ANIMAL PLANET RETURNS TO THE ANTARCTIC TO FILM SEA SHEPHERD'S WHALE DEFENSE CAMPAIGN FOR FOURTH SEASON OF "WHALE WARS"
-- Captain Paul Watson and His Crew of Environmental Crusaders Return for New Season in Summer 2011 --
(New York, New York, October 6, 2010) - WHALE WARS, one of Animal Planet's most talked-about, best-performing and award-winning series in the network's history, has signed on to follow the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's next whale defense campaign in Antarctica for a fourth season of the television series. The Sea Shepherd's campaign - dubbed Operation No Compromise - kicks off from Australia in December and is expected to run through the end of February. Produced by The Lizard Trading Company, the fourth season of WHALE WARS will begin airing in early June on Animal Planet.
"WHALE WARS was one of the first new series to redefine Animal Planet," noted Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "It's an important subject about which people are passionate. And it's tremendous television which just gets stronger every year. I'm delighted to announce the next season."
Watson has named his latest campaign Operation No Compromise because his organization is not interested in any compromise deal with Japan that will legalize the whale slaughter in the Southern Ocean. "Just what is it about this word �sanctuary' that people don't understand," said Watson. "Sanctuary means no killing, it means protection, it means refuge, it means asylum, and we intend to protect the whales within the sanctuary with all the resources available to us."
Operation No Compromise is the Sea Shepherds' seventh whale defense campaign. The Sea Shepherds are currently selecting crew for their vessels the Steve Irwin and the Bob Barker, and it's still to be determined which featured characters from previous seasons of WHALE WARS the Sea Shepherds will chose to have return as crew. The Sea Shepherds are currently holding a contest via YouTube for a chance to win a spot as a crewman aboard one of their vessels. Noted film and television actress Michelle Rodriguez (LOST, AVATAR) has previously announced she'd be joining the Sea Shepherds on their next campaign.
The third season of WHALE WARS concluded in August and exceeded season two levels by double-digits among all key demos, including P2+ (+29% to 1.38M), P18-49 (+29% to 797K), P25-54 (+27% to 789K), M25-54 (+35% to 468K), and W25-54 (+16% to 321K).
For the past several years, Captain Paul Watson and his Sea Shepherd Conservation Society crew have taken to the high seas in an attempt to stop Japanese ships from hunting whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. WHALE WARS documents the ongoing battles in the icy Antarctic waters as the conflict between Sea Shepherd and the whalers grows more intense with each engagement - each pushing the other to the limit to fight for what they believe. Watson and his eclectic group of international staff and volunteers - labeled activists and heroes by some, eco-pirates by others - take a hard-line approach to eradicate whaling and what they view as ocean-law violations. WHALE WARS follows a masterful match at the far end of the globe as both Sea Shepherd and the Japanese whalers engage in an environmental showdown with millions of dollars at stake.
The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized WHALE WARS in 2009 for exploring issues of concern to our society in a compelling, emotional and insightful way by bestowing the series with a Television Academy Honor which identifies it as "television with a conscience." The series has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy� for Outstanding Cinematography in a Non-Fiction Series (twice) and Outstanding Picture Editing for a Non-Fiction Series. Seasons one and two of the series are available on DVD at AnimalPlanetstore.com.
Liz Bronstein is the executive producer for The Lizard Trading Company, and Jason Carey is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is the 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 97 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.