Mermaids, lion tamers, rat exterminators, tattooists and Bigfoot all feature on the upfront slate for U.S. cable channel Animal Planet, forming part of 14 new series and 12 returners.
Among the arrivals lined up for the network, Detroit Animal Tattoo (working title) follows Detroit-based Tom Renshaw, a tattoo artist specializing in photo-realistic wildlife tattoos; Finding Bigfoot looks at four eccentric but passionate members of the Bigfoot Field Research Organization as they hunt for the Sasquatch; and Lion Kings Of Las Vegas (working title) explores a Las Vegas family of entertainers that deal with tigers, panthers and lions.
Hillbilly Handfishin’, meanwhile, sees adventure-thirsty city-slickers heading to Oklahoma to submerge themselves in murky waters to catch catfish with their bare hands and feet; while two-hour special Mermaids: The Body Found (working title) looks at amateur video and photographic evidence which suggests that mermaids might exist.
Elsewhere, Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer sees the titular wildlife control agent and his crew facing the challenges of catching home-invading creatures without traps or killing them, including possums, bats and even mountain lions; while Puppies Vs. Babies sees judges looking at the cutest clips from the internet.
Among the other shows, Rat Busters NYC looks at exterminators in the Big Apple; Romance Is Dead (working title) looks at a taxidermy shop in the backwoods of Romance, Arkansas; and Sweet Avenger (working title) is a cupcake show set in a vegan bakery in Bethlehem, PA.
Finally, Tanked (working title) follows the antics of two brothers-in-law as they run one of the largest aquarium manufacturing companies in the U.S.
“Animal Planet tells bold stories at the electrifying intersection of humans and animals,” said Marjorie Kaplan, Animal Planet president and general manager. “Whether through mysterious trips out into the wild, laugh-out-loud adventures with big characters, or moving and deeply affecting dramas, animals are a terrific accelerant to the wide range of raw, real, big entertainment audiences can expect from us.”
In addition to the new shows, the network’s big ratings-winner River Monsters will be returning, as will Pit Boss, Pitbulls & Parolees and Whale Wars.