It looks like Animal Planet's TV show Whale Wars which follows Sea Shepherd's Antarctic Whale Defense campaign has captured the attention of the public.
"This is great news for the whales, for Sea Shepherd and marine conservation," said Captain Paul Watson. "More and more people are becoming aware of the illegal atrocities that the Japanese whalers are doing in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and they are witnessing first hand the passion of men and women from around the world who are defending the whales. The show is entertaining, educating and exciting and that is translating into what is a very successful television show."
Animal Planet released the following ratings information following the premiere of the first episode.
ANIMAL PLANET'S WHALE WARS SETS SAIL WITH 3.6 MILLION VIEWERS
-- Series Debut Catapults Network to Highest Rated Friday Night in Past Year -
Animal Planet's WHALE WARS set sail with more than 3.6 million unique P2+ viewers during its premiere weekend (3.681M). The November 7th series debut garnered a 0.8 household ratings (724,000 homes) and delivered nearly 1 million P2+ viewers (957,000) driving the network's best Friday night in the past year (738,000 P2+).
The WHALE WARS premiere captured a younger audience with 0.5 P18-34 ratings, a 150% increase compared to Animal Planet's November 2007 timeslot average, helping the Planet earn its best Friday among younger viewers in the past five years.
Also, WHALE WARS helped bring 397,000 unique visitors to animalplanet.com, the second highest weekly level in the past year and half.
"WHALE WARS is the latest example of Animal Planets new brand positioning which is bringing the network a new, younger and larger audience," noted Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet Media. "We are thrilled that Friday night delivered the levels of our hit series MEERKAT MANOR'S "
The 2nd episode of the show aired in the U.S. on November 14th and the third espisode will air in the U.S. on November 21st.
An Animal Planet film crew will be joining the Steve Irwin on its scheduled departure from Brisbane on November 30th, 2008 for a second season of Whale Wars.
"With Japanese threats to send a gunboat and to be increasingly violent in defense of their illegal whaling activities, it should prove to be a dramatic campaign," said Captain Watson. "The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society intends to cut into the quota and the profits of the Japanese whaling fleet again this season. Our objective is to sink the Japanese fleet - economically."