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100 Miles from a camera operator or a narrator

Hi, I’m 100 Miles from Nowhere, Animal Planet’s most-promising series in years, since Whale Wars, and I’ve been ruined by terrible narration and too many disorienting close-ups. Originally titles Matt on the Run, this new series follows three friends who take four-day, 100-mile run/hike/climbs in frequently dangerous places. They’re assisted by food and supply drops at the end …

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Animal Planet: Call of the Wildman did not kill, drug animals

After Mother Jones reported late last month that Animal Planet’s staged reality show Call of the Wildman resulted in “Drugs, Death, Neglect” for some of the animals. While the article included a statement from the network and an interview with a representative from the production company, I was surprised by the comments Animal Planet’s president …

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Behind the scenes details about Top Hooker, the fishing competition almost called “Master Baiter”

The Animal Planet competition series Top Hooker concludes its first season a week from Sunday, and it’s been a surprisingly engaging series, especially since it’s about a sport not exactly known for producing a thrill every minute. Like another Pilgrim Studios-produced competition, Top Shot, it also appeals to people who aren’t enthusiasts of the sport. …

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Reality TV tries to stop poaching of rhinos and elephants

Two nonfiction programs, a documentary and a three-part series, focus on saving endangered animals in Africa: Animal Planet’s Battleground: Rhino Wars and PBS’ broadcast of the National Geographic special Battle for the Elephants. Tonight’s one-hour special is based on an article in National Geographic magazine, “Blood Ivory” by Bryan Christy, which looks at how religiosity …

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Animal Planet’s faux documentary on mermaids still fooling people

Over Memorial Day weekend, Animal Planet aired Mermaids: The Body Found, a clever if obviously fake documentary about mermaids. There was even an accompanying marketing campaign with shocking video and fake evidence of a government cover-up. The Discovery Channel re-aired the documentary Sunday, and the presumably wider audience prompted everything from an increase in Google …

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