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Visit the Beauty of a National Park with 'Yellowstone Live'
June 23, 2019  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

Guarantee: The following preview contains no spoilers. 

National Geographic returns Sunday doing what National Geographic has always done better than almost anyone: capturing the breathtaking beauty of the natural world and the creatures who live in it. 

Yellowstone Live, an extended dive into America’s most famous national park, airs Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on National Geographic and Nat Geo, then continues Monday through Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. 

Since it really does air live, no one can promise exactly what we will see. But that’s part of the fun and even if there doesn’t seem to be breaking news at any given moment, it’s never a letdown just to be looking around the magnificence of Yellowstone Park. 

The first round of Yellowstone Live last year made that case strongly enough that National Geographic almost immediately began planning this encore, cohosted by Josh Elliott and zoologist Chris Packham. 

Jenna Wolfe from The Today Show will be the roving reporter, though that’s a somewhat controlled assignment. Grizzly 399 may be the world’s most famous bear from her species, but that doesn’t make it prudent to walk up with a microphone and ask her for a comment. 

As it has done for decades with photographers for its iconic print edition, National Geographic sets up its cameras prudently and creatively. 

Eight camera crews are stationed around Yellowstone’s 3,500 square miles, and they will employ 25 cameras to follow both the best-known and some of the most elusive residents of the park. 

Marquee players include bison, who at this time of year are protecting their newborn calves from predators like wolves. That is, when the male bisons aren’t fighting each other for the right to that alluring female bison. 

We will get a particularly personal view of buffalo life from the bison-cams with which several accommodating critters have been outfitted. 

Newborns are everywhere at this time of year and they should provide a healthy amount of cute. Cougar cubs and playful young grizzlies have been highlights in the past.

Fresh features this year include cameras set up inside prairie dog homes and tunnels. Prairie dogs will also participate in an American Prairie Reserve (APR) project that, among many other initiatives, relocates prairie dogs who have been displaced elsewhere by things like development. 

In the wider sense, Yellowstone Liveis one of the many National Geographic projects that promote conservation and protection of existing habitats for flora and fauna that would perish without them.  

Because it’s unfolding in real time, with stars who write their own script, Yellowstone Livedoesn’t tend to be a fireworks exhibition, with one spectacular burst exploding the moment the previous burst begins to fade. There are lulls, and not all buildups lead to breathtaking payoffs. 

But if this year is anything like last year, these four hours will collectively provide a charming and fascinating tour of a remarkable place. It’s TV you definitely won’t see anywhere else. 

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Cathy B.
I very much enjoyed the visuals on the “Live from Yellowstone” show but the narration was terrible and I was seriously tempted to turn the sound off. Josh Elliott and Jenna Wolfe were completely out of their element and would do better as a pair of cheesy game show hosts. I was heartbroken by the final scene, when a young bear cub was swept away by the current and attacked and killed by a large male bear.
Jun 24, 2019   |  Reply
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