Discovery Communications-owned Animal Planet has amped up the natural history programming in its 2012-2013 slate, led by Frontier Earth With Dave Salmoni (w/t, pictured), a series starring the network’s go-to large predator expert.
The six-part series takes viewers on a guided journey of the world’s major ecosystems, while showing the plights of the world’s “most enigmatic animals.”
Episodes in the series will feature Salmoni heading to India’s Sariska Nature Reserve to investigate whether efforts to reintroduce native tigers into the sanctuary have worked, and to the Island of Komodo in the Republic of Indonesia, where leading scientists track down the Komodo dragon.
Other episodes focus on Dr. Ingrid Visser, who is one of the only scientists in the world to dive with killer whales; primatologist Anna Nekaris, who has devoted her life to studying the slow loris; and U.S. biologist Erik Patel, who aims to save the Sifaka lemurs from extinction.
In addition to Frontier Earth with Dave Salmoni, Animal Planet’s 2012-13 Upfront slate includes the introduction of The Afterlife: Hippo and The Afterlife: Elephant, which the network is billing as “an extraordinary reversed-time odyssey, spotlighting the continuum of life following death.”
The two specials are the U.S. versions of the UK’s Channel 4 one-offs, Hippo: Nature’s Wild Feast and The Elephant: Life After Death, which were re-edited, feature a different narrator, and no host.
Rounding out the slate are Wild Arabia (w/t), from Planet Earth and Frozen Planet‘s filmmakers; the Gordon Buchanan-directed Polar Bear Family and Me (w/t), which follows a baby polar bear’s efforts to survive; and two series examining “the wilderness in our own backyard,” Wild Hawaii (w/t) and Swamplands (w/t).
“Nowhere else has wildlife programming of this caliber been presented so powerfully, where independent voices from around the globe tell stories in a way only Animal Planet can,” said Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet.