The Discovery Channel has apparently warmed up to climate change.
About a month ago, Discovery reportedly cited a “scheduling issue” to explain why it would not air the seventh episode of the documentary series Frozen Planet — an episode that focuses specifically on the impact of climate change on the planet. The network always planned to incorporate the climate change content into the other episodes of the series, which Discovery co-produced with the BBC.
But Discovery says it had never made a final decision whether to air the episode. Discovery Executive Vice President of Communications Laurie Goldberg told TPM Friday morning that Discovery was simply reviewing the seventh episode because it’s a “different type of episode. That’s why we needed to look at it.” The scheduling conflict, Goldberg said, is a false rumor that came from an alleged source in the UK.
“We never changed our direction,” she said. Goldberg didn’t comment on the network’s decision making process on the series.
Here’s Discovery’s statement from Tuesday, announcing the decision:
Discovery Channel announces today that FROZEN PLANET, the seven-part series from the acclaimed documentary team behind PLANET EARTH, will premiere in the United States on Sunday, March 18, 2012 from 8-10PM ET/PT, and air on subsequent Sundays at 8PM ET/PT. A Discovery Channel/BBC co-production four years in the making, FROZEN PLANET will be narrated by award-winning actor Alec Baldwin.
FROZEN PLANET will provide the ultimate portrait of our earth’s polar regions, where the scale and beauty of the scenery and sheer power of the natural elements are unlike anywhere else on the planet. To capture nature’s majestic power - as well as its ultimate fragility - FROZEN PLANET’s filmmakers utilized the latest cinematographic techniques and technology to capture groundbreaking imagery both above and below the ice in some of the most extreme and remote regions of our planet. The series’ seventh episode, hosted on camera by British naturalist David Attenborough, will investigate what rising temperatures will mean for the people and wildlife that live there - and for the rest of the planet.
David Taintor is TPM’s News Editor. He contributes to TPM’s Livewire coverage, among other areas. David is from Chanhassen, Minnesota, where, yes, it gets very cold. Reach him at taintor [at] talkingpointsmemo.com