Last Sunday, Discovery’s latest seven-part series North America debuted to 3.4 million viewers, making it the night’s second-highest rated cable show behind Game of Thrones). If it’s battles you want to see, narrator Tom Selleck talks you through a few in the next hour, “Learn Young or Die” (May 26, 9 p.m. ET), including one between an OCD woodpecker and a hungry squirrel. Watch it below. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Animals (1-10 of 13)
Naked bodies, naked bodies, whatcha gonna do? You’re gonna blur them, that’s what! COPS post producer Mitsuo Goto is the man who keeps this 25-seasons-old Fox docuseries (mostly) respectable with the magic of pixelation. Here, the cover-up artist — who’s been with COPS since season 7 — talks about the types of imagery that require his attention, how much butt crack he can show, and the strangest thing he’s ever had to obscure. READ FULL STORY
So, the Harbaugh brothers are coaching against each other in Super Bowl XLVII on Sunday? Big woof. In Puppy Bowl IX, EIGHT sets of siblings are facing off on the gridiron, including miniature pinscher brothers Re Re, Frances, and Winston, along with sister Agatha. Plus, all dogs have tested negative for deer-antler spray.
This year’s installment of the annual competition of cuteness, which airs Sunday at 3 p.m. on Animal Planet, will feature 63 young pooches scampering across a tiny football field. They will be cheered on by nine hedgehog cheerleaders, and entertained by a 21-kitten halftime show. Did you know: More than 250 puppy pee pads were used in the making of this spectacle? (Also, there was one humping incident.) READ FULL STORY
Tonight, Discovery premieres the “Congo” hour of Africa (10 p.m. ET), its seven-part collaboration with the BBC. In the Feb. 11 behind-the-scenes episode, we’ll see just how difficult it was to capture the first footage of a teenage chimp who uses four different tools to hunt for honey, and what happened when a cameraman decided to spend a night in a tree trying to film unpredictable forest elephants.
It took a crew a three weeks to track the honey-hunter chimp. “Trying to film primates, monkey and apes, in forests, is one of the hardest things on the planet to do as filmmaker, because you’re on the ground, and they think, ‘Gosh, I feel like going over there,’ and they jump through the trees. But by the time you get there, they think, ‘Actually, I don’t want to be here, I want to go back to where I was,’” Mike Gunton, Creative Director of the BBC Natural History Unit, tells EW. “It’s 100 percent humidity, God knows what temperature. You’re tripping. And the bugs. A lot of it’s in the head: If something happens that gives you a good shot early on, it can take you a long way and you can put up with it. But if you spend two and a half weeks without getting any shots at all, that’s the hardest. I don’t want to get the little violins out. But I didn’t go on that shoot, so I can say it.” Watch a sneak peek below. READ FULL STORY
Tonight, Discovery airs the second installment of Africa (10 p.m. ET), its seven-part collaboration with the BBC. The cameras turn to the Savannah, and like the region itself, the hour runs the extremes. Let’s start on a happy note, with a clip in which narrator Forest Whitaker truly outdoes himself. For the first time, cameras caught daredevil agama lizards in the Serengeti hunting for flies on sleeping lions. Watch it below. “The wildebeests arrive, they eat and poop out tons and tons and tons of dung, and all these dung flies live off the dung. Lions eat the wildebeests and live on these rock outcrops called kopjes, and on these kopjes also live these agama lizards,” Mike Gunton, Creative Director of the BBC Natural History Unit, explains to EW. “The lizards are quite rubbish at catching flies, so one way of doing it is to actually climb up onto the backs of the lions and steal the flies off their faces. Of course, it takes real nerve.” You need to see this. READ FULL STORY
. We all thought, Ohmygod, he’s dead. He was out cold for three or four minutes before he finally got up. You’ll never look at giraffes the same way again. That’s one of the things that’s key about the series: Africa is a well-known place. A lot of people have filmed in Africa, so it was very important for us to try to say to people, ‘Actually, there’s a whole side to Africa that you just don’t know, and actually, all the things that you think you know about Africa — giraffes behave differently, rhinos behave differently, there’s a places in the desert with the biggest underground lakes.”
On Jan. 8 at 10 p.m. ET, Discovery premieres the first installment of Africa, a seven-part coproduction with the BBC from the documentary team behind Life narrated by Forest Whitaker. Below is a first look at what’s been described as “the most violent giraffe fight ever filmed,” featured in that first hour, “Kalahari.” It took the crew four weeks to capture the 90-second desert knockout in which two giraffes use their six-foot long necks as weapons and exchange blows. It was the only giraffe fight they saw the month they were there. You’ve got to see it to believe it. This clip is just a tease. READ FULL STORY
TV critics took on Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot during a contentious panel at the Television Critics Association’s semi-annual press tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday.
For those who haven’t seen the show, it’s a bit like Syfy’s Ghost Hunters, only an expert team looks for Sasquatch instead of spooks. There are interviews, data crunching, mysterious footprints and a group hunting in the woods … but no actual bigfoot.
The press tour reporters have spent nearly two weeks in a hotel interviewing actors and executives promoting TV shows. So when Animal Planet rolls out this panel the critics are, understandably, thinking: Show us bigfoot or GTFO.
A critic points out: If these guys actually find bigfoot, such huge news is not going to really stay quiet until a regular episode of Finding Bigfoot airs. One asks: Has Animal Planet run out of real animals to do shows about? Yet another wonders: First Animal Planet airs a mermaids special, now this — isn’t Animal Planet damaging its brand with this stuff? READ FULL STORY
Cable’s longest-running ritual, Discovery’s Shark Week, will celebrate its 25th anniversary beginning Aug. 12. A host has not yet been announced, but EW has the first look at this year’s eight new specials. And they are…
Air Jaws Apocalypse, premiering Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET: First of all, love the title. How else do you top Ultimate Air Jaws? Shark expert Chris Fallows and natural history producer Jeff Kurr return to Seal Island, South Africa and the 14-foot great white named Colossus. “And what they discover in this yearlong filming expedition,” according to the synopsis, “is a true scientific breakthrough: dozens of great whites clustered in shallow water, feeding on smaller sharks and rays — with Colossus dominating the grounds and nearly eating the camera.” (Note: That is a decoy seal in the photo. We asked. Feel better?) READ FULL STORY
On this Sunday’s installment of Discovery’s Frozen Planet, “Life in the Freezer,” the focus turns to the humans who call the Arctic home and the extreme lengths that they must go to survive when frozen ground makes growing crops impossible. In this clip, a man trusts his life to the strength of his friends and an old nylon rope as he scales a 300-foot cliff to collect guillemot eggs. Watch below. READ FULL STORY
'Frozen Planet' makers on near-death experiences, passing time at the poles, and being driven mad by penguins -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
This Sunday, Discovery premieres what could be the most fascinating hour of its seven-part polar exploration series Frozen Planet — the making-of. We already talked with series producer Vanessa Berlowitz and director Chadden Hunter about how this installment is for them — especially in the case of revisiting the solo bison-wolf battle captured in last week’s “Winter” episode – a therapy session. (“We wanted to basically take the viewer’s hand and say, ‘Okay, this was emotional to watch, but we go through the same emotions when we film it,’” Hunter said.) Now, we probe deeper into what life was like for the crew during the four-year production. Here’s what we learned:
• Though penguins can drive a man mad — watch our exclusive clip below from “The Making of Frozen Planet” — they are still awesome.
CHADDEN HUNTER: The sun doesn’t set, but you’re trying to sleep on the sea ice. You put your head down, and you can hear the seal voices through the ice. The Weddell seals have this beautiful alien-like song. So you have them going off beneath your pillow while outside around your tent, all the Emperor penguins are coming up to be curious. You can see the shadows on your tent getting closer and closer. [Makes penguin noises.] And of course, they’ll trip over your tent wires. [Makes flustered penguin noises.] They’ll get all grumpy, and then they’ll circle the tent again and trip over the tent wires again.
VANESSA BERLOWITZ: I got harassed by Adélie penguins. We had David Attenborough there, trying to do a piece with him and record sound. I was trying to take some still photographs of David with the penguins, and I put my lens down next to me, and I hear this kind of rolling sound. I look, and a penguin is pushing my lens down the hill toward his nest. He was thinking, This is a really big rock. Clearly showing off for the females. Classic male behavior. The longer the lens. [Laughs] Then I smell this smell next to me, and a penguin has pooed in my still case. That happens all the time. Your gear is covered in poo. We put up a stand with a microphone on it, and in order to stop the wind’s effect, you put something fluffy over it. So I was listening, and I heard this scratching sound. There was a penguin on the microphone, seemingly trying to mate. READ FULL STORY
'Frozen Planet' preview: A seal pup reunites with its mother, Alec Baldwin narrates crazy caribou foreplay -- EXCLUSIVE CLIPS
Have you recovered from the Orca “wave wash” scene in the Frozen Planet premiere? We hope so, because nature’s emotional roller-coaster ride continues in the next installment of the seven-part series from the makers of Planet Earth. In “Summer” (premiering Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery), you’ll watch an adorable fur seal pup get caught between two 400 lb. bulls fighting for females. Warning: The battle is brutal, but the reunion between the lost pup and its mother is joyous. Watch it below. In our second exclusive clip, you just have to trust that the music and narrator Alec Baldwin wouldn’t sound so upbeat if the scene of a female caribou being chased by a herd of “amorous males” ended the way you’re worried it might… READ FULL STORY
This Sunday, Discovery debuts the new seven-part series Frozen Planet, from the makers of Planet Earth and Life. During four years of production, the temperatures went as low as -58°F and the winds as high as 148 miles per hour. In total, the crew spent 2,356 days in the field, 840 hours trapped in blizzards, and 134 hours filming under the ice. Among the jaw-dropping footage seen in the first two programs premiering Sunday: the killer whale “wave wash” behavior in which orcas swim in a line to make waves that knock a seal off an ice floe, and a pack of 25 patient wolves working together to separate a bison from its herd. We sat down with series producer Vanessa Berlowitz and director Chadden Hunter. READ FULL STORY
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