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New network promises to be all wild all the time

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SUE MANNING | March 26, 2010 02:01 PM EST | AP

LOS ANGELES — Flip on the National Geographic Channel and you'll find animals in the wild sharing time with shows on science, exploration, history and world culture.

When you flip on Nat Geo WILD, soon to be available in the United States for the first time, it'll be all wild, all the time – and available in HD.

The 24-hour WILD was introduced in Hong Kong three years ago and is available in more than 50 countries, said Geoff Daniels, the executive in charge of programming for the new network. The United States will be added March 29, nine years after Nat Geo went on the air.

WILD has been one of fast growing National Geographic projects internationally, Daniels said. High definition makes the timing right and the viewing awesome, he said.

High definition, Daniels said, gives filmmakers new power to peel back the mysteries of the wild world, including the daily struggles of life in the wild.

"We're not going to shy away from getting viewers closer to that experience," he said.

Daniels warned viewers that the new network isn't about animals gone wild but animals IN the wild.

"We are not aiming at kids, but night in and night out, there will be a lot of programming that parents and children alike can be really comfortable coming to," he said. "We're not doing this for cheap thrills."

What will people see? Two new series on WILD are "Rebel Monkeys" and "Expedition Wild with Casey Anderson."

"Rebel Monkeys" looks at a sacred gang of monkeys who live at the Galta Temple in the Indian city of Jaipur. A drought has threatened their food supply and camera crews follow them as they search for food – and often find trouble – on the streets of the city.

Anderson is a naturalist whose best friend and best man at his wedding is a 900-pound grizzly bear named Brutus. His show looks at some of North America's mightiest animals, including his pal.


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