The BBC is heading back under the sea with Blue Planet Live – a spin-off of the hugely successfully Sir David Attenborough-fronted blue-chip wildlife series.
The British public broadcaster is to launch it as a stripped four-part TV event, revisiting the wildlife and the stories of Blue Planet II, which was a huge ratings success last year with some 62% of the UK population watching it. The series also aired on BBC America and a number of AMC Networks’ channels in 2017.
The show will air in March 2019 and will be broadcast live from the East Coast of the U.S., the Bahamas and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. It will look at marine animals that breed and feed at this time of year, bringing the audience closer than ever before to different species of turtles, sharks and whales and will also be exploring the last oceanic frontier ‘The Deep’ live for the first time on television.
Chris Packham will be at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, meeting with scientists, experts and conservationists on the front line of new research. He will also be assessing the health of the world’s whales at a time of year when many are breeding, and finding out why these gentle giants are such important bell weathers of ocean health.
Steve Backshall will be on a small island in the Bahamas known for its extraordinary shark gatherings and on the Great Barrier Reef Liz Bonin will help monitor how new life is faring in this fragile place including turtles and birds.
Blue Planet Live will be produced by BBC Studios Natural History Unit and Executive Produced by Roger Webb. It was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, TV Content, Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual & Craig Hunter, Lead commissioner, Natural History & Specialist Factual.
Moore said, “Blue Planet Live will thrill the millions of viewers who discovered so much from last year’s ground breaking series that shocked the nation. BBC One continues to lead that conversation as we travel live around the globe to witness first hand the magnificent marine life within our oceans and wake up to one of the biggest environmental crisis of our times.”
Elsewhere, the BBC is also bringing back Hugh’s War on Waste, fronted by celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, who will be on a mission to ban single-use plastic in the UK, and has ordered Two Degrees, which Moore said she wanted to be the “definitive film on climate change”.
The latter is produced by BBC Studios. She added she wanted it to “cut through the confusion, tell audiences the facts without any other agenda, explore what a dangerous level of climate change could really mean. It will be unflinching about the potential catastrophe that’s unfolding… And offer the facts about what can still be done”.