After a successful debut last summer, Yellowstone Live is returning for another four-night live event beginning this weekend and the timing is a little different for season 2 of the National Geographic and Nat Geo WILD production.
Covering 3,500 square miles of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem across the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, Yellowstone Live season 2 aims to bring more live locations, more beautiful vistas, and of course, more wildlife, across one of the most notable national parks. 13 million viewers tuned in to watch Yellowstone Live last year and next week's followup helps NatGeo launch the weeklong programming event, America’s National Parks.
Season 1 debuted in August, and with season 2 movie earlier to June, viewers will be taken on a journey during one of the most dynamic times of year in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.
Life emerges from months of bitter-cold winter. Flowers are blooming, rivers are rushing and Yellowstone is bustling with new life.
As Yellowstone National Park and its environs awaken, cougar cubs venture out from their underground dens, black bear cubs learn to hunt and bison must protect their young calves from hungry predators. There’s spontaneous drama unfolding everywhere at every moment.
Who is Hosting Yellowstone Live Season 2?
Returning for the live simulcast will be journalist Josh Elliott (Good Morning America) and animal expert Chris Packham (Earth Live) back as co-hosts with their wonderful on-screen chemistry, experience, and knowledge, along with fearless roving reporter Jenna Wolfe (Today), who we all met and chatted with last summer before their four-day event began. The Yellowstone Live team will again have a base camp setup where viewers can expect to see some special animal guests on the show.
As roving reporter, Wolfe appears from the American Prairie Reserve (APR), a partner of one of National Geographic’s Last Wild Places initiative partners, which aims to protect the places that sustain life on Earth, with a goal of protecting 30 percent of the planet by 2030. APR is one of the world’s remaining wild intact prairie grasslands and is working to create the largest wildlife reserve in the lower 48 states. Wolfe is stationed on the ground to cover all the action as researchers and animal experts track and study bison, relocate prairie dogs into new habitats and release rescued birds of prey back into the wild. Elliott, Wolfe and Packham, supported by eight live crews, give viewers unprecedented access to prime locations throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem—from the Gallatin Mountain Range, Lamar Valley, Grand Prismatic Spring to Old Faithful and many more iconic and hidden locations.
To help bring these visuals to life, NatGeo has eight live crews working live, scattered across Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem using innovative camera and networking tech. They've also again enlisted Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Bob Poole (Earth Live), Emmy Award-winning cinematographer Jeff Hogan (Wild Yellowstone), and wildlife cinematographer Susan Gibson (Planet Earth II) who plan to capture and narrate amazing sights including cougars, herds of bison and elk, the Wapiti wolfpack, the world's most famous grizzly bear (with her two cubs). Geoff Daniels, executive vice president of global unscripted entertainment at National Geographic:
"Yellowstone Live is all about our ongoing commitment to give viewers unprecedented access to the most stunning, natural treasures on Earth. This four-day live event is an epic journey into the heart of America’s most iconic national park at its absolute peak to explore the full majesty of this magnificent land and witness all the wonder of new life bursting forth in ways that will create an unforgettable experience for the entire family."
What Cameras and Tech Are Being Used to Film Yellowstone Live?
Yellowstone Live season 2 will again employ innovative shooting techniques and cutting-edge tech with 25 cameras strategically placed across multiple locations. Here are just a few as a teaser of what to expect during the four-day event (and overnight!):
- Burrow Cam: At APR, an area not covered in last year’s broadcast, crews employ a unique “Burrow Cam” to show live footage of prairie dogs in their underground homes. Wolfe assists the team in moving and releasing a family group of as many as 20 prairie dogs into its new wild home.
- Bison Cam: At APR, the live production and National Geographic’s Labs teams fit cameras to America’s heaviest land mammal – the bison – offering a unique perspective of this exalted animal with the “Bison Cam.”
- Beaver Den: Infrared camera technology gives a personal look at a beaver family inside its lodge as parents keep their home safe while attending to their kits’ every need.
- Eagle Nest: Using fixed-rig cameras, the broadcast follows a bald eagle family as busy parents rush to feed hungry chicks preparing to leave the safety of their nests for the first time.
- Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center: Cameras return to the sanctuary to test the abilities of bears with new stunts and challenges.
- Yellowstone After Dark: The action doesn’t stop when YELLOWSTONE LIVE goes off air each of the live four nights. A specialist wildlife team heads into the darkness to film ‘Yellowstone After Dark,’ with a state-of-the-art SELEX system thermal camera. Developed for military use, it allows the crew, for the first time, to film Yellowstone at night in close-up detail when some of its most elusive creatures are at their most active.
Yellowstone Live is produced by Plimsoll Productions and Berman Productions, Inc. for National Geographic. For Plimsoll Productions, James Smith, Martha Holmes, Grant Mansfield, and Andrew Jackson are executive producers. For Berman Productions, Inc., Al Berman is executive producer. For National Geographic, Kevin Tao Mohs serves as executive producer and Drew Jones is supervising producer.
YELLOWSTONE LIVE Premieres Sunday, June 23 at 10/9c, and will continue to air the following three nights June 24-26 at 9/8c on National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild.