Planet Earth II has already aired in the U.K., where it was watched by half of the population and regularly became the most talked about show on social media. The documentary series, narrated by David Attenborough, consists of six episodes, each focused on a specific aspect of the natural world; Islands, Mountains, Jungles, Deserts, Grasslands, Cities, and A World of Wonder. Planet Earth II served as the follow up to Planet Earth, which aired in 2006. While Planet Earth was groundbreaking (it was the first natural documentary series to be filmed in HD), Planet Earth II has utilized new technology as a way of getting closer to rare species, in some cases capturing them on film for the first time ever.
No doubt U.S. citizens have been watching the discussions surrounding Planet Earth II on social media, but now it's their turn to join in too. The series will premiere in the U.S. on February 18 at 9 pm and, in a move that is testament to the quality of the show, it will be simulcast across AMC, Sundance TV, and BBC America.
The news (via Deadline) was announced at the TCA, where BBC America President, Sarah Barnett, called Planet Earth II a "cultural event" in the U.K.. Project EP Mike Gunton expanded on that, remarking on the fact that families had all come together to watch the show:
“What has been fascinating and rewarding is that factual television is skewed to the older generation. What’s happened with this series is that people absolutely come together to watch it….through extraordinary social and traditional word of mouth. Families get together to to watch it, and students get together to watch. And, at 6 on Sundays, the Internet was ablaze about what they are going to see, and a call to arms: ‘Don’t forget to get to the TV set!’"
Highlights of Planet Earth II include a look at racer snakes chasing baby Iguanas across a beach, rare footage of a Snow Leopard cub, a plague of locusts of biblical proportions, and a lion taking on a giraffe. All are magnificent moments that are epic to watch unfold, but it's perhaps the smaller, sweeter moments that stay with the viewer, such as the dancing bears or the swimming sloth. Let's face it, a swimming sloth is all anyone needs.
To cap it all, Gunton has confirmed that Attenborough will remain in place as the narrator for the U.S. broadcast of Planet Earth II, after he was replaced by Sigourney Weaver in the first season. Now 90 years of age, Attenborough's affection and respect for the environment is clear, and to see him floating in a hot air balloon, high above the Alps, is truly a memorable occasion.
Planet Earth II will air on AMC, Sundance TV and BBC America starting February 18, at 9 pm.