For Immediate Release
"Call of the Wild" filming on location in Vancouver, BC Canada, produced by Cinevu in association with TEAM Entertainment and Animal Planet
VANCOUVER March 13, 2000 -- On Friday, March 31, Animal Planet will travel back to the turn of the 20'th century to bring viewers the world television premiere of its first original primetime dramatic series, CALL OF THE WILD. The new series will kick off with a special two-hour movie presentation airing on Animal Planet from 8-10 PM (ET/PT) on Friday, March 31.
Inspired by the classic Jack London story, Call of the Wild is a 13-part one-hour series that will capture the adventure, danger, and excitement of life during the Alaskan gold rush. Filmed in locations throughout British Columbia, Call of the Wild stars Shane Meier as 15-year-old Miles Challenger, Nick Mancuso as his stepfather John Thornton, Rachel Hayward as his mother, Adoley Thornton, and Kavic in the role of the legendary canine hero, Buck. Together, they are the protagonists in a drama that follows the Thornton family's efforts to make their way in the rough and untamed wilderness of the Yukon. Along the way, Call of the Wild will feature compelling stories, perilous adventures, humor, romance, and intrigue, all set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Pacific Northwest.
"Call of the Wild is the first step in a very exciting new direction for Animal Planet," said Clark Bunting, executive vice president and general manager, Animal Planet. "Fictional programming will play a major role in our efforts to be fresh, entertaining and innovative and we feel that that Call of the Wild is an excellent starting point."
Call of the Wild will debut with a special two-hour movie airing Friday, March 31, from 8-10 PM (ET/PT). Afterwards, the series will air in its regular time on Monday nights from 9-10 PM (ET/PT) beginning Monday, April 3, with repeat telecasts on Saturday nights at 8-9 PM (ET/PT).
The two-hour series premiere will also feature series regulars Kathleen Duborg, as Mercedes, a socialite who has come to Alaska in search of adventure and riches; William McDonald, as Swede, a frontier mailman, explorer and friend to the entire Thornton family; and Crystal BublE9 as Emma, Miles' friend and object of his affection.
Call of the Wild is produced by CineVu in association with TEAM Entertainment and Animal Planet. For TEAM, Drew S. Levin is chief executive officer and executive producer and Declan O'Brien is senior vice president of programming. "This exciting series is an important step for Animal Planet and marks the continuing expansion of TEAM's dramatic programming slate. We are delighted with our continuing partnership with Animal Planet and the tremendous vote of confidence Discovery Communications is taking in our production team," said Mr. Levin. For Animal Planet, Ross Hammer is executive producer. For CineVu, George Erschbamer and Jeff Barmash are producers. "It is extremely gratifying to nurture a project from a one line conceptualization and watch it come to fruition," says Barmash.
CineVu Films was established in 1991 for the purpose of developing, producing, and co-producing feature films, movies of the week and television series. CineVu is a network and studio approved Production Company based in Canada. TEAM Communications Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: TMTV) (Neuer Markt: TME) is a leading production and distribution company specializing in family, action, adventure and reality-based programming for worldwide distribution. TEAM Communications Group currently owns and distributes over 3,000 hours of programming worldwide. TEAM has offices in the U.S., London, and Munich.
Launched in October 1996, and now available in 57 million homes, Animal Planet offers a wide range of television entertainment including dramatic reality-based series, talk shows, original fictional programming, high-quality children's shows, documentaries, and more. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery People, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Science Channel, Discovery Home & Leisure Channel, Discovery Civilization Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, and Discovery en EspaF1ol. The unit also markets and distributes BBC America. Animal Planet's Web site address is www.animalplanet.com.