British pubcaster BBC, German pubcaster ZDF and natural history Love Nature have partnered on their first co-production deal that will explore the myriad reasons animals play together.
Produced by Bristol-based factual indie Offspring Films, Animals at Play will set out on a global journey to discover why such animals as dolphins, chimpanzees, bears and wolves play, while unearthing new research that reveals it’s not all for fun.
The wildlife series will be televised across BBC2 in the UK this July before premiering in Austria, Germany and Switzerland via ZDF in September. The program will then mark its debut across 60-plus other countries via Love Nature’s SVOD and linear platforms, as well as via Smithsonian Channel in the U.S., later this year.
Love Nature’s Alison Barrat, VP of development and production, oversees the coproduction efforts. Emeka Onono is the commissioning editor for the BBC, and the executive producers for ZDF are Michael Leja and Tina Weimer. Laura Whitley is series producer.
Licensing for Animals at Play is overseen by Blue Ant International.
“Co-producing with top tier broadcast partners means Love Nature can realize our creative and storytelling ambitions and deliver visually outstanding content that fosters a deeper knowledge of the natural world for viewers around the globe,” said Carlyn Staudt, Love Nature’s EVP of programming and production, in a statement.
“Play is so much more than just fun and games,” added Offspring’s executive producer Alex Williamson. “It’s fundamental to an animal’s development and in some cases its survival. We’re only just beginning to understand its astonishing powers.”