Upfronts 2012: Animal Planet To Launch Competition Reality Series

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Animal Planet will jump into the reality competition waters with a new fishing-themed series, part of a slate of 11 new series and specials slated for the 2012-13 upfront season.

The new competition series, Top Hooker, will pit two teams of 10 expert fishers in a series of head to head, never-before-seen fishing challenges, said network executives. Extreme anglers will also be the subject of a second new series, Fish America, in which pro wrestler Eric Young travels the country to fish hand to hand with other unique fisherman.

The network will continue to offer natural history programming with Frontier Earth With David Salmoni, a six part series that will follow large predator expert Salmoni as he unfolds the plights of the world's most enigmatic animals. Other new series in the genre include Polar Bear Family And Me, The Afterlife: Elephant, The Afterlife: Hippo, Rhino Wars, Wild Arabia and Wild Hawaii.

Other new entries include Glory Hounds, which follows the working relationship between man and dog; The Hunger, which looks at the resourceful ways different cultures capture and eat food around the world; and Treehouse Men, which follows workers who build tree houses in forests and backyards around the world.
Animal Planet will also develop a special programming stunt around its big, legendary creatures.

The network's "Monster Week" will showcase new episodes from the network's popular shows River Monsters, Finding Bigfoot and Call Of The Wildman, as well as two new specials, Man Eating Super Croc and Mermaids: The Body Found.

Returning shows include Hillbilly Handfishin', Pit Boss, Pit Bullsand Parolees,Puppy Bowl, Tanked, Too Cute!, and Whale Wars, the network said.

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