Following the success of its Michael Vick and "puppy mill" specials, Animal Planet is starting a quarterly investigative journalism franchise, Animal Planet Investigates.
The series will explore in depth topics such as slaughterhouses, cloning, dog fighting, the exotic animal trade and animal testing, among other topics.
"With the new Investigates strand, we're giving Animal Planet an opportunity to bring forth hard-hitting topics," said Rick Holzman, senior vice president of programming and scheduling for Animal Planet. "We're looking forward to a productive and creative collaboration with some of the best production houses and journalists in the business."
The network also ordered Superfetch, which will have pet trainer Zak George helping owners train their pets how to do wacky or unexpected tricks.
"Superfetch is a different type of training show because these pets don't need to be "fixed"; they are perfect just as they are," says Marjorie Kaplan, general manager and president of Animal Planet Media. "Zak takes their energy and love of play and uses it to his advantage to teach them and their parents tricks that are often amusing, surprising and, frankly, just awesome."