Four-Network Television Event Premieres Monday, August 31 Across BBC AMERICA, AMC, IFC and SundanceTV
New York — This August, BBC AMERICA brings audiences the ultimate musical and wildlife thrill in Planet Earth: A Celebration, a four-network television event premiering on at 8:00pm ET/7c across BBC AMERICA, AMC, SundanceTV and IFC. The special will premiere on the same day in the U.S., UK and China.
Planet Earth: A Celebration highlights eight of the most extraordinary sequences from BBC AMERICA’s impactful and Emmy-winning Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II and features new narration from Sir David Attenborough. To accompany these sequences, award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, Jacob Shea and the team at Bleeding Fingers have created new compositions, and have rearranged the original scores for this exciting, joyful and adrenaline-packed journey around the world to some of the most extreme environments, where despite the odds animals manage to survive. The string section of the score is performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, accompanied by Brit and Mercury Award-winning UK rapper, Dave, who performs on the grand piano. Both the orchestra and Dave were filmed for the program in the Lyndhurst Hall at Air Studios, London.
During the broadcast and online, AMC Networks will share with viewers how they can support the efforts of The National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest wildlife conservation organization, that works to ensure wildlife thrive in a rapidly changing world and MusiCares, a non-profit that provides a safety net of critical assistance for the music community in times of need.
Courtney Thomasma, Executive Director, BBC AMERICA said: “Pairing stunning footage of the planet with a magnificent soundtrack will transport, inspire, soothe and revitalize us – feelings we all crave right now. Planet Earth: A Celebration is a passport to some of the most glorious places on earth set against a majestic new score. We’re so happy to partner with the BBC to present this to U.S. viewers across BBC America, AMC, IFC, and SundanceTV.”
Hans Zimmer said, “Working with David on so many of his magnificent programs celebrating nature and our planet has been a joy for me. I am constantly inspired by what he is able to capture, and the collection of sequences featured in Planet Earth: A Celebration is truly special. It was an honor to once again work with David, Jacob Shea and the BBC Concert Orchestra to highlight these incredible stories once again.”
Tony Hall, BBC Director General, said: “The BBC has curated this amazing collection of sequences from two of the most talked about natural history series of recent years, Planet Earth II and Blue Planet II, as a spectacular treat for the viewers. With brand new narration from the brilliant David Attenborough, a new score from Hans Zimmer and the team at Bleeding Fingers played by the BBC Concert Orchestra with Dave on the piano, this thrilling journey around the world promises to lift everyone’s spirits.”
Dave said: ““I’ve always been a fan of powerful natural history documentaries. This is a programme where nature and music come together, so it was only right that I lent my talent, my time, and my attention to this project. It was a pleasure to work alongside Sir David Attenborough and Hans Zimmer.”
Andrew Connolly, Director BBC Concert Orchestra said: “From the original 2001 Blue Planet onwards, the BBC Concert Orchestra has been proud to play its part in the original soundtracks, concerts and special projects associated with these landmark programmes. To bring the Concert Orchestra out of lockdown in order to create new music with Dave and Hans Zimmer for Planet Earth: A Celebration was very special and that feeling of coming together is at the heart of our performance.”
The sequences that will be featured from Planet Earth II are: lions vs giraffe, which sees a pride of desert lions in Namibia that are so hungry they risk a nail-biting hunt of a giraffe several times their size; Andean flamingo of Salar de Atacama, Chile, who perform a stunning dance in the safe refuge of a chain of salt lakes; the mother snow leopard protecting her cub from two males in the Himalayas, which was the first time four snow leopards had ever been filmed together; and the online viral video sensation racer snakes vs iguana, which sees our plucky hero, the hatchling marine iguana, sprint across the beach followed by a hunting mob of racer snakes in Fernandina, Galapagos.
From Blue Planet II, viewers will witness again the charming surfing bottlenose dolphins on the East Cape of South Africa, catching the waves, playing and surfing near the shoreline; common octopus vs pyjama shark in the kelp forests off the coast of southern Africa where an octopus fights off an attack by suffocating the shark by pushing its arms into its gills, before concealing itself in an armor of shells, behavior that had never been seen before; bird-eating fish, where in the Indian Ocean, giant trevallies propel themselves out of the water to catch sea birds in mid-air; and massive gatherings of orca and humpback whales feeding together on herring in the fjords of northern Norway, where the orca deploy their special weapon – their tails – banging them with such force on the surface that the shock waves stun the herring senseless.
Planet Earth: A Celebration was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director, Content, and Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Science. It is made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, co-produced by BBC AMERICA and Tencent Music Entertainment Group (QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing). The Executive Producer is Jo Shinner.