So, you thought Animal Planet only shows some wildlife footages with no real story to tell? It's time to change your opinion now.
Animal Planet has recently come up with shows which are full of emotions, drama, humour and of course, dollops of adventure.
For instance, there's the emotional story of tigress 'Machli'. The channel will showcase how she fights to save her territory for her kids from two male tigers. The show will be premiered on Animal Planet on November 8 at 10 pm.
The programme looks at how Machli had battled with her mother two years ago, and had taken over the prime tiger territory around Ranthambhore's lakes. Now Machli has two cubs of her own, but the father of her litter has gone and is presumed dead. Machli's cubs are in grave danger from the two new males, who are trying to establish themselves in the area and mate with her.
In this show 'The Natural World: Danger In Tiger Paradise', renowned wildlife filmmaker Valmik Thapar returns to Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, to witness Machli's progress. Thapar, incidentally, has followed Machli for four years.
Another interesting film with plenty of drama is 'The Natural World: Warriors Of The Monkey God' (aka Monkey Warriors) which premieres on November 10. The story of this real life incident revolves around a gang of 29 langurs and their young ones, all governed by a monkey warlord in Jodhpur. These monkeys have carved the city between themselves and the film shows how a new warlord overthrows the older one, which interestingly happens every three to four years.
In yet another real life emotional show, 'Lords Of The Animals: Chami & Ana, The Elephant', Animal Planet focuses on the human and animal relationship. The show is based on the emotional relationship between and mahout and his elephant. The story of the show revolves around Ana, the elephant, and Chami, the mahout, who have shared their lives for four decades
Shot on the beautiful landscape of the Malabar Coast, this wildlife movie discovers the mysterious life of elephants during musth - a yearly madness that affects them, and their mating.
All these new shows, premiering on Animal Planet, form a part of India-centric programming. Pankaj Saxena, vice-president, programming, Discovery India, says, "Animal Planet may be a very niche channel on wildlife, but we have tried to bring in variety in our programming by introducing programmes full of drama, emotion and also comedy - which appeals to the whole family."
Animal Planet, the channel from the house of Discovery dedicated to exploring the relationship between animal and humans, has recently repositioned itself as a family channel, bringing in variety in its programming.
As part of its humorous programmes, the channel is airing 'Planet's Funniest Animal' and the mysterious shows such as 'Supernatural' and 'Nightmares of Nature'. Saxena says, "Humorous and mysterious shows are of great interest to kids."
Especially targeted at kids, the channel has another show called 'Monkey Business' focused on chimpanzees, gorillas and other monkey species. Saxena says, these shows are full of emotions as these animals also lead a social life like humans.
As part of its India-centric programming, there are few other shows as well. In the show, 'O'Shea's Big Adventure: In The Python's Grip', which premieres on November 9, another wildlife filmmaker of international fame, Mark O'Shea comes to India in an attempt to solve a puzzle about one of the greatest predators on the continent - the rock python.
He is said to know more about rock pythons than any other living field scientist (even having being bitten by one in the face). He is also the only person in recent times to be given permission by the Indian government to handle this endangered species in the country.
Saxena says, "Most of these wildlife filmmakers have spent years making only wildlife movies. With so many years of experience in this sector, they have simply become the biggest authorities on wildlife."
In another show, which premieres on November 11, Jeff Corwin travels from Ranthambhore where he encounters the near-extinct Bengal tiger, and then reaches Gujarat to meet the lesser known Asiatic lion. Between these two riveting encounters, Jeff meets some fascinating people and encounters other animals, including a king cobra and the soft-shell turtle.
One can also explore India in the show, 'Being There: India', which is being premiered on November 12. The show focuses on India, which is the land of dreams and romance, palaces and hovels, tigers and jungles, and has many religions and thousands of gods.
And for those who thought that wildlife movies were just the forte of European and American filmmakers, they would soon come in for some surprise. Coming up shortly on Animal Planet will be wildlife films made by Indian filmmakers. Some of their work was recently screened in an event called Wildscreen in the UK
Saxena says, "We will not only utilise the talent of these Indian wildlife filmmakers by airing it on our channel very shortly, we also want to take their work at the international level and showcase Indian wildlife and our filmmakers in front of the entire world through other Animal planet channels."
However, Saxena clarifies that recent premieres of Indian wildlife shows on Animal Planet will be test marketing for the shows made by Indian filmmakers. He seemed confident that the shows will do very well garnering a larger share of viewership for the channel.
Saxena says that the recent repositioning of the channel and introduction of new shows has helped the channel garner more viewers in cities such as Mumbai and Kolkata.
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