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[05/19/09 - 02:21 PM]
Animal Planet's 'River Monsters' Hooks Record Viewership to Become Best-Performing Series in Network History
Plus: season two will go into production this summer, with a projected launch date in the spring of 2010.

[via press release from Animal Planet]

Animal Planet's 'RIVER MONSTERS' Hooks Record Viewership to Become Best-Performing Series in Network History

- Season Finale Helps Network Rank Fifth at 10 PM Among Cable in P18-49 -

- Season Two of RIVER MONSTERS to Begin Filming Shortly and Launch in Spring 2010 -

NEW YORK, May 19 -- Animal Planet's RIVER MONSTERS, hosted by extreme angler and biologist Jeremy Wade, reeled in an average of more than a million households (1.05M) across its seven premiere episodes, making it the best-performing series in network history. The series averaged more than 1.4M P2+ viewers. Overall the series achieved triple-digit gains among all key demos compared to Animal Planet's year-ago Prime average: 1.05M HH (+158%), 719K P25-54 (+273%), 455K M25-54 (+469%) and 265K W25-54 (+135%).

Sunday's RIVER MONSTERS season finale, "Freshwater Shark," bit off 1.47M P2+ viewers, making it the second most-watched episode for the series in terms of total viewers. RIVER MONSTERS catapulted Animal Planet to rank fifth among all non-sports in cable among P18-49 (780,000 viewers) in the 10 PM hour. In addition, "Killer Catfish" on April 12 was the most-watched RIVER MONSTERS episode and is Animal Planet's #1 performing regularly airing Prime telecast ever among P2+ (1.87M).

Animal Planet has given a green light to a second season of RIVER MONSTERS, which will go into production this summer, with a projected launch date in Spring 2010. The new season will explore more killer fish in freshwater locales across the globe, including several in the United States.

On Sunday, May 31 at 2 PM, Animal Planet will be running a nine-hour marathon of RIVER MONSTERS, featuring all seven episodes, plus a never-before-seen two-hour special cut of "Killer Catfish."

"RIVER MONSTERS was a ratings monster, and we're excited to send Jeremy back into the murky depths to explore more stories," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet Media. "With over a millions viewers gripped to their seats every week, Animal Planet is delivering on our promise of break-through television."

Animal Planet's RIVER MONSTERS is nature adventure series led by host and expert angler Jeremy Wade, following his worldwide search for harrowing tales of man-eating fish, with the hope of proving these freshwater mysteries as tall tales or frightening fact. Wade has taken his life-long passion and turned it into a full-time career, searching for a variety of aquatic vertebrae while navigating the globe's waterways. Wade's RIVER MONSTERS quests have him diving in with and reeling in such fascinating and mysterious creatures as piranha, alligator gar, wels catfish, bullshark and piraiba -- all alleged man killers.

RIVER MONSTERS is a production of Icon Films for Animal Planet. Harry Marshall is the executive producer for Icon Films, and Mick Kaczorowski is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is vice president of development for Animal Planet.

Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 95 million homes in the US; online assets www.animalplanet.com, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond; Petfinder.com, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.





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· RIVER MONSTERS (ANIMAL PLANET)









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