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Whale Wars Wins Rating Battle With Record Viewership For Season Finale; Green Light For 3rd Season

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NEW YORK, New York -- Animal Planet’s WHALE WARS ended last Friday evening with the most-watched episode ever, a record 1.3M P2+ viewers tuning in to see the fate of the Sea Shepherd crew who, upon returning to port, were detained by Australian Federal Police.

The season finale also set viewership records among HH (877K), P25-54 (807K), W25-54 (375K), and M25-54 (432K), helping Animal Planet rank third among all cable networks in the 9 PM hour among P25-54 (excludes sports). WHALE WARS ranked among the top five cable programs last Friday night in terms of P25-54 delivery (excludes sports and movies).

The overall sophomore season of WHALE WARS also set new landmarks and is now Animal Planet’s second-best performing series in network history, averaging 779K households and more than a million P2+ viewers (1.08M) across its second season. Premiere episodes of the new season have produced double-digit delivery gains compared to the inaugural season average across key demos (HH: +14%, P25-54: +18%, W25-54: +26%, M25-54 +12%, P2+: +14%).

Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet, also announced today that WHALE WARS would return for a third season next year, following the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s next Antarctic whale defense campaign called Operation Waltzing Matilda. The Sea Shepherds are expected to leave on the campaign at year’s end with the series anticipated to return as a lynchpin for the channel’s 2010 summer.

It's been terrific to see the success of this groundbreaking series, and its growth creatively and with audiences from the first to the second season. I'm proud to be able to announce the third,” added Kaplan. “WHALE WARS has really helped to transform the brand of the network and has anchored our Friday night. Now JOCKEYS rides in to continue the momentum and give our viewers a look inside another, very different world.”

WHALE WARS follows Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society as they wage a life-and-death battle to find and stop Japanese ships from hunting whales in the name of research. For several years, Watson and his eclectic group of international staff and volunteers -- labeled activists, heroes or eco-pirates -- have taken a hard-line approach to eradicate whaling, poaching, and shark-finning and other serious ocean conservation issues. WHALE WARS follows a masterful chess match at the far end of the globe as both Sea Shepherd and the whalers engage in an environmental showdown that could cost millions of dollars -- all while drawing global attention to the practice of whaling.

WHALE WARS is a production of Lizard Trading Company and RIVR Media for Animal Planet. Liz Bronstein is the executive producer for Lizard Trading Company, and Jason Carey is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is vice president of development for Animal Planet.

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

3 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

I find it insulting that Sea Shepherd call themselves conservationists, all they do is antagonise the Japanese to the point that they are unwilling to cooperate with people who are trying to negotiate reasonably. Everyone is cooing about Sea Shepherds dedication and commitment, great, what have they actually achieved in the terms of long term goals? Nothing. The people who do the real work remain forgotten because they are not flashy and outrageous attention seekers. Who is ultimately stopping Japan from returning to commercial whaling? Who stopped Japan and Greenland from adding Humpback quotas to their hunts? It sure as hell wasn't Sea Shepherd. But then real conservation work does not make good television...
   comment# 1   - Kat · Belfast, Northern Ireland · Aug 28, 2009 @ 5:04am

Kat, I think you are missing the point of what the Sea Shepherd is doing. They are bring the attention to the world of what's going on in the Southern Ocean. You can be negative and point out the political issues they havent faught. But that fight can't be done while in a tin can trying to save these whales. What can be done is bring the issue to the worlds eyes so others can help in the fight.
   comment# 2   - Shannan · Dallas, USA · Sep 2, 2009 @ 4:30pm

I think what the sea shepherd is doing,is fighting for what is right .....kat ..people should know what is going on the SOUTHERN OCEAN.... i think that you are just negative..or i think that u like the fact that people eat the whales .. what do u think the SEA SHEPHERD, is doing????? trying to save the whales from extinction so your kids would know or one day see how or what whales are about,,,,,,,, GO GO SEA SHEPHERDS,,,,,,I LOVE WHALES
   comment# 3   - ASHNEE T · SOUTH AFRICA · Nov 19, 2009 @ 10:08am
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