As Seen On Television!

Honestly not sure any did. Closest I could come to picking one is Maybe Yvon of the Yukon. I think that’s what introduced me to the northern lights, northern forests, more ancient cultures than my own, and the perpetual night.
Edit: was just reminded of Steve Irwin, he was probably bigger

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I think others have already mentioned all the series I watched as a kid: The Crocodile Hunter, The Jeff Corwin Experience, Zoboomafoo when I was a very young kid. I still love watching nature programs. I’ve watched pretty much all the animal documentaries available on Discovery+. Now I watch all the BBC series (Planet Earth, Life, Blue Planet, South Pacific, Serengeti), and I’m still waiting for their newest series, Green Planet, to make it to streaming services. Their Wild Places series is really good, too (Wild West, Wild Patagonia, Wild New Zealand, Wild Japan, etc.). I watch ‘Crikey! It’s the Irwins!’. It makes me happy to see Steve’s kids grown up and carrying on his legacy and to see the Australia Zoo continue to thrive, even through the challenges of Steve’s death and the shutdowns through the pandemic. I also really enjoyed ‘Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan’. It included a bit of the culture of the places he traveled to as well as the animals, which was a nice addition to the usual formula. I also enjoy Brave Wilderness with Coyote Peterson, though I think they focus a little too much on getting good shots sometimes (but the guys behind the camera are also biologists and have screen time, too. Maybe I’m just not used to the camerapeople talking.

Edit: Disappointed to say, it looks like Discovery+ cut a bunch of the BBC Earth programs like the Wild Places series. HBO Max and Discovery recently merged and they cut a bunch of the best programs from both platforms. I’m tempted to cancel my subscription…

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I remember waking up at 6:00 in the morning before the sun was even up so I could catch both showtimes of Champions of the Wild before heading off to middle school and as soon as I got home I’d turn on the TV so I didn’t miss Big Cat Diary. I feel like those two shows along with other things like PBS specials and figures like Jeff Corwin, Steve Irwin, David Attenborough, etc. really got me more interested in learning about what was around me and why I probably enjoyed my biology and life science classes the most.

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I watched all of the free NOVA nature documentaries, before it they changed the website and ruined it :/

Wild Kratts was a big one, for sure.

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Certainly David Attenborough (Planet Earth and Blue Planet) and the Walking With series (though the latter was primarily for my interest in prehistoric life) for me; funnily enough both combined this year with Prehistoric Planet. Animal-related children’s edutainment I watched as a kid included Stanley and Wonder Pets. Nowadays I also watch a lot of Joey Santore’s content.

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Same here, ie Walt Disney World and Wild Kingdom… Poor Jim on Wild Kingdom…always being sent out to handle the local wildlife while old Perkins sat back… “and while Jim wrestles the crocodile…”


Yep David was probably my main one as well.

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It may have been great 40 years ago…

Surprised nobody mentioned National Geographic Specials. Those were big for me – they sure had a flair for the spectacular. Also Nature, as mentioned; Nova, too, although that was often about other aspects of science.

Nothing makes one feel old quite like hearing people reminisce about shows that came out after one was already grown up. When was “my day”? We had almost the whole set of books of Life Nature Library and Life Science Library.


I grew up in Australia in the 80s and 90s. I don’t remember there being much in the way of nature programmes specifically for kids, but I do remember that I really enjoyed watching the likes of the Bush Tucker Man, Malcolm Douglas and other adventurer-types who explored the Australian outback. Later in the 90s our Channel 10 had a nature-based show for kids, the name of which escapes me. called Totally Wild.

Channel Seven also had a long-running documentary series called The World Around Us which was great.

David Attenborough’s The Private Life of Plants and The Life of Birds also had a big impact on me.

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As I recall, it was always Marlin’s assistant Jim who who actually got the anaconda in the bag or any dangerous alligator wrestling kind of stuff while Marlin (smiling) gave the occasional shout of encouragement from the sides.

My brothers and I thought it was hilarious that Marlin would always follow those scenes with something like, “Now that we have got the snake in the sack”.

An early lesson in accreditation.


We watched nearly all the shows mentioned so far. But I wanted to mention another huge influencer we all shared: LIFE magazine nature books.

These books were fought over for first reading turn in our house. Whenever a new one was spotted on a library shelf, it was like, oh boy, I know what I’m doing when I get home. Page after page of gorgeous nature photography.


I remember watching some of the Disney shows mentioned by teellbee as well as NOVA on PBS as mentioned by zdanko. I also received a subscription to Ranger Rick magazine (later, Discover magazine) as a Christmas present.

Additionally, after seeing the commercial on TV for Illustrated Wild Life Treasury cards I successfully convinced my mom to sign up for those in the early 80s. I think the green storage pail and a bunch of the cards might still be in the garage at my parents’ place. Looking back, I’m kind of impressed that they released multiple protozoan cards.

Commercial on YouTube:

Images of cards and box:


Wild Kratts and Octonauts were classics for me. Even before then, though, I had a National Geographic animal encyclopedia that I absolutely loved when I was around four to six; I think that really factored into my love of animals.

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I also really love watching ‘Wild Kratts’ and that had also inspired me towards nature. The Kratt brothers used to air shows like ‘Kratt’s Creatures’ or ‘Be the Creature’. Right now, they made a small series on Youtube called ‘On the Creature Trail’.


Of course In the World of Animals with Nikolay Drozdov, pretty much everything shown on channels like NatGeo and AnimalPlanet (so different BBC documentaries and stuff like Walking with Dinosaurs as I was obsessed with dinos as a child), remember shows with Jacques-Yves Cousteau, but I rarely watched them. For show to watch as a teen I talked with one of people who helped the German team to shoot Wildes Russland, that’s a cool series to watch.