WONDERSTRUCK (A NEW DESTINATION FOR WILDLIFE AND WONDER) WAS BORN FROM BBC AMERICA/BBC STUDIOS STUDY SHOWING NATURE CONTENT CAN REDUCE ANXIETY AND STRESS, WHILE PROMOTING FEELINGS OF AWE AND INSPIRATION
New York – October 7, 2019 – As the exclusive U.S. television home of the Planet Earth collection and other landmark series from BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, BBC AMERICA continues expansion of its iconic nature offering with the launch of Wonderstruck on Saturday, November 2nd.
BBC AMERICA will transform every Saturday into Wonderstruck, a new weekly 24-hour destination of wildlife and wonder. Announced today, Wonderstruck will launch on November 2nd with a special presentation of the upcoming landmark series Seven Worlds, One Planet featuring narrator Sir David Attenborough, a score from Hans Zimmer’s Bleeding Fingers and the Emmy®-winning creative team behind the Planet Earth franchise.
On November 9th, Blue Planet Now arrives as a follow-up to the critically-acclaimed landmark series Blue Planet II, exploring the health of our oceans and marine life across the globe.
The introduction to Wonderstruck has now begun with the release of the first Wonderstruck :60 launch trailer, “Moment of Wonder” :20 spot and logo (available here).
Based on research from a commissioned study, BBC AMERICA has developed Wonderstruck to awaken a sense of awe and inspiration, while connecting viewers to something bigger than themselves. Wonderstruck comes at a time when these benefits are particularly needed. Today, humans are facing growing polarization, constant technological change, rising extremism and increasing urbanization, all of which have resulted in feelings of disconnection.
“It’s a privilege to be the U.S. home of the most iconic wildlife programming on the planet. The study inspired us to create an entire destination dedicated to this universal and stunning content,” said Courtney Thomasma, Executive Director of BBC AMERICA. “Wonderstruck will showcase the best wildlife filmmaking in an environment specifically designed to promote a sense of awe and wonder. Our hope is that this new Saturday ritual will offer relief from the daily grind and serve as a much-needed antidote to the chaos of the modern world.”
About the study commissioned by BBC AMERICA and BBC Studios:
A study was conducted by Kresnicka Research & Insights in partnership with BBC AMERICA and BBC Studios, to determine the underlying value people derive from watching nature content.
- Watching nature programming has been shown to create benefits similar to those experienced from being directly in nature.
- Nature series can promote a sense of deep relaxation, providing relief from stress, anxiety and mental fatigue. This open and relaxed state, identified by environmental psychologists as “soft fascination,” heightens clarity, concentration and creativity, increases learning and productivity, and provokes a deep sense of awe and wonder.
- Seeing nature on-screen – from the cosmic to the microscopic – alters one’s sense of scale; it reminds us that we are but one piece of something bigger, more magnificent and profound, and thereby enhances our sense of connection to the planet, its creatures and one another.
According to the research, study participants gained various benefits from consuming nature content:
- In 78% of viewing instances, nature viewing resulted in improved emotional states, giving rise to positive emotions like awe, comfort, gratitude, happiness, inspiration and contentment, and reducing negative ones including anxiety, exhaustion, loneliness and sadness.
- 91% of study participants who reported anxiety before watching nature content showed a drop in anxiety afterward.
- In 76% of viewing instances, nature viewing resulted in participants feeling more connected to the Earth.
- In 59% of viewing instances, participants said nature programming inspired a feeling of awe.
- In 62% of viewing instances, participants said they felt like they learned something, and in 43% of instances, felt like they understood the world better.
Susan Kresnicka, cultural anthropologist and pioneer of the study, remarked: “It’s fascinating that the benefits of watching nature content mirror those you get from actually being in nature: the anxiety reduction, the feelings of inspiration, awe, and connectedness. You don’t have to have physical access to the most beautiful places on Earth to feel the effects. There is something incredibly powerful in the way TV can produce those same feelings.”
About the upcoming Wonderstruck schedule:
Seven Worlds, One Planet special presentation airs Saturday, November 2, 9/8c.
The entire season of Seven Worlds, One Planet will premiere as a television event in the U.S. in early 2020. Millions of years ago incredible forces ripped apart the Earth’s crust creating seven extraordinary continents. Seven Worlds, One Planet, presented by Sir David Attenborough, will reveal how each distinct continent has shaped the unique animal life found there. This series will feature remarkable, new animal behavior from all the continents including the baking plains of Africa and the frozen waters off Antarctica. In Asia, the biggest of all continents, we will showcase life at the extremes, whilst in Europe we will reveal surprising wildlife dramas hidden right alongside us. The series will celebrate the diversity of life on each of these continents, but also feature the many challenges faced by animals in a modern world dominated by humanity. By telling unknown, unseen and unexpected wildlife stories, we will uncover the fundamental truth about what makes each one of our seven worlds unique.
Blue Planet Now premieres Saturday, November 9, 9/8c.
The four-part series follows hosts Chris Packham, Liz Bonnin and Steve Backshall as they travel to different locales around the globe where marine life is coping with increasing changes. In the premiere episode, titled “Whale Sanctuary,” Chris heads to Mexico, where he and the team explore the world’s biggest whale nursery for gray whales and their young, while in the Great Barrier Reef, Liz observes as sea turtles hatch on the beach and make the treacherous trip back to the ocean. In the Bahamas, Steve gets up close and personal with some of the ocean’s biggest predators, including Tiger sharks, and gets to meet a real-life “Shark Whisperer.”
There will be more Wonderstruck programming announcements to come. The network recently announced the commission of a new groundbreaking six-part series, Eden (w/t). The announcement followed the renewal earlier this year of its partnership with the BBC to co-produce the next installments of the two most iconic natural history series ever – Planet Earth III and Frozen Planet II. The deal cements BBC AMERICA as the U.S. home of the BBC’s biggest natural history content over the next five years including the Planet Earth collection and other iconic landmark series ranging from Planet Earth I and II, The Blue Planet and Blue Planet II, Frozen Planet, Life, Africa and Dynasties.
About BBC AMERICA:
BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming including the Peabody Award-winning series Killing Eve starring Golden Globe® and SAG® Award-winner Sandra Oh and Emmy® and BAFTA Award-winner Jodie Comer. The network is the definitive home and co-producer of the most iconic natural history programming including Planet Earth II, Blue Planet II, Dynasties, the upcoming Sir David Attenborough-narrated series Seven Worlds, One Planet and the return of the Emmy®-winning series Frozen Planet II and Planet Earth III- all a part of the new Saturday nature television destination, Wonderstruck, launching Q4 2019. A joint venture between AMC Networks and BBC Studios (the commercial arm of the BBC), BBCA’s influential shows such as Doctor Who, Orphan Black, Luther and Broadchurch, among many others, have attracted critical acclaim and earned Emmy® Awards, Peabody Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards, TCA Awards, NAACP Image Awards, an IDA Documentary Award, a Gotham Award and Golden Globes®. Created in 1998, the irrepressible network has garnered one of cable’s most curious, educated and affluent audiences, with many properties boasting super-fan levels of engagement. Its unscripted slate includes the iconic car show Top Gear, buzzy and hilarious The Graham Norton Show and the world’s biggest darts championships. Get caught up, BBCA offers full episodes On Demand across all major digital platforms, BBC AMERICA app and bbcamerica.com. Find out more by visiting press.amcnetworks.com.