[04/07/09 - 12:45 PM]
Animal Planet's River Monsters Reels in Best Series Debut in Network History
Animal Planet spins the numbers for Sunday, April 5.

[via press release from Animal Planet]

Animal Planet's RIVER MONSTERS Reels in Best Series Debut in Network History

-- Premiere of Seven-Part Fishing Detective Series Hooks More Than a Million Viewers --

April 7, 2009

(New York, N.Y.) This past Sunday evening, Animal Planet and extreme angler Jeremy Wade's new series RIVER MONSTERS made a huge splash during its premiere, snaring a big audience with 1,020,000 homes (1.1 household rating) and 647,000 P25-54 viewers, making it the network's best-performing series premiere ever. More than 1.3M P2+ viewers watched the premiere at 10 PM, ranking it as Animal Planet's most-watched regularly airing prime telecast among viewers P2+ in more than six years. RIVER MONSTERS achieved triple- and double-digit delivery gains among all keys demos compared to Animal Planet's year-ago timeslot average: HH +126% (1.020M vs. 452K), P25-54 +208% (647K vs. 210K), M25-54 +346% (446K vs. 100K) and W25-54 +83% (201K vs. 110K). The premiere helped Animal Planet climb to the #15 spot in household delivery among ad-supported cable networks.

Riding the wave of the Internet sensation and book re-release, the debut of the special A LION CALLED CHRISTIAN that same evening, also scored significant gains compared to year-ago timeslot among households (706K, +66%) and P25-54 (457K, +155%). Online, RIVER MONSTERS and A LION CALLED CHRISTIAN also drove success for Animalplanet.com, which brought in 153,046 unique visitors on Sunday -- its second- highest levels in the past year.

"The new content on Animal Planet is hitting its stride," says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet Media. "RIVER MONSTERS is such edge-of-your-seat television and presents a frightening, gripping and ultimately heart-wrenching story. It's no surprise it connected with viewers on a visceral level, especially with Jeremy as their adventure guide."

RIVER MONSTERS travels worldwide with host, biologist and extreme angler Jeremy Wade to solve freshwater mysteries, debunk these myths and track down these harrowing tales. Wade has made his life's passion and career searching for a variety of aquatic vertebrae while navigating the globe's waterways. Each Sunday, he comes face-to-face with fear and trying to understand these mysterious predators with a taste for human flesh, putting his life on the line to find truly monster-sized fish while globetrotting through Germany, Australia, Brazil and even the state of Texas. His weekly quest catapults him in search of such fascinating creatures as piranha, alligator gar, wels catfish, bullshark, piraiba/candiru, and arapaima, all supposedly deadly creatures shrouded with mystery -- especially their feeding habits.

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.

About Animal Planet Media

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.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world's number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Planet Green, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

  [april 2009]  


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