Sea Shepherd, whalers’ boats collide; Whale Wars was Animal Planet’s most-watched show

Whale Wars ended its first season as Animal Planet’s most-popular series ever, and if a Friday confrontation between Sea Shepherd and Japanese whalers is any indication, the second season will be just as popular. During the fall, the reality series had “the best performance of any series in the network’s history among Adults 25-54 (529,000 viewers) and Men 25-54 (309,000 viewers),” according to the network, while its finale had 1.011 million viewers.

Exactly one week after the dramatic season finale, there was a post-Christmas confrontation that included two boats making contact. Both Sea Shepherd and Japanese whalers have issued dueling press releases about the incident that use dramatic adjectives of course, as one-sided as possible, but they preview the conflict we’ll see next season.

The Institute of Cetacean Research says [PDF] that on Dec. 26, “the Kaiko Maru was undertaking a detour in the ice pack area after completing the day’s research activities” when, in foggy weather, “[t]e Steve Irwin rammed the Kaiko Maru from the starboard rear side and spent a number of hours in dangerous close-quarter harassment of the Japanese vessel, repeatedly overtaking and circling the Kaiko Maru.” While the boat’s “topside starboard rear bulwark was damaged by the Dutch vessel’s ramming,” the ICR says “no hindrance to its present operation and research activities has occurred.”

The Sea Shepherd’s version is considerably different, saying that “As the Steve Irwin came alongside the starboard side of the Kaiko Maru, the whaler steered hard to starboard and struck the Steve Irwin lightly crushing part of the aft port helicopter deck guard rails on the Sea Shepherd ship. There was no serious damage to either ship.” In a separate release, Sea Shepherd says the Japanese “have not been whaling since Sea Shepherd located them and they are not whaling now. They continue to flee.”

Animal Planet’s Whale Wars Ends Maiden Voyage as the Network’s Most Watched Series Ever [Animal Planet]
Sea Shepherd Attacks Whale Research Vessel [Institute of Cetacean Research]
Sea Shepherd Clashes With Whaling Fleet in Australian Waters and Sea Shepherd Drives Japanese Whalers Out of Australia’s Waters [Sea Shepherd]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.