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The BBC is Doing Planet Earth Live

By - Source: BBC (via Engadget HD) | B 29 comments

This is what reality television should be.

One of our favorite things about the BBC's brilliant Life series (aside from David Attenborough's soothing voice) are the making-of bits at the end of each episode on the Blu-ray edition. While the episodes themselves are pretty magical, there's something about seeing that real-life aspect of how each shot was captured that makes the show that bit more special. Up until today, we though this was as close to the action as we could get from our own homes. Apparently not.

The BBC has announced that it's taking Planet Earth to the next level: They're doing it live. Next month, the film makers froms the BBC's Natural History Unit will follow the lives of baby elephants in Kenya, black bears in Minnesota, macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka, meerkats in South Africa, grey whales in the Pacific and lion cubs in the Masaai Mara. Shooting will take place over six different time zones, with different crews to follow each group of animals (Top Gear's Richard Hammond, for example, will be taking on the job of tracking the lions).

Of course, there's no use doing it live if you're not going to broadcast. People will be able to watch the live broadcast from locations all around the globe with Planet Earth Live simultaneously broadcast to a global audience starting May 6 on BBC ONE at 19:50 BST (UK time), on BBC Knowledge (EMEA – Poland, Africa and the Nordic region), BBC Knowledge Australia and New Zealand, and BBC HD (the Nordic Region, Poland and Turkey). After that, it will air at 20:00 BST (UK time) every Thursday and Sunday for three weeks.

"We are the only network in the world which can broadcast the biggest wildlife series ever undertaken to an international audience, across multiple platforms," said David Weiland, SVP Programming and TV Channels at the BBC. "The culmination of ten years development and digital technological innovation from the BBC's Natural History Unit means our audiences will be a part of this truly global viewing experience, where even the show's producers don't know what's going to happen next, to this cast of truly incredible animals."

Sadly, not only did the BBC not mention details for a North American broadcast, the network specifically said that the U.S. and Canada were excluded from the event.

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  • 10 Hide
    sojrner , April 30, 2012 5:23 PM
    yumriI am in the country of America and think we, the American citizens, should have a chance to see this incredible feat of the BBC also as i would watch it when not on Tom's Hardware...


    IS there a country of "America"? ;-)

    warezmeGreat, the only thing the British currently have worth sharing and they decide to exclude N. America. Do they even give a reason?


    I'm sure it's something stupid like licensing... money is surely the root of the issue. I read here where we might get a bone thrown to us on this continent. Won't be as cool as the prime cut everyone else gets, but it might be something worth chewing on.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    yumri , April 30, 2012 4:18 PM
    I am in the country of America and think we, the American citizens, should have a chance to see this incredible feat of the BBC also as i would watch it when not on Tom's Hardware. I also know a coupe other people just in this one suburb which i live who will also watch it though i am not sure about the rest of the country.
    So to the BBC please offer a web cast option so people who are not able to have the channel and/or people who are not able to watch it as they are on the go will still be able to watch it from the Internet and yes i understand if you have to charge for it but i will ask you not to if possible.
  • 9 Hide
    coreym72 , April 30, 2012 4:21 PM
    Not in America... Because we already have a bunch of dumb animals in Jersey shown all over the place. Need to look elsewhere...
  • 4 Hide
    warezme , April 30, 2012 4:47 PM
    Great, the only thing the British currently have worth sharing and they decide to exclude N. America. Do they even give a reason?
  • -6 Hide
    meat81 , April 30, 2012 5:01 PM
    coreym72Not in America... Because we already have a bunch of dumb animals in Jersey shown all over the place. Need to look elsewhere...


    Being from NJ, i am sure you don't have any unintelligent life in your neck of the woods either...
  • -4 Hide
    blibba , April 30, 2012 5:04 PM
    warezmeGreat, the only thing the British currently have worth sharing and they decide to exclude N. America. Do they even give a reason?


    Thanks, we'll be taking back our world-class universities, our ARM processors and PowerVR graphics (meaning all smartphones, pretty much), our aero-engines, our ale, our luxury cars, our system of government, our actors and TV programs, our language, our goodness-knows-what-else, oh, and a little invention called the internet...
  • 10 Hide
    sojrner , April 30, 2012 5:23 PM
    yumriI am in the country of America and think we, the American citizens, should have a chance to see this incredible feat of the BBC also as i would watch it when not on Tom's Hardware...


    IS there a country of "America"? ;-)

    warezmeGreat, the only thing the British currently have worth sharing and they decide to exclude N. America. Do they even give a reason?


    I'm sure it's something stupid like licensing... money is surely the root of the issue. I read here where we might get a bone thrown to us on this continent. Won't be as cool as the prime cut everyone else gets, but it might be something worth chewing on.
  • 3 Hide
    gm0n3y , April 30, 2012 6:19 PM
    If the show is honestly just a live stream of people following animals around, that sounds incredibly boring. Also, what does it say about our society when people would rather sit down and watch a live feed of people watching nature instead of just going outside and watching it themselves. I say this as an avid outdoor enthusiast.
  • 4 Hide
    silverblue , April 30, 2012 6:55 PM
    Really don't know why you were voted off the map, blibba... however the original comment was probably made in jest so I wouldn't worry about reclaiming any of our intellectual property just yet.

    Besides which, we gave the world the X Factor... the shame will never end.
  • -4 Hide
    classzero , April 30, 2012 7:16 PM
    BOOOOOO
  • 1 Hide
    pharoahhalfdead , April 30, 2012 7:17 PM
    Since I live in the country called America, United States of America that is (North America is a continent), as a supporter who has Planet Earth, Life, and Frozen Planet, I would love to be able to watch these online. Since it is live I'm not sure what kind of video quality to expect though.
  • 0 Hide
    classzero , April 30, 2012 7:19 PM
    gm0n3yIf the show is honestly just a live stream of people following animals around, that sounds incredibly boring. Also, what does it say about our society when people would rather sit down and watch a live feed of people watching nature instead of just going outside and watching it themselves. I say this as an avid outdoor enthusiast.

    Yes go hang out with the black bears, elephants in Africa, please pet that lion it wont bite you!
  • 2 Hide
    icrf , April 30, 2012 7:22 PM
    When I'm in the woods, I go out of my way to avoid interacting with the bears. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching someone else more prepared and willing get in close.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , April 30, 2012 7:22 PM
    Hey Blibba, the internet was invented in America. Just saying.
  • 0 Hide
    blackened144 , April 30, 2012 7:39 PM
    classzeroYes go hang out with the black bears, elephants in Africa, please pet that lion it wont bite you!

    Sounds like the guy who was fed up with people and decided to go live with the grizzly bears in the state park in Alaska.. It didnt really work out so well for him though, those grizzly bears were not very humane..
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , April 30, 2012 8:21 PM
    blibbaThanks, we'll be taking back our world-class universities, our ARM processors and PowerVR graphics (meaning all smartphones, pretty much), our aero-engines, our ale, our luxury cars, our system of government, our actors and TV programs, our language, our goodness-knows-what-else, oh, and a little invention called the internet...


    I agree with you, love -a lot of the- BBC programming, Brit-comedies etc.
    But... the 'luxury car" bit is more a historical bit seeing that RR and Bentley are now owned by VW and BMW and Jaruar owned -oh Lord help us- by Tata Motors from India.
    Especially the Jaguar deal must trill your former Colony to endless smiles :-)


  • 0 Hide
    freggo , April 30, 2012 8:25 PM
    sojrnerIS there a country of "America"? ;-)


    Give him/her a break !
    The phrase "I am in the country of America" should tell you that he/she is either not a US-american by birth or a kid. In either case this can be forgiven as it is customary to refer to the USA as 'America'.

    :-)

  • 2 Hide
    freggo , April 30, 2012 8:27 PM
    gm0n3yIf the show is honestly just a live stream of people following animals around, that sounds incredibly boring. Also, what does it say about our society when people would rather sit down and watch a live feed of people watching nature instead of just going outside and watching it themselves...


    You've got wild Black Bears, Lions and Elephants in your backyard ?
    Cool. Can I stop by for a coffee ? I'll bring the cookies !

  • 0 Hide
    blibba , April 30, 2012 8:32 PM
    chacharealsmoothHey Blibba, the internet was invented in America. Just saying.


    Look up Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

    freggoI agree with you, love -a lot of the- BBC programming, Brit-comedies etc.But... the 'luxury car" bit is more a historical bit seeing that RR and Bentley are now owned by VW and BMW and Jaruar owned -oh Lord help us- by Tata Motors from India. Especially the Jaguar deal must trill your former Colony to endless smiles :-)


    Still made and in many cases designed in the UK, though.
  • 0 Hide
    freggo , April 30, 2012 8:35 PM
    chacharealsmoothHey Blibba, the internet was invented in America. Just saying.


    There where a number of packet switched networks around in the early 1960s.
    The US version 'won' so to speak giving us the Internet. However, I have a feeling you may be referring to the "Web"... and that's not a US invention of course. Ask Tim ! :-)


  • 0 Hide
    freggo , April 30, 2012 8:38 PM
    blibbaLook up Sir Tim Berners-Lee.Still made and in many cases designed in the UK, though.


    Using BMW engines !
    Still, always loved the old Jaguars. That was a 'classy' car. Since the Germans run the show they have become a bit too 'modern' for my taste.
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