Mike Tyson will race pigeons in new Animal Planet series Taking on Tyson

Next year, Animal Planet will air Taking on Tyson, an unscripted series about pigeon racing that stars Mike Tyson, because he “has a deep passion for the birds.” And no, it is still not April 1 yet.

In a press release, the network describes the series as going “inside the intensely competitive and bizarrely fascinating world of pigeon racing” as “novice pigeon racer Tyson goes toe-to-toe against several individuals in hopes of being crowned a champ all over again. Tyson has a deep passion for the birds and raised pigeons all his life. In fact his first-ever fight as a child was in defense of his birds. But this show will follow his first foray into racing them competitively.”

Animal Planet GM and president Marjorie Kaplan said that the series “peels back new layers of the remarkable persona and deep humanity of Mike Tyson while also showing us a whole world we never knew existed right on the rooftops of New York City.”

In his press release quote, Tyson said, “I feel a great pride acting as an official representative for all the pigeon fancier’s [sic] out there. I want people to see why we love these birds. It feels good returning to the rooftops of the city where it all started for me — New York.”

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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.