Overview

Ahead of Sir David Attenborough’s milestone 90th birthday, BBC AMERICA announces its first major natural history co-production, The Hunt, will premiere Sunday, July 3 at 9/8c. Narrated by famed naturalist Sir David Attenborough, the new series comes from multi-Emmy®-winning executive producer Alastair Fothergill (The Blue Planet, Frozen Planet) and series producer Huw Cordey (South Pacific, Frozen Planet)—the makers of the landmark series Planet Earth, which captivated audiences around the world in over 130 countries.

In advance of the Olympics this summer, BBCA presents event tv that showcases the ultimate natural race — that of predator vs prey in the animal world.  From the genius team behind Planet Earth, The Hunt is nature storytelling taken to the next level – as thrilling as anything scripted, and – in Ultra HD – as shockingly beautiful as anything on television today,” said Sarah Barnett, President and General Manager of BBC AMERICA.

Through character driven stories, The Hunt illustrates in dramatic detail the strategies predators use to catch their prey (and those that the prey use to escape), with each episode centering on one of our planet’s key habitats. From open grasslands and dense forests to the arctic and the open ocean, the cutting-edge seven-part series features rarely seen wildlife and animal behavior – revealing like never before the challenges predators and prey face in these very different worlds.

“What I hope will become apparent is this: predators usually fail. People don’t realize how hard it is. We want the audience to engage in this real-life drama…There are no heroes or villains. The point is, you never know if they will succeed: in the hunt, the outcome is never certain,” said Alastair Fothergill, Executive Producer of The Hunt.

The Hunt is produced by Silverback Films for the BBC and co-produced by BBC AMERICA with BBC Worldwide and NDR Naturfilm. The series is executive produced by Alastair Fothergill with Huw Cordey serving as series producer.  Music is by award-winning composer, Steven Price, who won an Academy Award in 2014 for his score to Gravity. Tom McDonald is the Commissioning Editor for the BBC. BBC Worldwide is the global distributor of this series.

The US premiere screening of The Hunt will be presented by Alastair Fothergill and Huw Cordey on June 22 at the internationally-renowned Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver on the Opening Night of the international television and content festival, SeriesFest: Season Two.

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Episode Guide

The Hardest Challenge

The contests between predators and prey are the most dramatic events in nature. The premiere episode reveals the extraordinary range of techniques predators use to catch their prey – from a leopard using all its powers of stealth to stalk impala in broad daylight to wild dogs, whose tactic is to wear down their prey over long distances; from Nile crocodiles, the planet’s most patient predators, to killer whales who use teamwork and intelligence to take on humpback whales. But even with these finely tuned strategies, the outcome is far from certain. Surprisingly, most predators fail most of the time.

In The Grip Of Seasons – Arctic

This episode looks at the challenges of hunting in the Arctic, the most seasonal place on Earth. To a predator, seasonal change is a problem; it means that all the parameters of the hunt – the conditions, the strategies, the prey – change too. The only option for the Arctic’s top predators – the wolf, the Arctic fox and the polar bear – is to continually adapt to their changing world, exploiting the good times and enduring the bad.

Hide And Seek – Jungles

This episode follows tigers, harpy eagles, chimpanzees, army ants and other predators as they rise to the challenge of hunting within the forest – a dense, confusing, three-dimensional world (one in which even finding prey is a maddening task). The prize for succeeding at nature’s great game of hide-and-seek is one worth winning. Forests cover one third of the land surface, and concealed within are over half of the species on Earth.

Hunger At Sea – Oceans

This episode follows blue whales, sharks, sea lions, frigate birds, dolphins and albatrosses to reveal the strategies they use to hunt for prey in the big blue. The open ocean is an immense wilderness that covers more than half the surface of our planet, yet for the most part it’s a watery desert, largely devoid of life. Predators face an endless search to find and catch food, yet these great tracts of ocean are home to some of the most remarkable hunters on the planet.

Nowhere To Hide – Plains

The open arenas of grassland and desert make up half of all land on our planet. In these exposed habitats, predators like cheetahs, bald eagles and lions can usually see their prey. But it works both ways: their prey can see them too. With nothing but open vistas, the element of surprise is hard-won, and predators must make their own opportunities.

Race Against Time – Coasts

The coast is the dynamic border between land and sea; powered by the tides and thrashed by waves, this is a world of continuous change. Opportunities never last long here, so hunters are always in a race against time. The coast is the only place on the planet where predators from air, land and sea come together. Dolphins that leave the safety of the sea to fish, walking octopuses, ingenious monkeys, fishing wolves and the greatest gathering of feeding humpback whales come to the coast to hunt. For all, timing is everything.

Living With Predators – Conservation

In the finale episode, The Hunt visits the frontline of the conflict with the world’s top predators, meeting the scientists fighting to save them. Crossing five continents and combining landmark natural history footage with real-life human drama, it checks the pulse of the earth’s iconic animals – including lions, tigers, polar bears and blue whales. With three-quarters of the planet’s carnivores now in decline, can people find ways to live with predators before they disappear forever?

The Making of The Hunt

The Hunt’s production team spent three years filming the planet’s most iconic predators. The challenge was to show the strategies of hunters like wild dogs, blue whales, arctic wolves, and tigers in unprecedented detail. To get inside each hunt, the team navigated the same terrain, tracked the same quarry and endured the same weather as the predators they filmed; they immersed themselves in the world of their subjects. For the first time ever, the team found a way to track wild dogs throughout the entire chase (filming which previously was only possible from helicopter and stationary camera). They also devised a strategy to safely follow tigers (a predator which had rarely been filmed hunting amongst the trees) deep into the forest. And their greatest feat, capturing rare footage of a blue whale feeding underwater, which they achieved after spending two seasons searching for balls of densely packed Krill (the blue whales’ prey) in the hopes the whales would follow. The Making of the Hunt (1 x 60) reveals the challenges the crew encountered when filming the world’s finest hunters.

 

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  • BBC AMERICA’s First Major Natural History Co-Production, The Hunt, Premieres Sunday, July 3 - May 5, 2016
  • BBC AMERICA Announces Sir David Attenborough For Landmark Natural History Series, The Hunt - July 22, 2015
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