National Geographic will kick off its first ever Earth Week on Sunday, October 30, launching six straight days of primetime programming focused on climate change. The broadcasting event, timed to lead up to the U.S. presidential election, will feature the global premieres of Before the Flood, Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary about climate change, and the second season of the Emmy-winning Years of Living Dangerously, in which Hollywood correspondents such as David Letterman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cecily Strong, and more travel around the world to witness its effects on communities and ecosystems. Earth Week begins at 7/6c on National Geographic on Oct. 30, and will continue nightly until Friday, Nov. 4.
“On the important topic of climate change, National Geographic, given its reach and reputation, is in the unique and enviable position to tell stories with real potential to make a difference in the world,” said Courteney Monroe, CEO, National Geographic Global Networks. “That is why we are making a public and passionate commitment to a full week of programming on this topic, right before the election in the U.S.”
In an effort to further make climate change a key election issue, National Geographic partnered with Rock the Vote and theSkimm to host voter registration events and screenings of Before the Flood at more than 50 college campuses this fall, with a goal to register 50,000 new voters.
National Geographic will continue to make Before the Flood available to viewers and voters as widely as possible. The network announced it would stream the film for free throughout Earth Week (Oct. 30 – Nov. 6) on a record number of platforms, including Hulu, YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and more. Before the Flood will also air globally and commercial-free on Sunday, Oct. 30, at 9/8c in 171 countries and 45 languages. In addition, 21CF and National Geographic launched a social campaign around the film, donating $1 each to Pristine Seas and the Wildlife Conservation Society for every post using the hashtag #BeforeTheFlood, up to $100,000 total.
The documentary follows DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic to track the devastating effects climate change is already having. Throughout the film, he speaks with top scientists, activists, and local residents, as well as world leaders such as President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Indian political activist Sunita Narain, and more.
“At National Geographic, we believe in the power of storytelling to change the world,” Monroe said. “This unprecedented release across digital and streaming platforms is not only a first for our network but also in our industry, underscoring how exceptional we think this film is and how passionate we are about it.”
Earth Week will continue with encore presentations of Before the Flood and Years of Living Dangerously, as well as with some of the most spellbinding nature documentaries from the National Geographic Archives, such as America’s National Parks: Yellowstone, part of the organization’s year-long celebration of national parks, and Bill Nye’s Global Meltdown, part of Nat Geo’s signature Explorer series.
Last year, 21st Century Fox expanded its partnership with the National Geographic Society to create National Geographic Partners, bringing together all of the organization’s media properties, including the channels, magazines, and social media presences. 27% of all proceeds from NGP return to the National Geographic Society to fund their research and grant-making initiatives.
View the trailer for the second season of Years of Living Dangerously below: