Fox is roaming into natural history with a two-hour special narrated by 9-1-1 star Angela Bassett. The network has ordered Malika the Lion Queen, a documentary about the lionesses of a pride in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
The special, which is produced by British production company Plimsoll Productions, the business behind Apple TV+’s Tiny World, will launch April 4 at 8 p.m. and will be available on Fox’s AVOD streamer Tubi beginning April 18.
It marks the network’s first move into the natural history genre – an area dominated by the BBC and cable networks such as Discovery and Nat Geo as well as increased moves by streamers such as Netflix and Apple.
It comes as Fox is no longer a sister company to Nat Geo following the Disney deal and after NBC also dipped its toe into the genre with a 10-part series from BBC Studios Natural History Unit, the producers of Planet Earth and Blue Planet, due to air in 2024.
Malika the Lion Queen is exec produced by Tom Hugh-Jones, Martha Holmes and Grant Mansfield.
“We’ve long been exploring premium wildlife specials that present an entirely new world full of emotional and aspirational stories that appeal to all viewers. In Malika the Lion Queen, we’ve found everything we were seeking,” said Rob Wade, Fox president of Alternative Entertainment & Specials, on Tuesday. “With Angela Bassett guiding viewers along with her hallmark grace and gravitas, coupled with mesmerizing footage captured by the Plimsoll team, Malika the Lion Queen is perfect evening entertainment for the whole family.”
Bassett is repped by Gersh and Lighthouse Entertainment and Lion Queen is being distributed by Magnify Media.