Sunday, September 10, 2017

FOX Upfront 2017: The upcoming programming highlights on National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD, FOX and FOX Life for late-2017/early-2018.

On Wednesday in Johannesburg, FOX Networks Group Africa held its FOX Upfront 2017 to show advertisers and the media its upcoming programming for its 4 channels carried on MultiChoice's DStv and the Chinese StarTimes Media SA's StarSat.

While some more of FNG Networks Group Africa's channels are available in South Africa and carried on StarSat like FOX Sports, BabyTV and FOX News, no specific programming details of those channels were shared.

FOX Africa did mention that FOX Sports programming across Africa - and these channels' viewership - are growing. BabyTV was also briefly referenced.

FNG Networks Group Africa said it's working on rolling out its own FOX+ ( and NatGeo+ online video-on-demand streaming services in South Africa as well.

FOX+ and NatGeo PLUS have already been launched and are available elsewhere in the world.

Noteworthy is that the premium channel FOX suddenly has a lot less Express from the US titles than in the previous two years - similar to M-Net that's dramatically scaled back on this practice.

The new FOX science fiction satire dramedy series, The Orville from Seth MacFarlane, starting on Sunday night in America was for instance not mentioned. It's not clear if FOX has this show.

Other ongoing and new FOX tiles are also going to be delayed from this new 2017 season.

Here is what FOX Africa punted and highlighted at the FOX Upfront 2017:

Upcoming programming on National Geographic ( DStv 181 / StarSat 220) include:
Year Million (starting October 2017)
A new docu-drama series exploring what it might be like to be human, one million years into the future.
Futurists, scientists and science fiction writers guide viewers through the latest advances in technology, ideas and innovation that will likely power the evolution of mankind. Year Million paints a picture of future humanity through the eyes of a futuristic American family that includes a daughter that's an android.

Long Road Home (starting November 2017)
Based on the 2004 in-country experiences of the army's 1st Calvary Division from Fort Hood, Texas, this tells the story of the soldiers who were ambushed in a Baghdad attack that became known as "Black Sunday".
The series cuts between the action on the ground in Iraq and on the homefront back in Texas where families wait for news.

Dian Fossey: Secrets in the Mist (premieres December 2017)
A miniseries with Sigourney Weaver as narrator about Dian Fossey who did mountain gorilla research in Rwanda for 18 years.
The series will explore Dian Fossey's word, her death and her murder investigation.

Jane (premieres 2018)
National Geographic has found never-before-seen material in its archives of Jane Goodall and will reveal a candid and little-known-side to Dr Jane Goodall in new footage.

One Strange Rock (premieres 2018)
This new documentary will take viewers inside the planet Earth.

MARS II (premieres 2018)
The new 6-episode second season of MARS currently being filmed in Budapest, will continue to tell the story further after life has been discovered on the Red Planet.
The docuseries merges the science fiction drama story on Mars, with real-life scientists and visionaries describing how mankind could use science to live there.

The Story of Us II (premieres 2018)
God The American President Morgan Freeman will once again narrate the second season of this documentary series in which he meets people from different cultures whose lives are shaped through different experiences.
This time the hour long episodes will explore "fundamental forces" - like love, power, war and peace, rebellion and freedom.

Genius II (premieres 2018)
The second season of this fictionalised drama series will revolve around the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, played by Antonio Banderas.

Upcoming programming on Nat Geo WILD ( DStv 182 / StarSat 221) include:
Snakes in the City (September 2017)
A documentary-style reality TV series revolving around the daily life of the extreme snake bounty hunter Simon Keys living in Durban.

Savage Kingdom II: Uprising (premieres December 2017)
A second season of this "Game of Thrones" like big cat nature series filmed in the Kalahari.

Big Cat month (December 2017)
Several big cat documentaries will be broadcast on Nat Geo WILD during the month of December.

Upcoming programming on FOX ( DStv 125 / StarSat 131) include:
Empire IV (starts 28 September 2017 21:00, Express from the US)
The 4th season of the drama series Empire with Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard will start in South Africa very soon after episodes run in America for the 2017 fall season.
The new season will follow Luscious as he deals with his near-death experience from the season 3 finale.

The Mick II (3 October 2017)
The second season of this comedy series will start on 3 October on FOX about the brash-and-trash Mickey (Kaitlin Olson) who must suddenly look after her niece and nephews.

Star II (premieres January 2018)
The second season of this drama series will only start in January 2018 and it won't be an Express from the US title.
It's a problem for South African and African viewers, since the new 4th season of Empire and the second season of Star will have cross-over storylines and episodes.
The result is that South African viewers won't be able to properly follow the "disjointed" starting-cross-over-concluding storylines.
FOX Africa says it wants to show and complete Empire until its mid-season break, and will then start with Star.

Atlanta II (premieres 2018)
The second season of this drama series will start in 2018 on FOX following two cousins in Atlanta's rap music scene.

In January 2018 FOX will also have the second season of the rebooted The X-Files.

 FOX also has two more season of its drama anthology series American Crime Story. Versace: American Crime Story will be rolled out first, followed by the season dealing with the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

FOX will continue to show seasons and episodes of American drama and comedy series like Castle, The Simpsons, Grey's Anatomy, Criminal Minds and Bones.

Legion II (premieres 2018)
The second season of this Marvel universe TV series will start in 2018. It follows David Haller who has super mental powers.

Upcoming programming on FOX Life (DStv 126 / StarSat 133) include:
Vintage Z (premieres October 2017)
This new local South African reality series revolves around edgy designer Oscar and his business manager Mandy who run Vintage Zionist in downtown Johannesburg.
As an upcoming South African fashion label inspired by leather, the two have their hands full with various challenges.

reality slot
FOX Life now has a dedicated reality show timeslot from Mondays to Fridays at 19:10, showing first-run international, non-scripted shows.

Turkish telenovelas
In a very interesting development for South African television, FOX Africa has decided to add Turkish telenovelas, dubbed into English, to FOX Life, starting 2 October.

Heartbeat will be FOX Life's first Turkish TV delight, stripped on weekdays from Monday 2 October in the 18:25 timeslot, followed by Lodestar.