Oh where oh where did my beloved Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom go? Well apparently it’s been reborn on cable in the form of Life. Did you catch what I did there? The “reborn” and “Life” connection. Man, I’m killin’ it today on the writing! Well, ok maybe not “killing” since we’re talking about LIFE. By the way, not that LIFE, the deceased magazine that lasted from 1883 to 2000. No not that. I’m talking about the brand new Discovery Channel mini-series that started March 21st on, where else, the Discovery Channel at 8 PM (Eastern and Pacific).
So when I was a kid Wild Kingdom was THE program to watch if you wanted to see a cheetah run down a wildebeest or Zebra and take a bite out of his hindquarters. And what about that awesome theme song? Well let’s just say hundreds of sports shows are VERY thankful for that triumphant music. But Wild Kingdom had to be an expensive program to make. And the days of insurance companies contributing money for educational shows has LONG, LONG, LONG since passed. Especially to nature shows. Can you imagine such a thing even existed? I mean really! So the show ended.
Anyway, for nature shows we’ve primarily relied on PBS, however PBS has began to really have it’s core programing emulated and essentially taken over by the cable networks since the 90’s. And these days it’s sometimes hard to tell them apart. In fact, you get the feeling PBS has lost the fight, but occasionally they come back swinging with guys like Ken Burns (and his brother) or Henry Louis Gates Jr. and remind you they’ve still “got it.” They let you know they’re capable of giving you something new and interesting that you didn’t even KNOW you wanted to know.
But Discovery Channel keeps upping the ante. Can you believe it was 3 whole YEARS ago that they kicked off this “natural history in High Definition” thing with Planet Earth? Well, they’re back; and this time they’ve even got Oprah Winfrey doing the narration.
Here’s some weird trivia:
-MOST of the people who come to read this article are looking for information about the THEME SONG. As far as I can tell you guys seem REALLY into. So a) you are not alone and b) I sure am curious as to why you like it so much!
-Anyway, I looked up the song information FOR YOU and found out it was composed by these two dudes: Fred Karns and Richard Fiocca. But good luck finding it! Short of taping it off your TV for the short version or ordering the DVD for a clean copy, that’s pretty much it. These guys are not churning out a new albums every week like Lady Ga Ga.
Maybe I’m showing my age and maybe it’s too specific but PERSONALLY the song I think they SHOULD have used is this one
By the way, you ALREADY know you’re going to get the dvd. If you’re watching the show you KNOW you’re going to get it. Think about it;
- You’ll get ALL of the music, not just the theme song. And the same composers did the music for the whole show
- You’ll have pristine HD and you can jump around to whichever parts you like on regular dvd or Blu-ray
- This show is like a mini Encyclopedia Britannica and you can show your kids or other people’s kids and they’ll be fascinated! An ELEVEN HOUR PACIFIER
- You can PROVE to some disbelieving friend that such-and-such an animal does this thing or that thing when they try to tell you what they “know” about said animal
- All the behind the scenes footage is incredible! You can see HOW they did it and all the mistakes. Plus, you KNOW somebody got chased by an animal at some point
- Check this out; let’s say you decide to make a little movie about your dog, cat, lizard or whatever- now you’ll have a little “how to” if you use those behind the scenes techniques
- You get all the images ON the dvd’s you can use for desktops or make e-cards or whatever
- It’s ON SALE while the show is airing (March 29th update, the FIRST coupon code I had already expired). April 25th update-LISTEN TO ME; I had some BIG discount links last month Discovery gave me because I’m an affiliate, and now I’ve still got a link on those dvd’s for 17% and the blu-rays for 18% off, but the second coupon link ALREADY EXPIRED. So what I’m saying is they’re gradually raising the prices to the “regular price” so now would be a good time to grab copies.
Alright, back to the trivia I was doing…
-I’ve seen at least 2 articles (written after mine) where they talk about this program being “natural science.” This program is not natural science-that’s an outlook and methodology. This is “Natural History,” as in The Natural History Museum.
-As some of you know the Discovery Channel is pretty much the sister channel (American offshoot) of one of the BBC channels. So just like all my TLC articles about the Half Tree Man, The Lady with Giant Legs, etc., this program actually aired in England first-about 6 months ago actually. And over there the narration was done by natural historian David Attenborough who is THE heavyweight in this field. Back when I was getting my Anthropology degree I used to work part-time for the National Geographic TV show “Explorer” so I handled a lotta tape with this fine gentleman doing his great narration.
-So why did we get Oprah…well…turns out she’s in a deal with Discovery to launch her OWN network next year. And I can’t say for certain, but that might have had something to do with it. Don’t get me wrong; I’m living in Chicago right now AND I’m black, but I wish Attenborough would have been part of the mix. Although, I do enjoy hearing the big O say “octopuses,” I still think a split-narration wouldn’t been nice. (p.s. octopi is acceptable but octopuses is correct, blah blah Latin/Greek error blah blah octopodes…)
Planet Earth was an awesome program. And like Life, in crystal clear HD. But Life promises to be pretty darn interesting, if not groundbreaking. They’re saying 3000 days of footage was shot and cut down to 11 hours. So somewhere in there you can expect to see all your favorite animals and insects. How do I KNOW they’ll have you’re favorite? Because they’re doing them all! For your convenience I’ve put the show schedule down below so you can know what and when to expect. And as you can see, I’ve also included an image of one of MY favorite creatures, the Japanese Snow Monkey…
In fact my favorite new Marvel Comics character is Hit Monkey!
In case you miss an episode the way they’ve been doing the replay thing so far is that at 8PM and 9PM they show the new episodes then they immediately replay those episodes. Somewhere in there on Sunday night they’re also sticking in the new episodes of the new season of Deadliest Catch.
Additionally, 2 hours BEFORE the new shows they also show Life’s last week’s episodes. They’ve also added Thursday night replays. And here’s the rest of the viewing guide…
CHALLENGES OF LIFE
Premiering Sunday, March 21, at 8 PM e/p
REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS
Premiering Sunday, March 21, at 9 PM e/p
Premiering Sunday, March 28, at 8 PM e/p
Premiering Sunday, March 28, at 9 PM e/p
Premiering Sunday, April 4, at 8 PM e/p
CREATURES OF THE DEEP
Premiering Sunday, April 4, at 9 PM e/p
HUNTERS AND HUNTED
Premiering Sunday, April 11, at 8 PM e/p
Premiering Sunday, April 11, at 9 PM e/p
Premiering Sunday, April 18, at 8 PM e/p
Premiering Sunday, April 18, at 9 PM e/p
MAKING OF LIFE
Premiering Sunday, April 18, at 10 PM e/p
Or you could just order the show and get the Life DVD set to watch whenever you wanted-no commercials, clear picture, and the ability to pause and replay.
So what are yo still doing here? Go watch the program! Here’s a picture of a cheetah in motion to indicate “go.” Did you see what I did there? I came full circle linking Wild Kingdom to Life with the cheetah. See? I told you; I’m killin’ it today on the writing!