BBC, France TV, ZDF & BBC America link for wildlife epic ‘Mammals’


The BBC has unveiled a trio of projects from the producers of Planet Earth III, including a six-part blue chip wildlife series that has France Televisions, ZDF and BBC America attached.

Mammals will explore animals ranging from the tiny Etruscan shrew to the giant blue whale as it tracks the secrets of their success and discovers how their adaptability, intelligence and sociability have contributed to their rise.

It will take viewers around the world and will include never-before-seen behaviours, with BBC Studios Natural History Unit (NHU) producing the 6 x 60-minute show.

France TV, ZDF and BBC America are attached as co-pro partners, with Roger Webb exec producing. It was commissioned by Jack Bootle, head of commissioning, specialist factual and Sreya Biswas, head of natural history commissioning at the BBC.

Mammals is joined by Big Little Journeys (3 x 60 minutes), which will debut on BBC Two and iPlayer.

It follows six tiny animals – from golden-headed lion tamarins in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest to the peculiar Madagascan Labord’s chameleon – as they overcome all obstacles in their paths as they travel across rainforests, mountains and wetlands.

The series uses immersive camera systems, surveillance technology, and probe and borescope lenses that shrink the lens down to give a small animal’s view of the world, enabling the animals to be filmed in the same style as big animals as they embark upon their journeys in the wild.

PBS is attached as coproducer, with BBCS’s NHU producing. Bootle is commissioner, with Rosemary Edwards exec producing.

Rounding the trio is Wild Scandinavia, a new three-part series for BBC Two that explores the coast, the forests, and the volcanic and arctic extremes, with Rebecca Ferguson (Dune) narrating,

It will feature animals including lynx, puffins, orca and wolves, with PBS and SVT attached a coproducers. Bootle is lead commissioner and Edwards agauin exec produces.

BBCS is handling international distribution on all show, with all three shows being presented later this week at BBC Studios Showcase taking place on 27 and 28 February.

Bootle said the shows would “push at the boundaries of what’s possible in wildlife filmmaking.”

He added: “The arrival of game-changing technology combined with exciting new storytelling techniques means this genre has never felt more confident, creative and ambitious.”

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