The National Geographic Channel debuted in the United States in 2001. The cable channel is a joint venture between National Geographic Film & Television and Fox Cable Networks. Commonly referred to by the shortened name Nat Geo, the National Geographic Channel is actually a network of related channels that are broadcast worldwide; sister channels include Nat Geo Jr., Nat Geo Music and National Geographic Channel HD.
Despite its affiliation with the respected National Geographic magazine, which has been known for decades for its informative scientific and cultural journalism, Nat Geo is like most other cable in channels in that the bulk of its programming is made up of reality and pseudo-scientific programming that tends toward the sensational. Among the channel's slate of reality series are shows such as "Alaska State Troopers," "Doomsday Preppers," "Family Guns," "Rocket City Rednecks," "Beast Hunter," "Locked Up Abroad," "Seconds from Disaster," and "Polygamy, USA."
Although much of Nat Geo's programming has been criticized for its sensationalized content, series such as "Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey," which aired on Nat Geo after it debuted on Fox's broadcast network, have received praise for their solid scientific content.