakespeare. The ultimate prize for one of them is control of their Gombe kingdom. Then we travel deep into the mountains of Rwanda, where a fearless leader, Titus, king of the mountain gorillas, risks everything to keep his throne safe from his own son.
We witness the trials and tribulations of the animal kingdom. Who will dominate? Who is the smartest? Who has the courage to fight? With similarities so close to humans, we feel their pain and joy. Kingdom of the Apes unveils not only the intricate personalities of the apes, but also the very distinct culture of a group. Their interactions with one another are shockingly epic, and yet startlingly familiar.
Premiere Episodes Include:
Kingdom of the Apes: Clash of Kings Premieres Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 9 p.m. ET/PT A giant silverback gorilla king named Titus caresses his infant. But he is no gentle giant. Weighing in at 400 pounds, this fearsome ruler has massive strength and a powerful chest. Wise and powerful, the silverback sovereign commands by his sheer presence. He is the absolute monarch of his tribe, and it's his job to maintain the social order in his clan, with threatening charges and chest-beating displays. Yet rivalry is erupting in his own kingdom. At 35 years old, he may be reaching the end of his reign. What would happen if he were deposed? His own son, Rano, will do anything to unseat his father. In a kingdom where not all male gorillas grow up to be king, but they might die trying, Rano is out to take his father's place as king. Will he succeed?
Kingdom of the Apes: Brother Against Brother Premieres Sunday, July 13, 2014, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
In a secret kingdom, endless conflict divides a family. Now, brother fights brother with politics and scheming in a quest for the throne. Freud, the leader, is in his prime - extremely smart and in control. His displays leave no doubt as to who is in charge. But already, there is dissent within the ranks. His own brother Frodo, the biggest chimp in the group, is a mighty warrior who has become his rival. We watch as Frodo and Freud battle it out for the ultimate prize: control of their chimp kingdom. As war breaks out among the chimps, we see the similarities with humans and how deeply it might be buried in our genes. We reveal their extraordinary ingenuity, their capacity for violence, but also their emotional intelligence, even empathy. We watch to see who will come out on top.
Kingdom of the Apes is produced by National Geographic Television for Nat Geo WILD. For National Geographic Television, executive producer is Karen Bass. For Nat Geo WILD, executive producer is Ashley Hoppin; senior Vice president of development and production is Janet Han Vissering; and executive Vice president and general manager is Geoff Daniels.