As Animal Planet has taught us, the forces of nature are unstoppable. As such, the network that offers rare glimpses into the lives of majestic animals will soon be airing “telepics,” “docu specials,” and a show about bounty hunters—all to keep up with the natural evolution of every niche cable channel into scripted content. According to Variety, Animal Planet is working on “a Moby Dick-inspired telepic Revenge Of The Whale, to star Martin Sheen.” The co-produced BBC movie will air this fall, with Sheen narrating the tale of a cabin boy whose formative experiences on a whaling ship change him forever.
On the nonfiction front, Chinese basketball star Yao Ming will be the focus of an upcoming documentary about efforts to decrease elephant and rhino hunting in his native country. As Animal Planet’s Marjorie Kaplan said in a statement, “We always are exploring new stories that both entertain and challenge how we view the natural world and our place in it.”
These stories also include Ice Lake Rebels, a reality show about a part of northwest Canada where “it’s a lawless frozen lake of ultra-libertarians forced together during brutal winters;” Rocky Mountain Bounty Hunters, in which “two teams of elite fugitive retrieval agents are in hot pursuit of armed and unpredictable delinquents who prefer the treacherous mountain terrain to facing justice behind bars;” and something called Pool Master.