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'Planet Earth,' Discovery Channel's Groundbreaking High-Definition TV Event, Premieres in March

11-Part Series Shows the Beauty and Wonder of God's Creation as it has Never Been Seen Before


Contact: Kristin U. Cole, 972-267-1111, kristin@alarryross.com


SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 10 /Christian Newswire/ -- More than five years in the making, PLANET EARTH reveals the complexity of God's world with breathtaking vistas of some of nature's rarest places and never-before-seen animal behaviors captured by cameras using unprecedented high-definition production methods. This remarkable series redefines blue-chip natural history filmmaking and continues the Discovery Channel mission to provide the highest quality programming in the world. Award-winning actress and conservationist Sigourney Weaver joins Discovery Channel as narrator.  PLANET EARTH will air on consecutive Sundays from March 25 through April 22, 2007 on Discovery Channel and in high definition on HD Theater.


Photo: Diver in a sea cave. Click for hi-resolution version.


"PLANET EARTH is natural history for the 21st century," says Discovery Channel Executive Vice President and General Manager Jane Root.  "The sheer scope of the locations and brilliant clarity of the images, captured using revolutionary film techniques, will immerse viewers into a majestic world that only Discovery Channel can deliver."


A technological marvel, PLANET EARTH employed new filmmaking methods to put wildlife into context with the epic landscape where it lives, for the first time. One of the new innovations is the Cineflex heligimble, a pioneering stabilization system that uses an extremely powerful camera lens attached to a helicopter, which captured distant objects and creatures in close-up without disturbing the wildlife. The series also pushed the limits of high definition cameras to capture ultra low light images, deep sea marvels and incredible time lapse sequences.


Created by the team behind the award-winning natural history series BLUE PLANET, more than 70 camera operators spent over 2,000 days in the field to document nature's greatest spectacles for PLANET EARTH.  Filmmakers lived for weeks or months at a time in remote locations both awe-inspiring and brutally difficult to reach, let alone live in. 


For Mexico's Cave of Swallows, the crew descended 1,300 feet on a single rope no thicker than a finger, taking more than 30 minutes just to reach the bottom. More than 300 hours of film were logged before capturing the never-before-filmed 90-second Blue Bird of Paradise mating ritual, and an American cameraman spent frustrating hours crawling around Tibetan soil looking for foxes never before caught on film. Weeks into their Himalayan shoot, a crew filmed the first-ever up-close images of the elusive snow leopard -- and were stunned to witness not only a harrowing vertical hunt of a mountain goat, but quiet, intimate images of a mother and her cub.


Filmed in more than 200 locations, each of PLANET EARTH's 11 episodes focuses on a specific habitat, illustrating life in the highest mountains and the darkest caves; the shallowest water and the deepest oceans; ice-covered lands and great plains; untamed jungles and giant forests; fresh water and the harshest deserts. PLANET EARTH's premiere episode, Pole to Pole, ties the series together with a fresh understanding of how these habitats are interconnected.


Following each episode, three minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage will show viewers exactly how PLANET EARTH filmmakers secured the series' most memorable images. Additional behind the scenes stories and video, and in-depth information about our planet and its animals and habitats, will be available in the PLANET EARTH website on Discovery.com.  The site will also include a news feed, photo gallery, and informative games and puzzles.


PLANET EARTH is produced for Discovery Channel by the BBC.  Alastair Fothergill is the executive producer for the BBC.  Maureen Lemire is the executive producer for Discovery Channel.  Discovery Channel and the BBC also created the award-winning natural history series BLUE PLANET.


Bank of America is the presenting sponsor of the PLANET EARTH series.


Discovery Communications, Inc., is the leading global real-world media company.  Discovery has grown from its core property, the Discovery Channel, first launched in the United States in 1985, to current global operations in 170 countries and territories with nearly 1.4 billion cumulative subscribers.  DCI's over 100 networks of distinctive programming represent 27 network entertainment brands including TLC, Animal Planet, Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery Kids, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Military Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Español, Discovery Kids en Español, Discovery HD Theater, FitTV, Discovery Travel & Living (Viajar y Vivir), Discovery Home & Health and Discovery Real Time.  DCI's other properties consist of Discovery Education and Discovery Commerce, which operates more than 100 Discovery Channel Stores in the U.S.  DCI also distributes BBC America in the United States.  DCI's ownership consists of four shareholders: Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Cox Communications, Inc., Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company's Founder and Chairman.


NOTE: To request a screener or an interview, contact Kristin U. Cole at kristin@alarryross.com or (972) 267-1111.