Majority of International Broadcasters Will Show All Frozen Planet episodes

Frozen Planet

There have been some assumptions in the press today about Frozen Planet, that I don’t feel are a true reflection of how the show has been sold and marketed around the world, so I wanted to provide some clarity.

The first six episodes of Frozen Planet have a clear story arc charting a year in our polar regions and are narrated by David Attenborough, who appears briefly on camera in the opening episode.  In non-English speaking countries, this out-of-shot narration is the preferred way of buying documentaries as it gives broadcasters the opportunity to voice-over in the relevant local language, without having to re-edit the programme.

The seventh and final episode of the series “Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice” is presenter-led with David Attenborough in shot. Although it is filmed by the same team and to the same production standard, this programme is necessarily different in style. Having a presenter in vision requires many broadcasters to have the programme dubbed, ultimately giving some audiences a very different experience. It is for this reason and not the content – that we market the episode separately, giving broadcasters the flexibility in how they schedule the programme.

The fact that the vast majority of broadcasters have licensed the Frozen Planet:On Thin Ice episode is testament to the appeal of David Attenborough.

Frozen Planet: On Thin Ice will be broadcast as with all the other programmes at 9pm primetime on BBC ONE.  This episode will be available on all BBC Worldwide’s international DVD’s.

About Caroline Torrance

Caroline Torrance is Director of Programme Investment at BBC Worldwide.
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9 Responses to Majority of International Broadcasters Will Show All Frozen Planet episodes

  1. rhoffmore says:

    jasonpetersuk, Here is the link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2061663/Frozen-Planet-Climate-change-episode-wont-shown-US.html
    In response to a complaint that I emailed to Discovery “Viewer Relations”, a spokesperson stated that “many programming and scheduling decisions have yet to be made”… so, perhaps they are reconsidering their original decision. One can hope.

    • jasonpetersuk says:

      Thanks rhoffmore… Yes, I had already read that Mail article along with similar ones in the Telegraph, Guardian etc etc but no statement issued by Discovery… The co-producers have been pretty tight-lipped but I thought you might have gotten some insider info’ as my source at the BBC NHU had said the same inconclusive thing as is in your Discovery “Viewer Relations” complaint response. I do actually think that the outcry may have a positive effect on Discovery’s decision.

  2. Caroline Torrance says:

    As a lot of broadcasters haven’t unveiled Frozen Planet yet to their own audiences I’m not in a position to give you details of our clients schedules without their permission. However, I can let you know that further research has indicated that the show will be seen in 123 territories, with 112 of those showing episode 7.

  3. rhoffmore says:

    BBC’s approach has had some apparently unintended consequences: Having no such language barrier that should inhibit using the “presenter in vision” intensive seventh episode, Discovery Channel here in the U.S. has apparently decided to, never the less, not air the episode. Considering how much global warming/climate change has been a political football here, one can only assume that deciding not to air the episode was due to public relations/political considerations alone. Unfortunately, though the BBC is marketing the episode separately only to accommodate other language markets, it has the unintended consequence of enabling climate change deniers and the networks who “serve” them to censor the content for reasons other than language. Perhaps BBC could consider this in the future when producing and marketing series.

  4. modokomodo says:

    Could you elaborate a little on which nations will not be screening this particular episode? Who are the exceptions?

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