BBC Studios has signed a co-production partnership with China’s Tencent on upcoming natural history series “Dynasties,” it announced Monday at Mipcom in Cannes. The deal marks the third landmark natural history co-production that BBC Studios has teamed on with Tencent following “Planet Earth II” and “Blue Planet II.”
The agreement is part of larger multi-year partnership between BBC Studios and the Chinese Internet giant, which also sees the two companies collaborating on online initiative BBC Earth Tribe – a Chinese fan community site for people who are passionate about natural history and science – which launched Monday night on Tencent Video. BBC Earth Tribe will feature over 650 hours of BBC Studios’ natural history programming as well as offering access to series’ creators via interviews, Q&As and live streaming from production locations.
“We are very excited to extend our partnership with Tencent with the co-production of ‘Dynasties,’ and work with them to build a community of like-minded natural history fans, bringing our content beyond the screens to them via BBC Earth Tribe,” said David Weiland, executive vice president Asia for BBC Studios. Including both full and mini episodes, last year’s “Blue Planet II” scored over 250 million views on Tencent, while 2016’s “Planet Earth II” delivered over 200 million views.
“Dynasties” explores the lives of some of the world’s most iconic animals and their struggles to survive, focusing on Emperor penguins in Antarctica; chimpanzees in Senegal; lions in Kenya; hyenas in Zimbabwe; and tigers in India. It is presented by multi-BAFTA-winner and world-renowned naturalist David Attenborough, who won an Emmy last month for outstanding narrator for “Blue Planet II.” Mike Gunton serves as executive producer.
The BBC announced Friday that it will air the series in the U.K. this fall, although a specific date has not been revealed. Tencent will broadcast “Dynasties” via its v.qq.com streaming platform simultaneously with the U.K. telecast.
AMC Networks will air “Dynasties” in the U.S. from Jan. 19 with a simulcast across four of the cable networks in its portfolio: BBC America, AMC, IFC and Sundance.