In this week’s round-up, new unscripted series and documentaries are on the way for Bravo, Animal Planet, Discovery Channel and PBS’s ‘American Experience’ showcase.
Discovery Communications-owned channel Animal Planet will broadcast the Jack Black-narrated two-hour special Panda Republic on January 26 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.
Produced by New Zealand-based NHNZ, the special is slated to depict the plight of the giant panda that sees the species left with less than 2,000 in the wild and approximately 400 in captivity. The film will also focus on two Chinese panda centers dedicated to saving the endangered bear, including the Bifengxia Panda Center, which is devoted to increasing the captive population; and the Wolong Panda Center, which is focused on breeding the animals back into the wild.
Elsewhere, PBS history series ‘American Experience’ will investigate morality, individual responsibility and capital punishment in The Perfect Crime (pictured).
The Desert Penguin Pictures-made documentary follows the 1924 murder of a 14-year-old boy by two wealthy University of Chicago students. Though they would eventually confess to the killing, a landmark defence mounted by their attorney Clarence Darrow would see the pair avoid the hangman’s noose by arguing that a childhood trauma, society and the death penalty itself were to blame. The Perfect Crime debuts on February 9 at 9 p.m. EST/PST on ‘American Experience.’
Meanwhile, Venom Hunters will see U.S. net Discovery Channel risking venomous serpent bites by following expert snake hunters. Set to bow on February 17 at 10 p.m. EST/PST, the Authentic Entertainment-produced series traces four expert teams from across the Florida swamplands to the Australian outback.
Film crews will follow the snake specialists as they trap and harvest reptiles for their venomous liquids, which will then be utilized as anti-venom and in medical research aimed at treating such diseases as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Finally, the Monkey Kingdom-made Tour Group will see audiences jet-setting across the world on Bravo starting March 1 at 10 p.m. EST/PST. The lavish travel docuseries will shadow a group of 11 globetrotters in search of the ultimate vacation led by Lonely Planet author Brandon Presser, travel expert and photographer Rachel Grant, and luxury travel specialist and former model Sandhurst Miggins.
The global wanderers will explore some of the world’s most exotic and exclusive destinations while partaking in such activities as riding elephants in Thailand and expeditions with mountain gorillas in Rwanda.