The Washington Post

Animal Planet, Nat Geo roll out all kinds of series for new TV season

Dave Salmoni with Leo the Lion — Salmoni will headline a new series for Animal Planet. (Christopher Wadsworth/Animal Planet)

Animal Planet is sticking to its namesake with series about all types of critters. But Nat Geo seems to be trying to attract fans of certain other reality fare while leaving the critter creations to two-year-old spin-off network Nat Geo Wild.

Among the programs Nat Geo announced:

“Jersey Combat”: Going to the most popular reality destination of late thanks Snooki and Co., this series follows the owners of the world’s largest military warehouse, located in New Jersey and stocks everything from authentic knights helmets to a 19th century gun.

“Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout”: Not only a question for the ages, but this reality competition series from the “Deadliest Catch” producers could appeal to the survivalist type — and viewers who enjoy seeing adult competitors going head to head (and probably losing) to much more clever boy scouts.

“Bid & Destroy”: Featuring the crew of a demolition company that treasure-hunts for valuables before they tear down buildings, it’s like one of the many storage locker shows, but with more destruction.

“American Chainsaw”: Something about this show — which chronicles the adventures of chainsaw sculptor Jesse “The Machine” Green — seems like it would fit with History’s hardcore “Ice Road Truckers” crowd. Or even “Ice Brigade” ice sculptors on Food Network.

Nat Geo, headquartered in DC, also added new science series “Brain Games,” plus seven returning shows (such as “Border Wars,” “Locked Up Abroad,” “Rocket City Rednecks,” and others).

Meanwhile, Animal Planet — owned by Silver Spring-based Discovery Communications — announced new six-part docu-series “Frontier Earth With Dave Salmoni,” in which the animal expert hosts programs about everything from killer whales and Arizona badland ants to tigers and lemurs. Plus, upcoming series including “The Afterlife: Hippo,” “The Afterlife: Elephant”; “Wild Arabia,” “Wild Hawaii,” “Swamplands,” and the baby polar bear-centric “Polar Bear Family and Me.”

Nat Geo Wild’s animal-themed shows include “Alpha Dogs,” about highly-trained canines who are part of an elite force, and “Ultimate Animal Countdown,” which tries to find the most impressive feats an animal can accomplish.

Emily Yahr covers pop culture and entertainment for the Post. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyYahr.


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