Smithsonian Channel™ Wild Wednesdays Programming Returns Wednesday, October 5 at 8/9c



Smithsonian Channel™ is bringing back Wild Wednesdays with four new programs: Growing Up Grizzly, Great Lakes Untamed, Hudson River Wild and Rooted: America’s Tree of Life. Wild Wednesdays is a month-long string of new natural history premieres that celebrate the power and majesty of the natural world.


This fall, Smithsonian Channel™ will air nature and wildlife programming, which captures the vast and the epic as well as the relatable and the intimate through explorations of stories that span the globe. The upcoming specials will touch on topics like Grizzly Bears, the Great Lakes, the Hudson River and more. 


Wild Wednesdays Program Descriptions:

  • GROWING UP GRIZZLY  (Premieres Wednesday, 10/5 at 8pm ET )

    • Meet Max, an orphaned bear cub plucked from the Alaskan wild and headed to a Montana sanctuary. And meet Pepper, a five-month-old from Grand Teton National Park that has suddenly been separated from his mother. They are two baby grizzlies on two very different paths to adulthood. While Pepper is left to fend for himself in the wild, Max will enjoy safety but will be in captivity for the rest of his life. Follow Montana naturalist and filmmaker Casey Anderson as he raises one orphaned grizzly while tracking the other over the course of a year. Montana native and wildlife filmmaker Casey Anderson runs a sanctuary for grizzlies in need but has been reluctant to take in new cubs, believing they’re better off in the wild. He must break his own rules however when he meets an orphaned cub in Alaska about to be euthanized. Just as Casey prepares “Max” for a life in captivity, another grizzly cub, “Pepper,” becomes separated from his mother in the Grand Tetons. For over a year, we follow these two orphans on two very different paths to see which has the better chance of growing up grizzly?



    • SOURCE TO SEA - EP 101 (Premieres Wednesday 10/12 at 8pm ET): From afar, North America’s Great Lakes seem permanent and unchanging. But their waters are always in motion, on a 2,000-mile journey across the continent. In this episode, we follow that voyage from source to sea, from the headwaters west of Lake Superior through the treacherous Straits of Mackinac, down Niagara Falls and across the Saint Lawrence River to the North Atlantic Ocean. Along the way, we explore how each lake has its own character, mood, and ecosystem living above the surface and below. The Great Lakes make up the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem, containing as much as one-fifth of the planet’s supply. Each lake is a vast body of water with its own mood and story. And each plays a part in a much larger system, carrying water on a journey that spans half a continent and more than three centuries. Follow its dramatic path east and discover how this enormous watershed nourishes a rich, diverse web of life, from piping plovers and loons to beavers and wolves to monarch butterflies on their epic migrations south.


  • THE BIG FREEZE - EP 102 (Premieres Wednesday 10/19 at 8pm ET): Winter comes hard and fast around the Great Lakes, a throwback to the Ice Age that once gripped this region 20,000 years ago. For the many animals that live in and around these vast bodies of water, they must adapt to a world of thickening ice, blankets of snow, and a dome of ultra-cold air called the polar vortex. Enter a world of ice-fishing otters, glowing flying squirrels, singing cod, and other remarkable creatures, all trying to carve out a life in one of the most extreme, unpredictable environments on the planet. Tens of thousands of years ago, the Great Lakes were once one colossal ice sheet. And each winter, the ice returns, along with heavy blizzards and temperatures that can drop to -110 degrees Fahrenheit, testing the limits of all wildlife that live here. See what it takes to thrive in this extreme ecosystem as we follow ice-fishing otters, feasting wolves, and mating cod. We also discover how rising temperatures are affecting such cold-adapted creatures as wolverines, lynx, and moose while also bringing lake-effect blizzards to the region.


  • MARVELS AND MYSTERIES - EP 103 (Premieres Wednesday 10/26 at 8pm ET): After a long, brutal winter, spring casts a warm glow over the Great Lakes of North America, unleashing frozen waters, and revealing of host of natural marvels and mysteries. From the glowing, lava-like rocks of Superior to the wild spotted salamander eggs of Huron to Bessie, the giant serpent of Erie, we explore the visual wonders of the season from lake to lake. We also reveal how the area’s inhabitants take advantage of the rich bounty springtime offers, while scientists battle to protect native species from new, invasive creatures. It’s March, and the big thaw begins on the Great Lakes. The ice is on the move, revealing a world of natural wonders. Below and above the water’s surface, springtime brings challenges to the animals who call this region home. Armor-plated giant sturgeon surge upstream to breed. An endangered massasauga rattlesnake swims to find a new home, forced out by lake-front development. A moose learns to dive for its dinner. And all aquatic creatures must steer clear of the invasive sea lamprey, which poses a threat to the entire watershed.


  • HUDSON RIVER WILD (Premieres Wednesday, 11/2 at 8pm ET)

    • An inspiring and breathtaking journey through one of the most magnificent and ecologically important waterways in North America—from 4,000 feet above sea level at Lake Tear of the Clouds on Mt. Marcy down to New York City and the Atlantic Ocean. At first glance, the Hudson appears to be just another industrial river. Tree-lined riverbanks are interspersed between cultivated land, bridges, shipping docks, private homes and marinas, factories, chemical plants and brickyards. But go a little deeper, and you begin to see sandbars, marshes, waterfalls, lakes and surging rapids. The Adirondacks. The Catskills. Thousands of acres of untamed habitat transform and amaze us with each changing season. It is arguably one of America’s greatest secrets and untold stories. The majestic bald eagle, symbol of the United States, becomes our guide and cinematic touchstone. We will follow the eagle, from courtship to parenting, while moving down the river towards the Atlantic exploring the richly diverse and changing habitats and the profound beauty and challenges to wildlife that come with the changing seasons. From sky to land to water, the stories of the ebb and flow of the Hudson Valley wildlife unfold; the black bear and the Atlantic sturgeon; the coywolf, fisher cat and white-tailed deer; eagles, hawks and herons; red-hooded woodpeckers, saw-whet owls, and northern flying squirrels; river beavers, red-spotted newts, northern leopard frogs, glass eels, and striped bass, along with a host of other amazing creatures that call this 21st-Century landscape home. These stories are a cinematic testament to movement, survival and wonder.


  • ROOTED: AMERICA’S TREE OF LIFE (Premieres Wednesday, 11/9, 11/16 & 11/23 at 8pm ET)

    • The creators who brought you the multi-award-winning series “Rooted: Africa,” now take you on a new journey of discovery… in the Americas. “Rooted” is a three-part series about three of the Americas’ iconic trees. In each episode, the viewer will be taken on a journey across the continent’s majestic landscapes to meet a cast of charismatic characters that visit these incredible trees. The series investigates their fight for survival in these untamed lands, and explores their link to some of the world’s oldest living beings… trees. Each tree is a vast ecosystem that will surprise even the most avid nature lover. It’s a series of extraordinary interlinked relationships… One link simply cannot survive without the others.



    Show Contacts