Animal Planet is rolling out a digital slate designed to compliment the network’s linear lineup. Eight new webseries are currently premiering online at AnimalPlanet.com or planned to launch soon.
How Do You Like Meow, going into its second cycle, features My Cat From Hell’s Jackson Galaxy paying follow-up visits to cat owners featured on the cable series. The web series’ new 12 episodes premieres April 26.
The network will also bring back web series How to Catch a River Monster. The fifth cycle of the web series—which features River Monster star Jeremy Wade offering technical info on how he catches the world’s largest, strangest fish—will premiere April 6.
Tanked Aftershow, a 10-episode series in its second cycle, features a behind-the-scenes look at the lives and work of the stars of unscripted series Tanked. New episodes premiere Fridays following new episodes of Tanked.
The network also plans to premiere new and returning web series tied to linear series Treehouse Masters, Pit Bulls & Parolees, Finding Bigfoot,Too Cute! and Puppy Bowl XI later this year.
“We decided to focus our collective efforts in digital on helping to tell the rest of the story or more of the story,” said Miguel Monteverde, vice president of digital media, Discovery Communications. “Because at the end of the day, that’s what people care about, great stories. If we can use digital platforms to tell parts of the story that don’t make it into the TV format, that’s what we wanted to do.”
Animal Planet’s original web series generated 17 million streams via AnimalPlanet.com and its syndication partners in 2013. Monteverde said he expects to see the number of original web series Animal Planet offers to increase by roughly 50% in 2014 over last year, “maybe get it up to 18 or 20” original web series. “We experimented with it a little bit last year and we really saw it work for us,” he said.