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BBC Worldwide and Animal Planet Announce Two Natural History Co-Productions

“The Great Rift” and “Madagascar” Air on Animal Planet

March 23, 2009

Contact - Patricia Kollappallil
SVP, Communications

March 23, 2009 — BBC Worldwide and Animal Planet announced today two blue-chip natural history co-productions THE GREAT RIFT and MADAGASCAR. Both programs will provide viewers with a breathtaking and comprehensive look at two of the most awe-inspiring landscapes on the planet. THE GREAT RIFT will make its way to the channel in 2010 and MADAGASCAR in 2011.

Visible from space, THE GREAT RIFT runs for thousands of miles. It creates, connects and defines the wildest, most charismatic landscape in the world which spans from the majestic, snow-capped mountains of the Kilimanjaro to the hustle and bustle of the Red Sea's coral reefs. It touches the dry open savannas of the Serengeti and the rain-soaked forests of the Mountains of the Moon. A three-hour television event, THE GREAT RIFT is a journey through the amazing geography of the rift, depicting how the forces of nature have shaped and evolved the landscape in the cradle of mankind. For the BBC, the series producer is Phil Chapman and it is executive produced by Mike Gunton (Life, Madagascar, Yellowstone - Tales from the Wild). Dawn Sinsel is the executive producer for Animal Planet.

MADGASCAR was lost to the world for 65 million years, in splendid isolation, undiscovered and untouched by man. Left to its own devices it became a hot bed of evolution, resulting in the greatest concentration of unique creatures anywhere on the planet. Recognized as one of the world's most important biodiversity hotspots, it is an island full of weird animals, strange plants and extraordinary landscapes. New species are still being discovered every year, and conservationists are currently placing Madagascar as a top global biodiversity priority. In this two hour landmark special, viewers will discover what made MADAGASCAR so different from the rest of the world, and how evolution created an island rivaling the Galapagos for mystique, beauty and scientific wonder. For the BBC, the series is executive produced by Mike Gunton (Life, Great Rift, Yellowstone - Tales from the Wild) and series producer is Mary Summerill. Erin Wanner is the executive producer for Animal Planet.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Animal Planet on these two titles." commented Susanna Pollack, SVP Sales and Distribution, BBC Worldwide, Americas. "They are representative of the quality programs the BBC has delivered to audiences for generations. Both shows are sure to provide Animal Planet viewers with a look into two of the most mystical landscapes on the planet."

"Our robust partnership with the BBC reflects Animal Planet's strong commitment to the best natural history programming," said Marjorie Kaplan, President and General Manager, Animal Planet. "These projects will be crown jewels of the genre, bringing the spectacular biodiversity of the Great Rift and Madagascar to viewers as major television events."

About BBC Worldwide:
BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Its U.S. division, helmed by President Garth Ancier, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington DC and Rhode Island, brings together all of BBC Worldwide's businesses in the U.S. including Sales and Distribution, Channels, Content and Production, Home Entertainment, Digital Media, Global Brands and Magazines. Under these businesses fall two key brands in the U.S. - digital cable channel BBC America and a bi-coastal production arm responsible for the smash hit Dancing with the Stars for ABC.

About Animal Planet
Animal Planet Media (APM), a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the world's only entertainment brand that immerses viewers in the full range of life in the animal kingdom with rich, deep content via multiple platforms and offers animal lovers and pet owners access to a centralized online, television and mobile community for immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment, information and enrichment. APM consists of the Animal Planet television network, available in more than 95 million homes in the US; online assets, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; the 24/7 broadband channel, Animal Planet Beyond;, the #1 pet-related Web property globally that facilitates pet adoption; and other media platforms including a robust Video-on-Demand (VOD) service; mobile content; and merchandising extensions.