The BBC is Doing Planet Earth Live

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.

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter.   

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
29 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • sojrner
    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
  • yumri
    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.
  • coreym72
    Not in America... Because we already have a bunch of dumb animals in Jersey shown all over the place. Need to look elsewhere...
  • warezme
    Great, the only thing the British currently have worth sharing and they decide to exclude N. America. Do they even give a reason?