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.”
Gator Boys (10 x 1 hr) follows the death-defying exploits of Paul Bedard and Jimmy Riffle, two extraordinary alligator trappers who risk injury and death to hand-capture nuisance alligators, which have invaded the backyards, swimming pools and bedrooms of Florida Everglades residents. The duo get face to face with ferocious alligators whose jaws have 3,500 pounds of crushing power per square inch. The goal of Gator Boys Alligator Rescue is to get alligators out of harm’s way before they are captured and killed by rival trappers, who will kill and sell them for their skin and meat.
Call of the Wildman (32 x 30mins) dives deep into the backwoods of wild Kentucky with legendary woodsman and internet sensation Ernie Brown Jr. – aka ‘Turtleman’. Ernie is a charming animal lover, and for the past three decades, he’s been diving into Kentucky’s murkiest ponds in search of feisty snapping turtles capable of biting through bone. Each week, Turtleman receives calls from businesses and homeowners stuck with unwanted and potentially deadly pests.
In Maine, the elite Game Warden Service patrols more than 18 million acres of rugged terrain filled with wild animals and wild people. North Woods Law (6 x 1hr) follows the Game Warden Service during hunting season, the busiest and most dangerous time of the year. Night and day, the wardens are on call, responding to life and death situations; in anything from catching poachers in undercover operations, busting drunk drivers, tracking dangerous bears or performing intense search-and-rescue missions on remote mountaintops and in deeps waters.
Too Cute! (6 x 1hr) is a remarkable and awe-inspiring look at some of our most loveable pets – kittens and puppies. Using advanced cameras and techniques typically found in wildlife production, each episode follows three litters through every stage of early life; from birth to the wonder of first steps and the poignant moments of leaving the mother’s care. With cameras capturing every moment from the baby animal’s perspective, audiences live through each step as the babies find their ways around the wild world of their homes.
Puppies vs. Babies (3 x 1hr) is dedicated to answering the question, which is cuter puppies or babies? Each episode features 16 of the most popular and most adorable clips of animals and infants posted on the internet. The videos are evaluated by a team of judges and go through a multi-round playoff where the contenders get narrowed down from 16 until they reach a grand final between the two best videos.
The groundbreaking series Bayou Prison (working title, 8 x1 hr) has exclusive access to Angola Prison, the US’s largest and most notorious maximum security penitentiary. Once known as the bloodiest prison in America, Angola houses 5,300 of Louisiana’s most violent offenders, the majority of whom have sentences so long they will die there. On these secluded grounds, some men earn remarkable privilege and spend their time farming, raising animals and training for the annual prison rodeo. Those who rebel do their time in solitary cells.