A Nature Documentary That Focuses on People

A series of video previews were released today teasing a new — likely groundbreaking — nature documentary, EARTH A New Wild, coming to PBS in February. In it, Dr. M. Sanjayan, a conservation scientist and renowned environmental thought leader, aims to make us rethink the wilderness as a part of the world that humans daily shape and change, whether we like it or not. 

"There is no true wilderness," Sanjayan says in one preview. "People are everywhere. But that doesn't always have to be a bad thing." In the same video, we're shown how cattle — long known for destructive grazing practices — can benefit grasslands and help revitalize the ecosystem. That is, with proper management and human oversight. 

The series promises to give a refreshing perspective that programs like Monster Fish, Man V. Monster, or even Shark Week have missed: Where we look at animals in these shows as curiosities, separated from our daily existence, EARTH looks to prove this viewpoint is blatantly false. "What we think of as wild has actually for centuries been shaped for humans. I'm going to the frontiers of where man and animals meet — and discussing just how much we need each other to survive."