EXCLUSIVE: Ellen DeGeneres, an animal lover and supporter of wildlife conservation, has signed an exclusive multi-year deal with Discovery to produce natural history content across all platforms. Under the marquee pact, the comedian and talk-show host will develop and produce specials, series and documentaries in the natural history space for Discovery Channel and the Discovery+ streaming platform through her A Very Good Production.
The first project under the deal is Endangered. DeGeneres will narrate and executive produce the documentary from Discovery and the BBC Natural History Unit, which will begin streaming on Earth Day, April 22, on Discovery+.
Endangered marks the first time DeGeneres has narrated a documentary as well as the BBC Studios Natural History Unit’s first non-BBC commission. It follows the effort of dedicated wildlife conservationists across the globe as they work to compile the latest version of The Red List – the most comprehensive record of the state of the world’s wildlife that has ever been created.
“Ellen’s dedication to the environment and her love for all animals, including the most endangered creatures who call our planet home, is unmatched,” said Nancy Daniels, Chief Brand Officer, Discovery and Factual. “We welcome Ellen and her team to the Discovery family as she brings her humor, her voice, and her ability to inspire to these important passion projects.”
DeGeneres is a longtime proponent of rescue animals and an animal rights activist. Founded in 2018, The Ellen Fund supports global conservation efforts for endangered species.
“I’m so excited to partner with Discovery,” DeGeneres said. “I’ll get to discover all kinds of things about incredible animals. For instance, did you know the Ring-tailed lemur’s tail is longer than its body? I think that’s his tail. I hope that’s his tail. I have so much to discover with Discovery.”
The slate will be executive produced by Jeff Kleeman, President of Ellen’s AVGP company, and Howard Swartz, SVP Documentaries and Specials, Discovery. The natural history-driven projects for Discovery fall outside of AVGP’s exclusive production deal at Warner Bros TV for scripted and unscripted series as well as syndicated fare.
Programs under that pact include the nationally syndicated daytime talker The Ellen DeGeneres Show, NBC game shows Ellen’s Game of Games and the upcoming Family Game Night, HBO Max’s Ellen’s Next Great Designer and the Netflix animated series Green Eggs and Ham. DeGeneres and AVGP are repped by ICM Partners and Morris Yorn.
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