Upfronts 2012: Cesar Milan Getting New Nat Geo Wild Series
‘Leader of the Pack' headlines four new shows on two-year old net
By Andrea Morabito -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/26/2012 12:01:00 AM
In Leader of the Pack, Milan will rehabilitate abandoned dogs and coach European families competing to adopt them. While the net will have a new season of Dog Whisperer with Cesar Milan in the third quarter, after that the host will exclusively focus on Leader of the Pack, though the channel will continue to air the library of past Dog Whisperer episodes.
Dog Whisperer, which moved to Wild from sister net National Geographic Channel last year, has helped improve its female demos, and Milan's new series is part of a strategy meant to "bring in a much broader audience of people who may not have necessarily known that the channel was there or that are looking for a broader entertainment experience from us," says Geoff Daniels, senior VP of Nat Geo Wild.
Other new series are Animal Intervention, where animal advocate/actress Alison Eastwood (daughter of Clint) and wildlife expert Donald Schultz rescue exotic animals from unhealthy living environments; Alpha Dogs, about the training of an elite force of canines to serve the military; and Ultimate Animal Countdown, which looks for the world's best animal athletes.
The net has also renewed three series -- The Incredible Dr. Pol, which was its highest-rated series in 2011, Man v. Monster and Wild Case Files.
Wild's six upcoming specials include a look at sea creatures' skills in Kingdom of the Oceans and the returning Unlikely Animal Friends. It will also bring back Big Cat Week (the net's highest-rated week) for its third year, this year focusing on the rarest wild felines and adding quarterly specials for the first time to make it a year-round event.
This shows like all reality shows, they have to earn points and they are weened out based on certain restrictions...not even close to replacing the dog whisperer..which I was a major fan of, I tend to turn the channel and then watch re-runs of the whisperer....waste of time, not a good choice Cesar!
Judy Frank - 3/28/2013 8:24:45 PM EDT
I suppose the number of comments, whether they are positive or negative, is the marketers' feedback on the success of the new show. Not so; a great show has been turned into more junk TV. I was going to get cable just to watch Mr. Millan somewhere other than Youtube, and now....no point. You lose, NGW, because of your stupidity in changing a good thing by "marketing."
B. L. - 3/23/2013 11:26:56 AM EDT
I just watched the first show and Cesar was great in spite of the new format based on competition. I feel that the premise is formulaic and doesn't make sense for the material or for Cesar. Why does everything need to be about somebody being better than others or beating someone out? It's about match-making, not being better than others. Cesar clearly did his best to engage the subject matter that way. Good for him!
If NatGeo strong-armed Cesar into this formulaic format, I think they really need to give him more respect for being more evolved than that. Cesar is a wonderful role-model as a compassionate Latino male demonstrating that stereotypes about "machismo" are just that. The whole competive angle is not just silly, but disrespectful of that.
Elyse Bush - 2/20/2013 1:12:03 AM EST
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