EMMY-NOMINATED "WHALE WARS" RETURNS TO THE ANTARCTIC BATTLEGROUND FOR FIFTH SEASON
Hit Animal Planet Series Will Once Again Follow the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society & Return June 2012
(New York, New York, December 22, 2011) - WHALE WARS, one of Animal Planet's most talked-about, best-performing and award-winning series, has once again signed on to follow Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's next whale defense campaign in Antarctica. Produced by The Lizard Trading Company, WHALE WARS will return for a fifth season in June on Animal Planet with a yet-to-be-determined number of episodes. The announcement was made to WHALE WARS fans via Facebook this morning (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10100219959092117)
This year's Sea Shepherd campaign - called Operation Divine Wind - is currently underway, having launched from Australia and is expected to run through the end of February after an anticipated two-month engagement with the Japanese whaling fleet. Operation Divine Wind is the Sea Shepherds' eighth whale defense campaign. The Sea Shepherds will have three vessels with a crew of nearly 100 international volunteers aboard the Steve Irwin, the Bob Barker and the Brigitte Bardot. Many of last season's crew will return, and, of note, Peter Brown from the inaugural season will rejoin Captain Watson on the bridge after being absent for several seasons.
"WHALE WARS has been ground-breaking and riveting television, because each side is willing to risk it all in the Southern Ocean," said Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. "Last year, we all thought the Sea Shepherds had ended whaling but now they are once again preparing to risk much for what they believe in."
"It makes little political or economic sense for the Japanese fleet to return to whale in the Antarctic waters," said Watson. "But it appears their motivation has shifted from hunting whales to refusing to surrender to Sea Shepherd."
WHALE WARS continues to be one of Animal Planet's best-performing series ever, with the past season averaging over 1.0 million P2+ viewers (1.06M), ranking among Animal Planet's top 3 best performing series this year to-date among P2+ (#3), P25-54 (#2), M25-54 (#2) and W25-54 (#3).
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(R) for Outstanding Cinematography in a Non-Fiction Series (three times), Outstanding Picture Editing for a Non-Fiction Series and Outstanding Sound Editing for a Non-Fiction Series. Seasons one through three 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 96 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.