‘River Monsters’ Scares Up Biggest Season Debut In Animal Planet History

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 2:12pm PDT

River MonstersAnimal Planet‘s best-performing series returned Sunday with the network’s most-watched season debut ever — 1.7 million viewers. That includes the network’s best debut stats among 25- to 54-year-olds (915,000). Following the two-hour River Monsters season premiere, at 11 PM, … Read More »

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Animal Planet Details First Dive Into Scripted Programming With ‘Moby Dick’ From Whale’s Point Of View

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 6:43am PDT

animal-planet-logoAnimal Planet is plunging into scripted territory with a retelling of the story that inspired the novel Moby Dick, in Revenge Of The Whale (working title). Starring Martin Sheen, this two-hour film tells a dramatic story of a time when whales were hunted for their oil. The BBC co-production re-imagines what happened when the magnificent sea creature finally turned on its killers. Here’s a complete look at Animal Planet’s new slate: Read More »

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Super Bowl Blowout Sends 13.5 Million In Search Of ‘Puppy Bowl X’ Cute – A Franchise Best In Show

By | Tuesday February 4, 2014 @ 11:05am PST

Broncos may have been a bust on Super Bowl Sunday, but puppies performed brilliantly. In addition to the runaway success of Budweiser’s Animal Planet“Puppy Love” commercial in terms of audience response, Animal Planet reports record ratings for its 10th annual Puppy Bowl. A new high of 13.5 million unique viewers checked out the canine competition across its 12-hour marathon run. The premiere telecast, from 3-5 PM ET/PT, averaged 3.3 million viewers – up 24% compared to last year.  It was the No. 1 telecast in all of cable Sunday in overall audience — as well as with women in the demo, naturally. The pooch parade put Animal Planet in second place behind only Super Bowl-hosting Fox across key demos, including 18-49, 25-54 and women 18-49.

Related: Super Bowl Scores With Record-Breaking 111.5 Million Viewers

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Martin Sheen Stars In BBC/Animal Planet Film About Whaling Disaster That Inspired ‘Moby Dick’

By | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 7:26am PST

Martin Sheen will star in The Whale, a two-hour film from BBC Factual Productions and Animal Planet that’s set to premiere in December on BBC 1 and in summer 2014 on Animal Planet. Based on … Read More »

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Animal Planet Orders ‘Alaska Gold Diggers’

By | Tuesday September 17, 2013 @ 2:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Animal Planet has given a six-episode order to Alaska Gold Diggers, a fish-out-of-water reality series about five Orange County women transplanted to Alaska, to premiere on October 10. Produced by T Group Productions in association with … Read More »

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Animal Planet Wants More Cats From Hell

By | Thursday September 5, 2013 @ 10:12am PDT

Because there is seemingly no end to cat lovers, and no end to cats from hell, Animal Planet announced this morning it has renewed its series of the same name for a fifth season. My Cat Read More »

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Shark Week Continues Ratings Records Despite Opening-Night Outrage

By | Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 4:26pm PDT

The monstrous outrage over Shark Week’s opening-night fake documentary does not appear to have taken a bite out of the franchise’s performance. Wednesday, Great White Serial Killer clocked an average of 3.2 million viewers at 10 PM, to become Shark Week’s most-watched Wednesday program in the franchise’s 26 years. (Top Ten Sharkdown delivered 2.78 million viewers at 9.) Interestingly, Wednesday’s Serial Killer netted a bigger crowd than either of Shark Week’s Tuesday programs: I Escaped Jaws (2.71 million) and Spawn of Jaws (2.77 million).

Discovery’s Shark Week Facebook page was swamped Monday with self-described longtime viewers who raged against Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives – the opening-night premiere, in which actors playing scientists bloviated about the “return” of a monster shark that became extinct 1.5 million years ago. It appears that Shark Week fans are not regular viewers of Discovery’s Animal Planet channel, or they’d be wise to the whole fake docu programming thread that’s taking hold at the company. Just this past June, after Animal Planet’s fake docu, Mermaid: The New Evidence (a follow-up to its earlier fake docu, Mermaids: The Body Found) snagged  that network’s biggest haul in its history (nearly 4 million viewers), the mermaid show’s creator was promoted to oversee a newly created Original Content Group for Discovery’s whole company of networks. Read More »

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Animal Planet Acquires ‘Hero Dogs Of 9/11′

By | Wednesday July 24, 2013 @ 5:00am PDT

EXCLUSIVE: Animal Planet has acquired the one-hour special The Hero Dogs Of 9/11 to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  The special first ran on … Read More »

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Discovery Ups Mermaid Documentary Creator To Run Original Content Group

By | Wednesday June 26, 2013 @ 11:15am PDT

Discovery Communications has promoted the guy behind Animal Planet’s controversial mermaid documentaries to oversee a newly created Original Content Group for the whole company of networks. As EVP, Charlie Foley will create, write and exec produce scripted content and nonfiction Read More »

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Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet & ID Unveil Programming Slates

By | Thursday April 4, 2013 @ 10:24am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

At Discovery Communications’ upfront today, the company’s Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet and Investigation Discovery presented their slates of new and returning series. (See Discovery/Harpo-owned OWN’s announcement here). Discovery Channel, which had its highest-rated January ever in total viewers and adults 25-54, is putting an emphasis on live events with specials Fast N’ Live and the Grand Canyon tightrope walk Wallenda Live as well as scripted TV with its first scripted project, miniseries Klondike. The network’s unscripted slate features 10 new series, including The Huntsmen, Rock Raiders, two Naked shows, Hidden Kingdom and Survival.

Related: Discovery Shows Off Star Power At Upfront Presentation

TLC’s slate features 52 new and returning series, including the return of pop culture hit Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Breaking Amish and its spinoff. Animal Planet returns 20 series and new ones like Eel Of Fortune, about hunting prized eels off the New England coast. Its best-performing series ever, River Monsters, returns April 7. Investigation Discovery, meanwhile, is offering up its second original newsmagazine Deadline: Crime With Tamron Hall and the Jerry Springer-hosted Tabloid.

Here are details for all the Discovery networks: Read More »

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Discovery Introduces 24/7 Streaming Service: Animal Planet L!VE

By | Wednesday April 3, 2013 @ 9:12am PDT

Silver Spring, Md. – Whether exhibiting human-like behavior or living an existence so foreign it is fascinating, the animal kingdom has the power to mesmerize. Today, Discovery Communications announces the debut of Animal Planet L!VE, featuring unfiltered, round-the-clock access to the compelling worlds of the beautiful, cute and misunderstood. The 24/7 digital experience builds on Discovery Communications’ long-standing success with live animal cams, including Penguin Cam and Shark Cam, and acts as a digital complement to Animal Planet and its on-air programming.

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Animal Planet’s ‘Puppy Bowl IX’ Surges During Super Bowl Power Outage

By | Tuesday February 5, 2013 @ 1:16pm PST

Related: Super Bowl XLVII Pulls In 108M Viewers

The lights going out Sunday in the Superdome may have brought the Super Bowl to a temporary standstill but it reinvigorated Puppy Bowl IX. The annual Animal Read More »

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Gators, Puppies, & Prison: ITV Studios Global, Animal Planet In Distribution Deal

Monday 26th March 2012 – ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVS GE) has signed a distribution agreement with Animal Planet, the world’s only entertainment brand that fully immerses viewers with the animal kingdom. The deal will see ITVS GE distribute 150 hours of Animal Planet programmes to all territories outside of North America. Initially, ITVS GE will introduce buyers at MIPTV to some of Animal Planet’s current slate of breakthrough content, including Gator Boys, Call of the Wildman, North Woods Law, Too Cute!, Puppies vs. Babies and Bayou Prison.

Maria Kyriacou, Managing Director of ITV Studios Global Entertainment said: “Animal Planet has a reputation for first class, internationally relevant factual and factual entertainment programming; and a brand which carries a strong resonance with audiences around the world. We are thrilled to represent this fantastic slate and look forward to presenting the diverse range of programmes to buyers at MIPTV.”

“We are thrilled to partner with ITV Studios Global Entertainment on this venture,” said Rick Holzman, senior vice president of programming and scheduling at Animal Planet. “We are sure that ITVS GE’s global market expertise will help to expand the footprint for Animal Planet’s breakout content around the world.”

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Animal Planet Ups Charlie Foley, Adds Duo To Development Team

By | Thursday March 22, 2012 @ 7:12am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Animal PlanetAnimal Planet has promoted Charlie Foley to SVP and head of development. He will continue to report to Animal Planet president and general manager Marjorie Kaplan. Additionally, the network has brought in two development executives as VP to … Read More »

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Discovery Renews Licensing Deal With Netflix For Two Years

The joint-venture channels — OWN with Oprah Winfrey, and The Hub with Hasbro — aren’t included. What’s more, “there is not any specific content that Netflix is entitled to,” Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav told investors this morning at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia Conference. He wouldn’t talk about the economics of the deal but says that they will “become apparent” the next time the company reports its quarterly earnings. He adds that while “we don’t know what’s going to happen with Netflix” — which is grappling with consumer fury after it raised prices 60% for those who want to stream video and rent DVDs –”right now we think that will not create an issue for us.” Here’s the release about Discovery’s new Netflix agreement:

Los Gatos, Calif. and Silver Spring, Md. — Netflix, Inc. and Discovery Communications today announced a two-year non-exclusive licensing agreement that allows Netflix members to instantly watch prior-season series and specials, including an expanded selection of additional seasons of popular series from Discovery, TLC and Animal Planet, as well as Investigation Discovery, Science and Military Channel. Among the highlights are Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild, TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, and Animal Planet’s River Monsters and other titles from Discovery’s rich program library.

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Disney And Fox Unveil Plan For ‘Avatar’ Theme Park Attractions

Disney has licensed exclusive global rights to the Avatar franchise from Fox and James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment — and the director will help to develop the attractions, CEO Bob Iger says. The first will be at Animal Kingdom in Orlando. The goal, he says, is to enable visitors to “enter the Avatar universe and explore it first-hand.” Cameron adds that “to bring that to life at Animal Kingdom is fantastic because it’s so thematically aligned. … We want to do things that maybe they haven’t even thought of.” Tom Staggs, who runs Disney’s theme parks, says the company is “just beginning the development phase” for a complex that will begin construction in 2013 and include Avatar-themed shops and food destinations to “bring that world to life.” Although he wouldn’t say how much the company has budgeted, he compared the scope of the first project to the 12-acre Cars Land site at Disney California Adventure Park. Cameron is working on two Avatar sequels that he plans to release around Christmas 2014 and 2015. ”That seems to correspond well” with the park plans, he says — noting that the destination will include environmental features that don’t appear in the movie. Iger says the attraction will open after the movies, although “we’re in the ballpark.” Avatar will add jobs in the ”low single digit thousands,” Staggs says. Here’s the release:

BURBANK, Calif. — Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide is joining forces with visionary filmmaker James Cameron and Fox Filmed Entertainment to bring the world of AVATAR to life at Disney parks. Through an exclusive agreement announced today by Disney, Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment and Fox, Disney will partner with Cameron and producing partner Jon Landau to create themed lands that will give theme park guests the opportunity to explore the mysterious universe of AVATAR first hand. Disney plans to build the first AVATAR themed land at Walt Disney World, within the Animal Kingdom park. With its emphasis on living in harmony with nature, Animal Kingdom is a natural fit for the AVATAR stories, which share the same philosophy. Construction is expected to begin by 2013.

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‘Mr. Sunsheen’ & ‘Snookie Blue’ Join ABC’s Lineup, Animal Planet Inks BronxZoosCobra

By | Friday April 1, 2011 @ 7:32am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s April’s Fools day, and the TV networks are having fun too. Animal Planet announced it has signed a deal with Twitter star @BronxZoosCobra for a two-hour documentary, @BronxZoosCobra: SNAKE ON THE TOWN. “We’re looking for raw, untapped talent,” said Marjorie Kaplan, president of Animal Planet and Science Networks. “We … Read More »

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TCA BITS: Ricky Gervais On Science, Mike Tyson On Pigeons, Ray Romano On Kissing

From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA Coverage:

Ricky Gervais is Now a Man of Science
Nobody has more fun than Ricky Gervais, as he proved Thursday afternoon during a TCA panel that originated live via satellite from overseas. Gervais was joined by his writer-producer partner Stephen Merchant and … Read More »

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BBC Sells 50% Share Of Discovery Channels For $156M

By | Monday November 15, 2010 @ 6:01am PST

The Beeb says it will plough the money into its own channels, including BBC America. It wants to concentrate on its own channels exclusively as opposed to running 50% of Animal Planet and Liv, the Latin American entertainment channel. It’s … Read More »

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