New York, NY – Monday, January 22 – The premiere of BBC AMERICA’s Planet Earth: Blue Planet II delivered 2.95 million viewers and 1.15 million adults 25-54 in a five-network simulcast event Saturday night in Nielsen live/same day ratings – the most watched nature program on ad-supported television in nearly eight years and an increase of 45 percent in total viewers and 35 percent in adults 25-54 over last year’s Planet Earth II premiere. The 9pm simulcast ranked among the top 5 programs in the timeslot across all of television, including a #2 rank on cable. The premiere was also BBC AMERICA’s most watched unscripted telecast ever, with an audience on the network of 1.2 million, including 460,000 adults 25-54. With one encore, nearly 1.6 million viewers watched the episode on BBC AMERICA on premiere night, including 620,000 adults 25-54, in Nielsen live/same day ratings.
Sarah Barnett, BBC AMERICA President, commented: “It is not hyperbolic to say that Planet Earth: Blue Planet II is groundbreaking television, as astonishingly entertaining as it is important. How fantastic that so many gathered together for this event premiere across AMC Networks. This kind of rare growth in viewership is a testament to the excellence of the filmmaking, which captures the magic and mystery of our oceans in a way that is as real as it gets yet feels at times as other worldly as science fiction, so unbelievable are some of the creatures you see. We urge everyone to stay for the rest of the season on BBC AMERICA – you’ll barely blink.”
The premiere was carried across the five national networks of AMC Networks, including BBC AMERICA, AMC, SundanceTV, IFC and WE tv. The premiere was the #1 cable show for the night in social conversation and #2 across all of television, second only to Saturday Night Live. Across all social platforms, the program generated 224,000 engagements on the day. Planet Earth: Blue Planet II now ties Emmy winner Planet Earth II and Academy Award winner OJ: Made in America as the best reviewed unscripted series of all time, with a Metacritic score of 96. The series continues with the second episode at 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 27 on BBC AMERICA.
From executive producer James Honeyborne, the landmark natural history series sees the return of Sir David Attenborough as narrator. Planet Earth: Blue Planet II takes viewers on a revelatory and magical journey into the mesmerizing world of our oceans – the most undiscovered place on our planet. There is more life in the deep sea than anywhere else on Earth, and yet it is said we know more about the surface of Mars than the depths of our own planet. By using cutting-edge breakthroughs in science and technology to explore this final frontier, the series reveals the astonishing characters, otherworldly places and extraordinary new animal behaviors. Warm and compelling stories about marine habitats and their characterful inhabitants will build people’s emotional relationship with our oceans and bring a new perspective to this little-known world.
Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, a 7×60’ is made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC AMERICA, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University. It is Executive Produced by James Honeyborne and Series Produced by Mark Brownlow, and was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content and Tom McDonald, Head of Commissioning, Natural History and Specialist Factual.
Viewers can now watch the first episode for free on demand, on BBCAmerica.com and on the BBCA app.
Source: Nielsen, Live+SD, 1/20/18, Blue Planet II: 9p premiere (BBCA, AMC, IFC, SUND, WE) & 12:30a encore (BBCA), P2+ & A25-54. Nature Program: Nielsen Detailed Type Code = Documentary-Nature or Documentary-Environmental. Planet Earth II: 2/18/17, 9p premiere (BBCA, AMC, SUND) & 12a encore (BBCA). Simulcast rank = 1/20/18, 9-10:10p time period. Social = ListenFirst Media, 1/20/18, Conversation Score Rank vs First-Run Episodes & Digital Audience Ratings (total engagement).
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Planet Earth: Blue Planet II has received universal critical acclaim. A sampling of some of the more recent responses:
“Blue Planet II is the greatest nature series of all time” – The Atlantic
“…what a spectacle to observe!” “Despite the high production values, there’s a sense of primal delight, evident in an early scene featuring a pod of dolphins as they ride the waves in the Red Sea.” – The New York Times
“…this seven-episode follow-up puts a greater emphasis on man-made threats to the world’s oceans, but the spectacular, voyeuristic images are as purely pleasurable as ever.” – The New York Times
“Nature documentary filmmaking at its finest.” “The Planet series remain some of the very few programs that can legitimately be called ‘event television.’” “It’s a visually astonishing and riveting seven-part collection of images so surreal they almost feel like science fiction.” “Something like this doesn’t happen overnight or come around very often.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“But even if you are braced for a glorious production, “Blue Planet II” is likely to take your breath away.” “‘Blue Planet II’ is jaw-dropping.” – Variety
“…Blue Planet II will be one of your favorite TV events of the year, and its deep dive beneath the waves of the world’s oceans will prove both soothing and engaging. Find the highest-definition television you can and some good snacks and settle in. You’ve got seven whole episodes of jaw-dropping documentary footage to enjoy.” – Vox
“this year’s most stunning docuseries” – TV Guide Magazine
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BBC AMERICA is a hub of innovative, culturally contagious programming including the Emmy® and IDA-winning Planet Earth II, top-rated science-fiction phenomenon Doctor Who, ground-breaking unscripted series Top Gear, buzzy and hilarious The Graham Norton Show as well as the upcoming series Killing Eve from Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Planet Earth: Blue Planet II, the next chapter in the epic story of our planet, as well as Premiere League Darts. A joint venture between BBC Worldwide (the commercial arm of the BBC) and AMC Networks, BBCA’s influential shows such as Orphan Black and Luther, among many others, have attracted critical acclaim and earned Emmy® Awards, Peabody Awards, Critics’ Choice Awards 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. Available through cable, satellite TV and streaming services, BBC AMERICA broadcasts in both standard and high-definition. 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.bbcamerica.com and follow @bbcamerica.