[01/13/05 - 12:00 AM]
Animal Planet Announces Third Special with Jane Goodall

[via press release from Animal Planet]

Animal Planet Announces Third Special With Jane Goodall

The Pioneering Primatologist Helps Demystify Animal Communication

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 13 -- Animal Planet has begun production on JANE GOODALL'S WHEN ANIMALS TALK (working title), a two-hour special featuring Jane Goodall as she explores animal communication with humans and each other, currently scheduled to premiere in June 2005. This special, which marks the network's third collaboration with the legendary scientist, will address age-old questions about animals: Can people really talk to them? Do animals understand what we are saying? How do they "talk" to each other? Do they have a sixth sense?

Goodall's ground-breaking chimpanzee research in Tanzania, Africa, included her observations that animals have distinct personalities, minds and emotions. She fell in love with animals early in her life through books such as Dr. Doolittle and Tarzan, and she came to believe that animals have human traits.

"All through my childhood, I had this amazing teacher who taught me so much about animal behavior, and that was my dog Rusty," said Goodall. "He taught me that animals have personalities, minds and feelings."

JANE GOODALL'S WHEN ANIMALS TALK (wt) is a departure from her previous documentary-style specials with Animal Planet. It focuses on people's personal stories about animals and incorporates man-on-the-street interviews.

The special explores the unique bond between people and their pets and the special language they develop together. Jane meets Scott Shields, the owner of the first search and rescue dog on the scene on 9/11. How vital was the relationship between man and dog in getting the job done? How are other animals trained to do jobs for people? When an animal saves a life, how much is instinct?

Goodall also explores the cues animals pick up on in place of the spoken word. She learns the secrets of elephant whisperers and how rats sniff out land mines in Mozambique.

There have long been reports of animals' psychic behaviors. Goodall learns whether animals can really predict natural disasters, and about how dogs help rehabilitate youth offenders and improve reading skills.

"I am thrilled that Jane is helping us explore the limitless scientific and emotional implications of animal communication through people's individual experiences," says Maureen Smith, general manager of Animal Planet. "It was important to me -- and to Jane -- that we make a departure from our previous specials that were more documentary in tone and offer a more personal perspective for this one."

WHEN ANIMALS TALK (wt) marks the third special in the landmark partnership between Discovery Communications Inc., and the Jane Goodall Institute. The exclusive agreement includes the development of on-air Animal Planet specials and participation in Animal Planet's traveling exhibit Animal Planet Expo, as well as involvement with the Discovery Channel Global Education Fund.

WHEN ANIMALS TALK (wt) is being produced for Animal Planet by Tigress Productions, Ltd. Andrew Jackson is the executive producer and Jo Scofield is the producer for Tigress. Jeanie Vink is executive producer for Animal Planet.

Animal Planet, available in over 86 million homes nationwide, is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals. The network's original programming brings together people of all ages by tapping into a fundamental fascination with animals and providing an entertaining mix of programming including original movies, adventure series, sports, drama and sitcoms. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, The Military Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA.

SOURCE Animal Planet
Web Site: http://www.discovery.com

  [january 2005]  

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