Whale Wars ratings increase, renewed for second season

The second of Whale Wars‘ seven episodes aired Friday and its ratings increased significantly and performed better than any other recent show the network has aired that night. It was Animal Planet’s “best performing Friday primetime telecast in five years,” the network said in a press release.

Episode two was watched by 1.153 million viewers, which is 80 percent higher than the household ratings the network got last November, and a 13 percent increase from the first episode–never mind “200 percent increases over the network’s prime-time average last November” in the 25 to 54 demographic, according to Animal Planet.

Broadcasting & Cable notes that the network “bet big on Whale Wars. In addition to an extensive election week ad buy, the network gave a green light to a second season of the series before the first episode even aired.”

As to that second season, it starts filming soon, and may show more about what happens aboard the Japanese ships. Variety reports that “Discovery [has] invited the Japanese to participate in next season’s filming, which commences on Nov. 27.”

I found the series’ first episode to be fascinating and compelling, and its second episode delivered even more than the first. Two crew members on the Steve Irwin boarded a Japanese whaler, and then the other Sea Shepherd members immediately started claiming they’d been kidnapped. I find myself rooting for them and loathing them simultaneously, and that complexity makes the series utterly fascinating.

‘Whale Wars’ Harpoons Viewers In Second Outing [Broadcasting & Cable]
Controversy buoys ‘Whale Wars’ [Variety]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.