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Corporate Press Release Theater: That Catfish Thinks You Look Mighty Tasty

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Animal Planet announced a roster of new programming today. The release, included here solely because it contains the phrase “freshwater fish with a taste for human flesh,” appears after the jump:

Building on the success of last year’s rebrand and the rollout of such signature series as WHALE WARS, GROOMER HAS IT and the upcoming February premiere of JOCKEYS, Animal Planet president and general manager Marjorie Kaplan announced a triad of robust new series and specials that push the entertainment envelope in three genres and fit her vision of bold adult-targeted entertainment that taps into the instinctual and emotional world of animals while showcasing the wide breadth and depth of the Planet’s programming.  The network will debut the cutting-edge CGI special limited series ANIMAL ARMAGEDDON, continue its reinvention of natural history with RIVER MONSTERS, and expand its successful pet entertainment roster with reality series BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER.  The announcement came on the heels of Animal Planet’s presentation at the biannual Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, California.

[Self-complimentary executive braying redacted.]

ANIMAL ARMAGEDDON is an eight-part series premiering in February from Digital Ranch that brings to life an unprecedented vision of ancient Earth, set against a backdrop of global catastrophe and major extinctions.  Over the 600 million year history of animal life, numerous mass extinctions have consumed the planet Earth.  These epic catastrophes killed off millions of strange and amazing creatures…the chilling fact is that 99.9% of all animal life that has ever lived is now extinct.  Using cutting edge research and the latest scientific theories, ANIMAL ARMAGEDDON, premiering in February, transports viewers to the center of the most horrific disasters in the history of our planet. From a cosmic gamma ray burst bombarding the atmosphere triggering the very first mass extinction to an asteroid the size of Mt. Everest slamming into the Yucatan, killing off the dinosaurs …these terrible natural events caused untold devastation.  Still, no matter how severe the apocalypse, planet Earth, the Animal Planet, survives.  Life, ever resilient, begins again.

RIVER MONSTERS is a seven-part series produced by Icon Films, which launches with a one-hour special: “Killer Catfish.”  Extreme angler Jeremy Wade is on the hunt for freshwater fish with a taste for human flesh.  This international excursion through the dark side of the watery depths mixes action and adventure with incredible mysteries, edge-of-the-seat chases and a battle of wills between man and almost supernatural beasts that lurk in the serpentine waterways of the planet, subsisting murderously underwater and growing to truly awesome sizes.  Like all the best horror movies, the images are intense and immediate, gritty and real.  Wade illustrates to the viewer, like a forensic investigation, exactly how these river monsters are constructed to kill.   RIVER MONSTERS is slated to premiere in April 2009.

BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER , a spin-off from Animal Planet’s successful first season reality competition series, GROOMER HAS IT from 3Ball Productions, continues the story of the newly crowned “Groomer of the Year,” Artist Knox.  Growing up in South Central, Artist found his calling in the unlikeliest of places: dog grooming. Determined to prove that an underdog can become the top dog in the grooming industry, he’s bringing his infectious charm, signature style and grooming skills – along with his recent winnings – to the ultra chic streets of Beverly Hills.  In this 12-part, half-hour, fish-out-of-water reality series, BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER  documents the trials and tribulations of Artist as he recruits furry and fabulous clients alike, raises funds to open his own shop and hopes to beat the odds of becoming a business success.  Armed with his mobile grooming truck, his trusty dog Bumpy by his side and his credo, “one for me, one for free,” Artist’s ultimate goal is to give back to his community and the dogs that need him most. Can this South Central kid make it in the dog-eat-dog world of Beverly Hills?  Find out on BEVERLY HILLS GROOMER premiering in May 2009.

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