Animal Planet Announces 2017-2018 Upfront Programming Slate
Animal Planet unveiled its primetime programming slate for 2017-2018. The network’s new and returning series will connect Animal Planet audiences with three programming themes: fun, with programming and characters that help us find the humor and joy in animals and the world they live in; heart, with dedicated and inspirational characters who care for animals; and wild, with expansive and immersive stories set in the natural world. All-new series will include ANIMAL HOUSE (WT), CAT MEETS DOG (WT), EXPEDITION MUNGO, MY FAT PET and RESCUE DOG TO SUPER DOG (WT). Returning series and special programming include DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET, MY CAT FROM HELL, PIT BULLS & PAROLEES, PUPPY BOWL XIV, TANKED and THE VET LIFE.
In 2016, Animal Planet ranked among the top 30 cable networks (#30) among Adults 25-54. THE VET LIFE was the network’s most watched new series in Adults 25-54 and the top freshman series among Women 25-54 in three years; RIVER MONSTERS was the network’s top series among Adults 25-54 for the eighth consecutive year; DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET was the network’s top series in total viewers P2+; and MY CAT FROM HELL with Jackson Galaxy had its most watched season since 2013. Nine series and special programs averaged more than one million total viewers, including DR. JEFF: ROCKY MOUNTAIN VET, PIT BULLS & PAROLEES, PUPPY BOWL, RIVER MONSTERS, TREEHOUSE MASTERS and THE VET LIFE.
“Animal Planet’s upfront slate will bring viewers programming that focuses squarely on our brand. We want Animal Planet to be the place where our super fans can be entertained, enlightened and excited about animals and by animals”, said Patrice Andrews, General Manager of Animal Planet.
The network’s 2017-2018 slate of new programming will include:
ANIMAL HOUSE (WT) follows HGTV Design Star winner, Antonio Ballatore, and his right-hand dog, Chewie, along with project manager, Grace, and a team of designers as they convert drab spaces into dream living arrangements for homeowners and their pets. Each week, Ballatore and his team meet with pet-owners looking to add custom-designed, pet-centric builds to their homes. The ANIMAL HOUSE designers and builders are up to the challenge of finding creative ways of building new customized spaces for homeowners to share with their beloved pets.
Millions of dogs live in shelters in the U.S. waiting for their forever homes. Tens of millions of people in the U.S. live with physical, mental or neurological disabilities. In Animal Planet’s new series, RESCUE DOG TO SUPER DOG (WT), shelter dogs are given a second chance to become a companion to someone in need. Dog trainers Nate Schoemer and Laura London work hand in paw to train dogs to improve the lives of the people they serve, proving that people may rescue dogs, but dogs rescue people, too.
MY FAT PET– Who hasn’t laughed at a shared internet video of a fat cat trying to fit through a cat door? But the unfortunate truth is that the U.S. pet overweight and obesity rate for dogs and cats is more than 50%, mostly the result of being overfed and not getting enough exercise. In Animal Planet’s all-new series MY FAT PET, animal expert and trainer Travis Brorsen works with pets and their owners through a four-month weight-loss journey. MY FAT PET premieres on Animal Planet in 3Q17.
CAT MEETS DOG (WT) – What happens when nature’s worst enemies are forced to live together? Cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy (MY CAT FROM HELL) and dog trainer Zoe Stathis-Sandor come together to establish harmony in households with cats and dogs who don’t get along. Throughout the series, Jackson and Zoe also educate one another on their preferred species and try to convince the other who has the most pawsome pack.
During the nine seasons of Animal Planet’s #1 rated series River Monsters**, Jeremy Wade explored some of the world’s most important waterways. He returns to Animal Planet in MONSTER RIVERS (WT), an all-new series which explores the health of the world’s rivers and the lives of the people and wildlife dependent upon these waters.
EXPEDITION MUNGO – Paul “Mungo” Mungeam is known as one of the premiere adventure cameramen and has traveled to more than 90 countries to capture the world’s wild and wonderful – and sometimes hostile – environments. Mungo now steps in front of the camera to lead viewers on his own adventures, exploring myths and legends he’s heard during his 20 years traveling the world. Throughout Mungo’s travels, he encountered locals with fascinating, bone-chilling tales of mythical creatures that have been passed down as legend and lore from generation to generation. Now he leads a trusted team of fellow adventurers to some of the most remote and undiscovered corners of the globe in hopes of separating fact from fiction. On each quest, he meets eyewitnesses and sets out to find clues and evidence in hopes of finding the truth behind extraordinary and mysterious animals and capture it on film.
EXTINCT OR ALIVE – The search is on! From eyewitness accounts to the last known photographs, Animal Planet audiences will follow wildlife biologist and adventurer Forrest Galante as he explores the corners of the world to prove whether species are really extinct. Galante will explore long-held myths to find out the real stories behind these extinct creatures.
RETURNING SERIES/SPECIAL PROGRAMMING
MONSTERS INSIDE ME reveals the unknown ticking time bomb of infections that can go off in your body at any minute – from parasites and viruses to bacteria and fungi, along with foreign objects the can plague unsuspecting victims. The cases are unexpected – and sometimes unexplainable – and doctors must race against the clock to diagnose the culprits. Viewers see the mystery unfold through first-person accounts; interviews with friends, families and doctors; and reenactments of the victim’s grueling journey. Host/biologist Dan Riskin provides scientific perspective on the cringe-worthy creatures making their homes within the hidden crevices of our bodies. It seems as if no one is safe from these microscopic monsters.
The journey is the destination for cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy in MY CAT FROM HELL. With a career spanning more than 20 years, the Cat Daddy has been on an unbelievable ride, taking him from the gates of heaven to the depths of hell and everywhere in between. Along with his usual cat wizardry helping hellish felines, Jackson aims to correct cat behavior and improve relationships between cats and their guardians with one goal in mind – to prevent pet guardians from giving up their pets and contributing to already overcrowded shelters.
Every year, shelters and rescues across the country spend countless hours finding homes for millions of abandoned animals. In PET NATION RENOVATION, a deserving shelter receives a much needed top-to-bottom makeover, providing animals with a more comfortable stay while awaiting their forever home. Hosted by animal expert and home renovation enthusiast Dave Salmoni, he and a makeover team completely transform the shelter which cumulates in an adoption event to help the animals find their happy “tails.”
PIT BULLS & PAROLEES features Tia Torres, a true believer in second chances. For more than 20 years, Tia has dedicated her life to Villalobos Rescue Center, the largest pit bull rescue center in the U.S. She has also offered a fresh start to more than 50 parolees and a new lease on life to dogs that were discarded, demonized and abused, often due solely to the reputation of their breed. Now more than ever, she must rely on her children, their significant others and the parolees to follow in her footsteps and keep the ever-expanding rescue running effectively in multiple locations. Tia fights the never-ending battle and emotional rollercoaster of running the nation’s largest pit bull sanctuary where each new day brings happiness or heartbreak – and sometimes both.
Going into its 14th year, PUPPY BOWL has owned the world’s cutest sporting event on television. Every Super Bowl Sunday, two teams of the fluffiest and cuddliest line barkers and wide retrievers take to the gridiron for a playful game of ear tugs, tackles and tumbles. Representing rescues from across the country, these adoptable four-legged players that make up #TeamRuff and #TeamFluff are serious when it comes to taking home the Lombarky trophy or the title of Most Valuable Puppy (MVP) title and more importantly…their furever homes.
In TANKED, Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM), one of the country’s most successful builders of aquariums, and two of Sin City’s most imaginative businessmen, co-owners Wayde King and Brett Raymer, are tasked with building enormous and awe-inspiring tanks and aquariums for top celebrities and athletes, luxury hotels and casinos, Fortune 500 businesses and private homeowners across the country. ATM takes on more than 200 projects every year with tanks ranging from 50 to five million gallons in size that feature the most exotic, unusual, colorful and dangerous fish in the world.
Pete Nelson dedicates his life granting people’s dreams of turning peaceful nooks in nature into the ultimate escapes. In TREEHOUSE MASTERS, Pete and his team execute the most outrageous treehouses designed to delight every whimsy, form and function. Whether he’s building magnificent multi-bedroom treehouses with state-of-the-art kitchens and bathrooms or rendering simpler, peaceful one-room escapes, Pete always goes out on a limb to create the most breathtaking treehouses with spectacular views.
THE VET LIFE returns for a second season and follows veterinarians, Dr. Diarra Blue, Dr. Aubrey Ross and Dr. Michael Lavigne, who operate a full-service veterinarian hospital together in Houston. The series captures the long-time friends’ lives as they juggle running a thriving business dedicated to the treating and saving the lives of animals at their clinic, alongside balancing family life with spouses, parents, in-laws, children, pets and friends.
*Tied with 2009
**River Monsters has been Animal Planet’s #1 series among Adults 25-54 for eight consecutive years to date, no exclusions