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Animal Planet renews 'Whale Wars' reality series for a third season


By Christopher Rocchio, 08/26/2009 

Animal Planet announced that it has renewed Whale Wars for a third season.

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Whale Wars' second-season finale aired last Friday night on Animal Planet, and it was the most-watched episode ever of the reality series -- averaging 1.3 million total viewers.  Overall, Whale Wars' second season was the second-best performing series in the network's history, averaging 1.08 million total viewers per episode.

In addition to its ratings success Whale Wars also recently received its first-ever Emmy nomination, as it was recognized in the Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming category.

"It's been terrific to see the success of this groundbreaking series, and its growth creatively and with audiences from the first to the second season.  I'm proud to be able to announce the third," said Animal Planet president Marjorie Kaplan. 

"Whale Wars has really helped to transform the brand of the network and has anchored our Friday night."

Each Whale Wars episode follows the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's Steve Irwin ship as it attempts find and stop Japanese ships from hunting whales. 

Led by Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson, the ship's crew also consists of an international staff and numerous volunteers who have taken a hard-line approach to eradicate whaling, poaching, shark-finning and other serious ocean conservation issues.

Whale Wars third season is currently slated to air next summer, and it will follow the Sea Shepherd on its next whale defense campaign in Antarctica.  Dubbed "Operation Waltzing Matilda," the campaign is expected to launch later this year.

Whale Wars is produced by Lizard Trading Company and RIVR Media for Animal Planet.

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