×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Rebranded Animal Planet Under Susanna Dinnage Goes Global (EXCLUSIVE)

Susanna Dinnage is putting her mark on Animal Planet, with a new look for the channel and a lineup of global shows. The refreshed Animal Planet will go out of the gate with a series featuring the family of the late Steve Irwin, the Australian conservationist who had deep links with the Discovery-owned wildlife and natural history channel.

Dinnage was upped from running Discovery in the U.K. and named Animal Planet’s first-ever global boss last November in a reorganization that saw Patrice Andrews exit. Based in London, Dinnage now runs the brand worldwide, including in the U.S., and has set about giving it a new look and feel that she said is about letting a family audience get close to wildlife.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to set the global blueprint for our brand,” Dinnage told Variety. “Converting this incredible brand that is distributed globally into an actual global brand is the task.”

A new logo, never publicly released before now, features a leaping blue elephant and will be used across all platforms. The channel has had taglines such as “surprisingly human” before, but these have gone. The 22 year-old channel’s new branding will hit the U.K. and U.S. on Oct. 28 and will be in place across a 205-country footprint by the end of the first quarter of 2019.

A lineup of globally released shows will be aimed at family audiences and will “help you think about environment issues and animal welfare without preaching,” Dinnage said. “This is about getting up close and understanding [animals].”

“Dodo Heroes” has already had a global rollout and was Animal Planet’s most-watched freshman series this year. Next up is “Crikey! It’s the Irwins,” which will follow the titular family of wildlife enthusiasts as they continue the legacy of Steve Irwin, who was synonymous with Animal Planet.

“Steve Irwin was a key figure in the Animal Planet family and story. To have the Irwin family back with the channel and the brand is incredibly important,” Dinnage said. “Steve believed, as we do, that if you bring people closer to animals, they will understand them more, fall in love with them, change their behavior and see the world in a different way.”

Other new shows in the global refresh include Indigo Films-produced “Amanda to the Rescue,” which follows Amanda Giese as she takes in dogs that others have given up on, and “Big Cat Tales,” a five-part series that marks the return of Jonathan and Angela Scott and Jackson Ole Looseyia to Animal Planet after “Big Cat Diary.” The 4K series will follow families of big cats up close as they live and breed in the wild.

Take a first look at the new “Irwins” series below.

More TV

  • The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

    TV News Roundup: 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah' to Air Live After Democratic Debates

    In today’s roundup, Trevor Noah announces two live specials after the first Democratic debates and the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” sets a premiere date. SPECIALS “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” will broadcast live following the Democratic Party’s first 2020 presidential primary debates on June 26 and 27 at 11 p.m. ET on Comedy Central. [...]

  • Agents Accuse Writers Guild of Refusing

    Writers Guild 'Plans to Respond' to Agents' Proposal as Frustration Mounts

    In a sign of increasing frustration, Hollywood agents have accused the Writers Guild of America of foot-dragging in the bitter two-month dispute. “It has become clear as more days pass that the Guild is not interested in making a deal,” said the negotiating committee for the agents in statement issued Tuesday. “Over the past year, [...]

  • Samantha Bee Variety

    Samantha Bee Isn't Thrilled to Be the Last Woman Standing in Late Night

    Samantha Bee is now the only female host in late night, and that’s a stat she’s not happy about. “It’s a bit unsettling,” Bee recently told Variety. “It’s been a bad year to be a woman in this space. It’s not really a badge that I want to wear.” Shows that have been canceled over [...]

  • XXXTentacion

    Watch a Trailer for New XXXTentacion Documentary

    A year to the day after rapper XXXTentacion was murdered, his estate has released a trailer for an upcoming documentary on the artist, which the announcement says is “releasing soon.” The clip, which includes narration from X himself, captures quick flashes of him reuniting with family and friends, engaging with fans, and working on music. In the [...]

  • The-Saddest-Goal

    Fascism and Fútbol Feature in Chilean Series Project ‘The Saddest Goal’

    PAMPLONA, Spain – Chilean production company Manufactura de Películas pitched its unconventional Pinochet-era drama “The Saddest Goal” today at Spain’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking TV event, held in Pamplona. Set during qualification for the 1974 FIFA World Cup, a period of great political instability in Chile, “The Saddest Goal” kicks off as the [...]

  • Spain’s La Claqueta, Portugal’s SPi Ink

    Conecta Fiction: La Claqueta and SPi Ink Fiction Co-Production Pact

    Spain’s Seville-based shingle La Claqueta and Portugal’s SPi have clinched a co-development agreement for three fiction projects a year. Companies first made contact at last year’s Conecta Fiction, the annual co-production meet in Spain. The companies have also pacted to co-produce the animated feature-length docu “El viaje más largo” in collaboration with Portuguese pubcaster RTP [...]

  • Eliza Clark

    'Y: The Last Man' Series at FX Hires Eliza Clark as New Showrunner

    The FX series based on “Y: The Last Man” has found its new showrunner. Eliza Clark has been named showrunner, writer, and executive producer on the upcoming series — which is titled simply “Y” — based on the graphic novels by Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra. She takes over from original showrunners Michael Green [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content