For nearly 40 years, the National Geographic Society had produced a series of periodic television specials that aired on 4 networks (CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS) before the Society partnered with News Corporation, the parent company of Fox, to create their own channel.
The National Geographic Specials began on CBS in 1964. All you need to hear is the opening theme, composed by Elmer Bernstein, and you know you have something that is both entertaining and educational for the young'uns. After a brief stint on ABC, the series moved to PBS in 1975, then to NBC, then back to PBS.
Following is a 1984 documentary on wildlife expert Jane Goodall, narrated by Alexander Scourby.
The National Geographic monthly magazine still exists, I believe, but not in wide distribution like it was back in the day. Something to do with the fact that they photographed African women topless, I think.
Rating for the series: A.