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BBC expands on “Planet” strand with three new series

British pubcaster the BBC has unveiled three new series in its landmark natural history ‘Planet’ strand, which already includes Planet Earth, Planet Earth II, Blue Planet, Blue Planet II and Frozen ...
February 11, 2019

British pubcaster the BBC has unveiled three new series in its landmark natural history ‘Planet’ strand, which already includes Planet Earth, Planet Earth II, Blue Planet, Blue Planet II and Frozen Planet.

Perfect Planet (5 x 60 minutes, pictured) explores how life on earth operates and examines how the forces of nature like weather, ocean currents, solar energy and volcanoes impact life. The series is expected to bow in 2020.

Perfect Planet is produced by Silverback Films and co-produced by Tencent Penguin Pictures, France Télévisions and The Open University for BBC1. Alastair Fothergill serves as executive producer and Huw Cordey as series producer. It was commissioned by BBC director of content Charlotte Moore and head of commissioning for natural history and specialist factual Tom McDonald.

Frozen Planet II (6 x 60 minutes), meanwhile, returns to the Arctic and Antarctica 10 years after the original Frozen Planet premiered across the broadcaster in an attempt to further explore the icy portions of the globe with new technology and insights. The series is scheduled to premiere in 2021.

Frozen Planet II is produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and co-produced by BBC America and The Open University for BBC1. Mark Brownlow serves as executive producer and Elizabeth White as series producer. It was commissioned by Moore and McDonald.

Planet Earth III (8 x 60 minutes) will use new technologies and discoveries made in the earlier Planet Earth and Blue Planet series to deliver what the BBC calls its most ambitious natural history landmark series yet. The series will launch in 2022.

Planet Earth III is produced by BBC Studios’ natural history unit and co-produced by BBC America and The Open University for BBC1. Mike Gunton serves as executive producer and Jonny Keeling as series producer. It was commissioned by Moore and McDonald.

“The BBC is world famous for its natural history programming and these new series will raise the bar even higher,” said Moore in a statement. “We know that audiences want shows that bring them the richest narratives, the best camerawork and the highest quality production values and they look to us to deliver this. Viewers around the globe have been captivated by the incredible stories that the ‘Planets’ series have told and now new technology allow us to explore even more of the natural world than ever before.”

Meanwhile, the BBC is producing three other natural history series: Primates (3 x 60 minutes), produced by BBC Studios’ NHU and co-produced by PBS for BBC1, with EP Mike Gunton and series producer Gavin Boyland, about the various species of primates on the planet; The Mating Game (working title; 5 x 60 minutes), produced by Silverback Films for BBC2, with EP Fothergill and series producer Jeff Wilson, about animal mating around the globe; and Earth’s Paradise Islands (3 x 60 minutes), produced by BBC Studios’ NHU and co-produced by PBS for BBC2, with EP Mark Brownlow and series producer Kathryn Jeffs, about Madagascar, Borneo and Hawaii and each island’s unique wildlife.

All three series were commissioned by Moore and McDonald.

Elsewhere, AMC-owned BBC America, which co-produces the ‘Planet’ series, will air Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III in 2021 and 2022, respectively, along with the previously announced One Planet: Seven Worlds (w/t) in 2020.

“We are delighted to renew our successful partnership with BBC Studios, and to continue to co-produce these groundbreaking series,” said Sarah Barnett, president of entertainment networks for AMC Networks, in a statement. “To bring together audiences for this kind of transcendent event television is a true privilege, we couldn’t be happier to continue to do this for the next five years.”

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