Upfronts ’15: Animal Planet unveils “unscriptable” slate

Alaskan vodka, Bigfoot and environmental builds factor into Animal Planet's 2015/2016 slate. (Pictured: Sheriff of Cross River)
March 31, 2015

Animal Planet is boosting its conservation genre with the forthcoming series Sheriff of Cross River and making over animal shelters in America Builds a Shelter.

The net revealed its upcoming slate at the Discovery Communications Upfront presentation in New York today (March 31), kicking off the presentation with a sizzle of the previously announced series 100 Miles from Nowhere, which Marjorie Kaplan – group president for Animal Planet, TLC and Velocity – said was not a “survival series but a thrival series.”

Among Animal Planet’s new series is the Red Rock Films and Triosphere Productions-made Sheriff of Cross River - the latest offering in the net’s “muscular conservation” genre – which follows Nigerian conservation activist Peter Jenkins, who works to ward off poachers and other threats to the species of Cross River.

Elsewhere, the Loud TV-produced Restoration Wild follows Jay Chaikin and his crew of builders as they identify and repurpose abandoned vintage structures and relics such as buses and cabins. Meanwhile, NHNZ Ltd.’s two-hour special Living with Maneaters explores the “delicate balance” among humans and wild animals in India.

Meanwhile, in the Ardaban-produced America Builds a Shelter – which the net bills as “Extreme Home Makeover but with an Animal Planet twist” – teams find and renovate animal shelters across the U.S.

Additional series on the way at the net include the High Noon Entertainment-produced Last North, which follows explorers Eric Larsen and Ryan Waters as they traverse the Arctic Ocean from Northern Ellesmere Island to the geographic North Pole, as well as Watson Pond Productions’ Fish or Die (working title), which tags along with four “diehard” angler fishermen who travel the world in a vegetable-oil-powered pick-up truck.

Also to debut is Icon Films’ Bigfoot Found (w/t), on mountaineer Reinhold Messner and British scientist Mark Evans’ journey from the Italian Alps to the Himalayas; JV Productions’ Curse of the Frozen Gold, on the legendary Lost Creek Mine; World Media Rights’ Animal Black Ops (w/t), which follows the Office of Law Enforcement and its 250 special agents who investigate wildlife crimes; and Engel Entertainment’s Lone Star Law, about the 500 agents of Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Other series and specials include BBC Sales Company and JVP’s Lands of the Monsoon (w/t), Warehouse 51 Productions’ Wild Costa Rica, NHNZ Ltd.’s Wild Idea (w/t), Plimsoll Productions’ Predator and Bait (w/t), BBC Worldwide Americas’ Patagonia: Edge of Earth(w/t), and Matador Content LLC’s Alaska Proof (w/t).

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