The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Entertainment & Events

April 2, 2014

A new year of series, specials

NEW YORK — Unlike some channels, Animal Planet trades on a message beyond “Watch us.”

So says Marjorie Kaplan, group president of Animal Planet and TLC.

“We believe that there is a value to a planet filled with life, and that every living creature has value,” she says. “That’s an ethos that underlies what we do.”

On Thursday, Kaplan will officially unleash for advertisers the channel’s programming for the coming year. Its stable of stars will range from puppies and kitties to killer whales, endangered rhinos and a family of snow wolves.

Geography and climate are also characters on Animal Planet, from the North Pole to Zambia’s Luangwa Valley as it suffers a seemingly interminable dry season.

One other important player on Animal Planet’s stage: humans.

“We not only recognize that humans are animals, too, but that their connection to the wild, natural world is part of what makes us richly human,” Kaplan says.

Animal Planet is bringing back a number of established series including “Finding Bigfoot,” ‘‘My Cat From Hell,” ‘‘Pit Bulls & Parolees,” ‘‘River Monsters” and “Treehouse Masters.”

For a third year, the channel will celebrate the globe’s (and your neighborhood’s) most fearsome creatures during its popular Monster Week event. And, of course, Puppy Bowl XI will provide a canine alternative to pigskin next Super Bowl Sunday.

New series to be announced include:

— “Deadly Islands.” Large predator expert Dave Salmoni visits some of the world’s most remote islands to investigate how their native inhabitants have been successful at surviving some of Mother Nature’s fiercest predators.

— “Ice Lake Rebels.” A handful of survivalists hunt for food, drill for water, trade for necessities and guard their turf far off the grid on a lawless frozen body of water in the Northwest Territories in Canada.

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