Gameshow with bite

Animal Planet enters quizzer fray with 'Lie'

Animal Planet is jumping on the gameshow bandwagon with “You Lie Like a Dog,” an original game featuring celebrity guests, talented animals and talented liars, the network announced Wednesday at the Television Critics Assn. Tour.

Set to premiere on Jan. 30, “You Lie” will feature host JD Roberto leading three celebrity panelists through three rounds of play in which they must determine who is lying about an animal-related topic. Celeb panelists will include comedians Fred Willard, Kevin Meaney and Jimmie Walker, former prosecutor Marcia Clark and Dr. Joyce Brothers.

“You Lie Like a Dog” comes to the net from J Walking Prods. John Kalish, Judy Meyers and Margo Kent-Green will exec produce.

The animal cabler also announced that it would premiere its first original primetime fiction series, “Call of the Wild,” with a two-hour movie on March 31. Inspired by the classic Jack London story, “Call of the Wild” is a 13-part one-hour series that will capture the challenges of life during the Alaskan gold rush. Filmed on location throughout British Columbia, the series stars Shane Meier, Nick Mancuso and Rachel Hayward as a family trying to make its way in the untamed wilderness of the Yukon.

The series “is the very first step in a very exciting new direction for Animal Planet,” said Clark Bunting, exec VP and G.M., Animal Planet. “Fictional programming will play a major role in our efforts to be fresh, entertaining and innovative.”

Along those lines, the net will debut its first original movie, “The Trial of Old Drum,” on March 17. The telefilm, which stars Ron Perlman, Randy Travis and Scott Bakula, is the first of four original telefilms slated to premiere on Animal Planet in 2000.

“Old Drum,” which recounts the true story of the bond between young Charlie Burden and his dog Old Drum, is a production of Porchlight Entertainment, with Bruce D. Johnson and Ross Hammer exec producing.

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