Animal Planet Embraces its Dark Side in New Series About Creatures of the NIGHT
- Host Brandon McMillan Creeps and Crawls His Way to the World's Most Elusive Nocturnal Animals on April 8 -
SILVER SPRING, Md., March 5 -- Since the dawn of time, man has feared what happens when the lights go out. From the shivers down our spines when coyotes howl to the involuntary jumps when snakes hiss and the uncontrollable urge to run when confronted with bright, beady eyes, nighttime is about the unknown, and it scares us to death. Tapping into these primal fears, Animal Planet's new series NIGHT takes viewers into the darkness to experience the wonder and terror of nocturnal nature and all its animal activities. Hosted by animal trainer and expert Brandon McMillan, the series travels through jungles, forests and savannahs as McMillan goes on a global quest to capture rarely seen animal behaviors at night. From giant Humboldt squid cannibalizing each other to the evasive nature of the Amazon's most poisonous snake and the nighttime blood baths of the mythological vampire bat, NIGHT finds out what comes alive when the sun goes down.
Premiering Wednesday, April 8, at 10 PM (ET/PT), each episode of NIGHT takes McMillan to a new location where he utilizes local animal experts to help him track down and study animals that thrive after dark. Drawing from his years of experience training animals, coupled with the adrenaline of youth and adventure, McMillan faces every situation head on as he swims with sharks, comes face to face with a pride of hungry lions and is cornered by a protective hippo -- all with the added intensity of utter darkness.
"I think it's in our nature to be afraid of the dark," says McMillan. "When we're kids, we're taught that monsters such as werewolves and vampires come out at night, but this show examines the real nocturnal animals -- and sometimes they're just as frightening."
Although humans lack the keen senses that allow animals to be active and productive at night, fortunately for McMillan, science can make up for what nature forgot. Throughout NIGHT, he utilizes several technologies that are vital to the success of his nighttime excursions. Night vision, thermal imagery, parabolic microphones, infrared beacons and other custom-designed devices help McMillan navigate the pitch-black habitats, uncovering animals that could never be seen in the dark with the naked eye.
"There's a certain anxiety and intensity that nighttime brings out in us -- especially when animals are involved," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "NIGHT will let our audience experience those feelings -- the ones you get when you are alone, in the dark and the floorboard creeks. There's nothing like it."
Thirty-one-year-old McMillan is an animal trainer and behaviorist, who has trained lions, bears, tigers, reptiles and even insects for such films as The Jungle Book II, I Am Sam, Soul Plane, Red Dragon and television's 24, Jackass and Carnivale.
NIGHT is produced for Animal Planet by Authentic Productions. Lauren Lexton and Tom Rogan are the executive producers for Authentic, and Dawn Sinsel is the executive producer 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; PetsIncredible, a major producer and distributor of pet-training videos and includes web service PetVideo.com; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.