Tune In: Original Cable Programming
No. of subscribers: 90 million
Network topper: Marjorie Kaplan
Programming topper: Dan Russell
Top originals: Meerkat Manor, Crikey! What an Adventure, Puppy Bowl III, Ocean’s Deadliest
Upcoming originals: Spring Watch USA (miniseries), My Daddy the Croc Hunter (special)
The skinny: The network mourned the accidental death in September of iconic wildlife expert Steve Irwin. Wide audience passion for Irwin led to a number of specials celebrating his life and work, but Animal Planet is also moving forward. Having successfully launched so-called docusoap “Meerkat Manor,” Animal Planet also established a base to shift or expand its programming emphasis into domestic animals with the November purchase of Petfinder.com and Petsincredible. Though its overall ratings are essentially flat compared to a year ago, the network finished February in the top 10 among ad-supported cable channels in attracting kids 2-11.