When Planet Earth came out in 2006, it was a stunning achievement in nature filmmaking. The most expensive documentary series about the natural world ever commissioned by BBC also happened to be the first shot in high definition and I can personally recall scenes from Planet Earth being what sold myself and many others on upgrading our televisions. The eleven episode series just wasn’t the same without HD. The only problem was the wait. While those with the BBC had instant access to all the natural glory of the world narrated by David Attenborough, the rest of us had to wait for international distribution deals to go through and even then you had to be lucky enough to have the right channel from your cable or satellite provider.
Not this time. Today BBC America, AMC, and Sundance TV announced at their TCA (Television Critics Association) panel that the highly anticipated sequel Planet Earth II is be simulcast on February 18, 2017, at 9/8c on all three of their channels. Afterwards, the subsequent five episodes of Planet Earth II will are on BBC America on Saturday nights.
Sarah Barnett, president of BBC AMERICA, and Charlie Collier, president of AMC, SundanceTV and AMC Studios, said: “Planet Earth II is extraordinary, epic television that connects viewers to our beautiful, shared world. Filmmaking at the highest level, Planet Earth II entertains while celebrating the planet, its creatures and the universal stories that unite and transcend. We are proud to come together to offer a multi-network simulcast of this awe-inspiring television event.”
Like its predecessor Planet Earth, the BBC spared no expense in diving back in to the wonders of our planet with Planet Earth II. Once again narrated by David Attenborough, and this time filmed in ultra-high definition, the sequel was filmed over the course of three years, in 40 different countries for a total of 2089 shootings days. Some of what the 117 filming trips captured were astounding. For example:
This iguana who needs to be the next break-out action star.
Or this tragic unrequited love story starring sloths.
We’ve reached out to BBC America about what their streaming plans are for Planet Earth II and will update accordingly should they respond.