ANIMAL PLANET HAS RECORD-SETTING CONQUEST DRUING SEASON FINALE OF "WHALE WARS" WITH MOST-WATCHED REGULARLY AIRING TELECAST EVER AMONG P18-49 AND P25-54
Season Three Is Up 29 Percent Over Last Season in Overall Viewership
A record number of viewers - 1.12 million P25-54 and 1.07 million P18-49 - tuned into the season finale of WHALE WARS on Friday night. The episode helped Animal Planet rank #1 among all ad-supported cable networks in the 10 PM hour on Friday evening among P18-49, P25-54, and M25-54 based on ratings and delivery, making the finale Animal Planet's most-watched regularly airing telecast ever among P18-49 and P25-54. Animal Planet was also the #1 ad-supported cable network in Prime overall on Friday in terms of P18-49 delivery (excluding movies).
The finale, entitled "To the Ends of the Earth", witnessed Sea Shepherd crewman Pete Bethune held on the whaling vessel Shonan Maru #2 as it sailed away to Japan with his fate unknown. An all-day Labor Day marathon of the series will conclude with a new special on Pete Bethune called "From Pirate to Prisoner," featuring his first-ever extended interview after spending months in jail, and premieres on Monday, September 6 at 10 PM (ET/PT). Bethune has become a fan favorite since coming on board the third season of the series.
At the conclusion of WHALE WARS last Friday, the network premiered the mini-series BLOOD DOLPHINS, featuring Ric and Lincoln O'Barry's international fight to stop the slaughter and trade of dolphins, which netted 517,000 P25-54 viewers and 853,000 P2+ viewers in its debut, exceeding Animal Planet's year-ago timeslot average by a respective 73% and 57%. BLOOD DOLPHINS takes over the WHALE WARS timeslot Fridays at 9 PM (ET/PT) beginning September 10.
The third season of WHALE WARS 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). Animal Planet had its most-watched Friday night ever among key demos, including P2+ (1.33M), P25-54 (778K), P18-49 (755K), and M25-54 (466K).
"WHALE WARS is the epitome of the kind of storytelling we want to do at Animal Planet," noted Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet Media. "Its high drama, high stakes and real importance make it - now along with BLOOD DOLPHINS - riveting television."
Animal Planet also had its best August Prime delivery ever among P25-54 (290K), P18-49 (287K), and M25-54 (148K). In August, the network exceeded Year-Ago by double-digits among key demos
P25-54 +21% (290K vs. 240K)
P18-49 +25% (287K vs. 229K)
W25-54 +19% (142K vs. 119K)
M25-54 +21% (148K vs. 122K)
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 in each adrenaline-fueled season 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 team of oceanic crusaders join forces and set out to risk it all to save the whales, even if that might mean not all crew members make it back to port togethe
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.
WHALE WARS is a production of The Lizard Trading Company for Animal Planet. 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.