The CW to Air Major Netflix Show on TV This Summer
A fan-favorite Netflix original series is airing on The CW this summer: Down to Earth with Zac Efron. The show finds Efron traveling the world to explore different sustainability practices in various cultures, with some classic road trip experiences along the way. Those who haven’t seen it yet on its streaming home will have a chance to catch it on broadcast TV next month.
The CW will air Down to Earth with Zac Efron on Tuesday, July 18 at 8 p.m. ET. It will be the broadcast premiere of that series, which first hit Netflix in 2020. The CW and Netflix have collaborated on a lot of projects in recent years including shows like Riverdale. While CW shows often perform well on Netflix after their linear premiere, it’s less common to see streaming exclusives make the jump to broadcast.
Still, Down to Earth makes a lot of sense on a typical TV schedule. The show is in the same tradition as travel shows on cable such as Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown and similar projects. Down to Earth similarly showcases new places and experiences through Efron’s eyes and those of his co-host Darin Olien. Because each episode is self-contained, a broadcast audience can jump in at any time and not feel lost while still getting everything out of the program that the creators intended.
Down to Earth has two seasons – one following Efron and Olien all over the world and a second season set entirely in Australia. The show was criticized by some in its first season for feeling unfocused and simplistic, though many fans said that it rectified these problems in Season 2. Efron was also praised for highlighting the historical practices of aboriginal people and mentioning the ill effects that colonialism had on environments around the world.
The show has also taken serious criticism for spreading misinformation. Throughout the show, Olien often drops in supposed scientific data or fun facts to enrich the experience, but many of his claims had been disproven before he even presented them to the camera. Several of these were compiled in a report by Insider, while Vice reporter Maggie Lange wrote of the series: “What’s most frustrating about this show is not its sprinkles of bunk; the most frustrating thing about this show is that it mixes bunk with earnest reporting.”
Still, Down to Earth with Zac Efron provides an immersive experience that can show viewers plenty of new things as long as they are prepared to double-check what they learn after the fact. The show is streaming now on Netflix and will premiere on the CW on Tuesday, July 18 at 8 p.m. ET.
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