Animal Planet has cancelled one of its longest-running shows: River Monsters, which will conclude with its ninth season. The network says that “the final season will be a mix of river missions, sea journeys, classic whodunits and personal quests” for host Jeremy Wade, who will “track down the few monster fish that have eluded him—and…settle some scores.”
The final season debuted April 23, airing Sundays at 9. A marathon of fan-voted episodes will air before the premiere.
The show debuted in 2008, and follows “extreme angler” Wade, who searches for fish that are the source of rumors and legends, and which themselves become reenactments to introduce the story. When it debuted, it became the network’s most-popular show ever, and I reported on it for NPR in 2010, because it was an example (along with this) of Animal Planet’s shift to focusing on people instead of just animals, which was the work of then-president Marjorie Kaplan.
In a press release, Wade said,
“Some shows can run forever, but our subject matter is finite. 10 years ago, I had a list in my head, which seemed impossibly ambitious at the time, but everything has now been ticked off—and then some. I have seen things beyond my wildest dreams, and sharing those moments with our loyal Animal Planet audiences has made them doubly special.”
River Monsters season 9 episodes
As part of its announcement of the show’s conclusion, Animal Planet also previewed six episodes from season 9:
- Ice Cold Killer: Travelling from London to Greenland and on to Norway, Wade follows the trail of an unknown sea monster. Fishing through ice to extraordinary depths, he attempts to reel in this monster before the full fury of an Arctic storm hits.
- Coral Reef Killers: On the tropical island of Sulawesi, Indonesia, a tourist snorkeler and several local fishermen have been killed and injured by a mysterious sea creature that impales its victims. Wade travels to the scene to investigate, risking life and limb to solve the mystery before anyone else falls victim.
- Return of the Killer Catfish: On his first River Monsters investigation, Wade was propelled into a mountain river by a goonch catfish as big as himself. 10 years on, he fears such fish are now extinct until he hears a report from Nepal that sounds strangely familiar. Could the original river monster be back from the brink and back in business?
- Volcanic Island Terror: On a volcanic Pacific island, an ancient fishing community is being terrorized by something unknown in the water that’s been leaving behind mysterious puncture wounds on its victims. Can Wade uncover the identity of this fanged assailant?
- Malaysian Lake Monster: When two men mysteriously vanish on a remote lake in Malaysia, Wade sets out to track down the possible killer. Amid rumors of a giant fish on the loose, he follows the evidence into the last stronghold of an old adversary: the one river monster that he’s failed to catch.
- Killers from the Abyss: Wade takes on the biggest investigation of his career; to unravel what happened to over one thousand passengers of the RMS Laconia, torpedoed in the mid-Atlantic. To discover the culprits, he travels the globe, battling extraordinary fish, massive sharks and a deep-sea monster.