BBC Partners With PBS & BBC America On Landmark Natural History Series Including David Attenborough Doc

David Attenborough

The BBC has partnered with PBS on a new big-budget natural history series, Green Planet, while Sir David Attenborough is back with a new landmark factual project.

Green Planet (w/t) is the latest in a long line of major series from the BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU) following the success of Blue Planet and Planet Earth. It tells the story of planet earth from the perspective of plants. Using brand new technological advances and over two decades of new discoveries, it will show how plants are as aggressive, competitive and dramatic as animals – locked in desperate battles for food, for light, to reproduce and to scatter their young. They are social – they communicate with each other, they care for their young, they help their weak and injured. They can plan, they can count, they can remember. Plants are the stars of this series but there will also be “box-office” animals.

The five-part series was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, BBC Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual and Bill Gardner, Vice President, Programming and Development at PBS. It is exec produced by Mike Gunton and co-produced by The Open University.

Meanwhile, the British public broadcaster is working with BBC America on One Planet, Seven Worlds (w/t) with Attenborough. The seven-part series, which is co-produced with China’s Tencent Penguin Pictures, ZDF and France Télévisions, tells the story of the planet’s spectacular wildlife and iconic landscapes. This series will reveal how each distinct continent has shaped the unique animal life found there.

Viewers will discover why Australasia is full of peculiar and venomous wildlife; why North America is a land of opportunity where pioneers succeed; and what the consequences are for life racing to compete on the richest of all continents, South America. The series will feature remarkable, new animal behaviour from all the continents including the baking plains of Africa and the frozen waters off Antarctica. In Asia, the biggest of all continents, we will showcase life at the extremes, whilst in Europe we will reveal surprising wildlife dramas hidden right alongside us.

Produced by the NHU, is was commissioned by Moore and McDonald and is exec produced by Jonny Keeling.

The new shows were unveiled by Alison Kirkham, the BBC’s controller of factual commissioning at an event in London.

She said, “The BBC has a unique commitment to factual programming. I don’t believe any other broadcaster in British television has such an extraordinary breath of output in Factual.  Plenty of other broadcasters are now following our lead, but we’re determined to keep moving the conversation forwards. That’s what makes the BBC special – the desire to anticipate and stimulate the national conversation, not motivated by commercial imperatives or what’s in fashion.”

“It’s always been important to me that we are a department with integrity and in turn it means that people have been generous enough to trust us with their most intimate stories – be that filmmakers, contributors, or famous faces. Tonight I re-affirm that commitment.  We want to be the home for creatives to do their most personal work, and to seek out the untold stories. We want to be the home for the most ambitious, most challenging, most moving ideas. Our ambition is to make programmes that are central to people’s lives,” she added.

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