Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, the next installment of the Emmy Award-winning Planet Earth franchise, will premiere in Canada across three Blue Ant Media channels, including BBC Earth, Cottage Life and T+E, on Saturday, January 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Subsequent episodes will appear Saturday nights on BBC Earth. The new seven-part series, presented by Sir David Attenborough, scored by Academy Award-winner Hans Zimmer and produced by James Honeyborne, has already become a major television event around the world. The series will also premiere day-and-date in the United States as an AMC Networks simulcast event across BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC, WE tv and SundanceTV.
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II takes viewers on a revelatory and magical journey into the mesmerizing world of our oceans – the most undiscovered place on our planet. Our oceans are by turn tempestuous and serene, exquisitely beautiful and bleakly forbidding. They cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and hold 97% of all the water in the world. There is more life in the deep sea than anywhere else on Earth. It is said we know more about the surface of Mars than the depths of our own planet. Our final frontier is the deep ocean – Earth’s ‘inner space’.
“Planet Earth: Blue Planet II will be another must-watch event for our BBC Earth fans in Canada,” said Jamie Schouela, EVP, Canadian Media, Blue Ant Media. “The North American premiere of this highly anticipated series is a perfect way to celebrate the first anniversary of the channel in Canada, which has become a top-tier destination for extraordinary factual storytelling.”
In the UK, the series is the highest-rated show of the year and the most-watched natural history title in more than 15 years with more than of 14 million people tuning in for the premiere episode. Already a staggering hit in China, all Blue Planet II content, including short form, trailers and the first two episodes, was watched over 100 million times in its first 13 days. The series premiere also trended globally on Twitter.
By using breakthroughs in science and cutting-edge technology to explore this final frontier, the series reveals astonishing characters, otherworldly places and extraordinary new animal behaviors. Warm and compelling stories about marine habitats and their characterful inhabitants will build people’s emotional relationship with our oceans and bring a new perspective to this little-known world.
Over four years in production, the Blue Planet II teams mounted 125 expeditions, visited 39 countries and filmed on every continent and across every ocean. They spent over 6,000 hours diving underwater, filming everywhere from familiar shores to the deepest seas. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Seychelles and from South Africa to Norway the team filmed several ‘firsts’ including:
- Producer Orla Doherty and her team were the first humans to dive 3,280 feet into the frigid waters of the Antarctic, in a deep manned submersible, to explore under icebergs the size of a city block and discover creatures so alien they could come from outer space
- At 2,000 feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico, they filmed methane volcanoes erupting with bubbles the size of basketballs
- Life was thought to be impossible in the deepest point of the Earth’s ocean, seven miles down, but they filmed creatures living under a pressure equivalent to 50 jumbo jets stacked on top of one another
- Species such as Leaping Blennies – fish that live almost exclusively on land; Giant Trevally that fly out of the water to snatch seabirds in mid-air; the ingenious Coral Grouper, a fish that enlists the help of an octopus to hunt little fish hiding among coral and, perhaps most charming of all, the industrious Tuskfish, who uses a coral anvil to crack open his clams.
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II is presented by Sir David Attenborough and was made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC AMERICA, Tencent, WDR and France Télévisions and CCTV9 in partnership with The Open University. It is Executive Produced by James Honeyborne and Series Produced by Mark Brownlow and was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual.