Smithsonian Channel Premieres AMERICA'S BADLANDS, 12/20

Smithsonian Channel's Wild Wednesday lineup takes viewers on a journey of extremes, from the rugged beauty of South Dakota's Badlands to the tropical jungles of Panama, to meet some of the amazing animals that call these locations home. While an extraordinary assortment of creatures migrate thousands of miles to escape to warmer weather, others must stick it out through the brutal winter. All of these animals have one thing in common: the struggle to survive. Get a closer look at the challenges these animals face on Smithsonian Channel with the premiere of PANAMA'S ANIMAL HIGHWAY on Wednesday, December 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT and AMERICA'S BADLANDS on Wednesday, December 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

The Isthmus of Panama is the only place like it on Earth - a bridge between two worlds. It's a critical throughway and vital rest stop for millions of birds, mammals and reptiles migrating between North and South America. The narrow corridor in PANAMA'S ANIMAL HIGHWAY provides a passageway for turkey vultures, leatherback turtles, jaguars, coyotes and countless shorebirds and songbirds, among many others. All rely on this exceptional 30-mile wide strip of land, which is now under threat from disappearing forests, rising sea levels and an ever-developing Panamanian infrastructure. In this film, scientists use state-of-the-art technology to track animal movements and explore the threats to conservation along this CROWDED and diverse thoroughfare.

AMERICA'S BADLANDS is set in the heart of the American Midwest where lush grasslands seem torn open by towering multicolored pinnacles of rock. It's a place where summers of blistering heat follow winters of bitter cold, and where an assortment of charismatic animals - the American bison, the black-tailed prairie dog and the burrowing owl - all live. The story follows life in a prairie-dog town through the seasons as badgers, golden eagles and coyotes threaten a new generation of pups. Exposed on the plains, these creatures must be on constant guard from myriad threats, both predatory and environmental, that lurk in the grasslands of America's great wilderness.

PANAMA'S ANIMAL HIGHWAY is produced by Simon Boyce of Lucky 8 TV. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are Tria Thalman and David Royle.

AMERICA'S BADLANDS is a Terra Mater Factual Studios GMBH and Smithsonian Networks production, produced by Mike Birkhead. Executive producers for Smithsonian Channel are Tria Thalman and David Royle.

Smithsonian Channel™, owned by Smithsonian Networks™, a joint venture between Showtime Networks Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution, is where CURIOSITY lives, inspiration strikes and wonders never cease. This is the place for awe-inspiring stories, powerful documentaries and amazing entertainment across multiple platforms. Smithsonian Channel combines the storytelling prowess of SHOWTIME® with the unmatched resources and rich traditions of the Smithsonian, to create award-winning programming that shines new light on popular genres such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. Among the network's offerings are series including Aerial America, America in Color, First Ladies Revealed, Polar Bear Town, The Lost Tapes, Amazing Monkeys, America's Secret Space Heroes, Mighty Ships, Mighty Planes and Air Disasters, as well as critically-acclaimed specials that include Titanic's Fatal Fire, The Obama Years: The Power of Words, Nightmare on Everest, Diana and the Paparazzi, Diana: The Day We Said Goodbye and Flying High with Phil Keoghan. Smithsonian Networks also operates Smithsonian Earth™, through SN Digital LLC., a new subscription video streaming service delivering spectacular original nature and wildlife content. To learn more, go to www.smithsonianchannel.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Photo: © Terra Mater / Mike Birkhead Associates / Dawson Dunning

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