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‘Wild Kingdom’ Revived at NBC With Hearst as Producer

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Wild Kingdom” is roaring its way back onto NBC more than 60 years after it first debuted on the broadcast network. The iconic wildlife show will return to the Comcast-owned broadcaster this fall in a new iteration produced by Hearst Media Production Group in partnership with the original show’s sponsor, Mutual of Omaha.

Titled “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom: Protecting the Wild,” the new version will be hosted by wildlife expert and “Wild Kingdom” alum Peter Gros, who first appeared on a version of the series in 1985 alongside then-host Jim Fowler. Fowler was the second expert to host “Wild Kingdom,” taking over for the show’s original narrator, zoologist Marlin Perkins, after acting as Perkins’ sidekick from the start.

For NBC’s new “Wild Kingdom,” Gros will be joined by wildlife ecologist Dr. Rae Wynn-Grant, a National Geographic Explorer and research faculty member at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

The series will premiere Oct. 7 on NBC during the broadcaster’s “The More You Know” Saturday programming block and will also be available on NBC.com and NBC’s video-on-demand.

“Wild Kingdom” first premiered on NBC in 1963 with Perkins as host and Fowler as co-host. The series moved from broadcast to primetime syndication in 1971. Perkins retired in 1985 and Fowler took over as host until “Wild Kingdom” ended its run on syndication in 1988. The show was revived multiple times in the decades since, first as a special on Animal Kingdom in 2002, then as a web series in 2013, both overseen by sponsor Mutual of Omaha.

“This is a well-known, enduring franchise that’s literally part of television history,” HMPG president Frank Biancuzzo said. “Together with Mutual of Omaha and NBC, we’re looking forward to creating new and memorable wildlife adventures.”

“With its premiere in 1963, ‘Wild Kingdom’ pioneered the nature adventure genre, setting the standard for today’s wildlife programming,” added Jennifer Wulf, vice president of brand marketing for Mutual of Omaha. “Through our partnership with HMPG, we are excited to remain at the forefront of compelling wildlife conservation efforts and success stories.”

HMPG’s other wildlife programming includes “Wildlife Nation” hosted by Jeff Corwin, “Earth Odyssey” hosted by Dylan Dreyer, “Wild Child” hosted by Sheinelle Jones and “Oh Baby!” hosted by Janai Norman. HMPG produces the digital offering The Jack Hanna Channel.



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