BBC commission three new nature series with David Attenborough
The BBC are attempting to keep Attenborough from being poached by Netflix
The BBC has commissioned three new nature documentary series in a bid to keep David Attenborough from joining Netflix. The new shows, entitled Perfect Planet, Planet Earth III and Frozen Planet II will be shown on the network over the next few years and will build on the success of Blue Planet II which was released in 2017.
Perfect Planet will show how forces of nature support life on Earth whilst Frozen Planet II is focused on the Arctic and Antarctic. Planet Earth III has already been described as “the most ambitious natural history landmark ever undertaken by the BBC”.
The move comes, in part, due to the poaching of senior staff who have left the BBC's Natural History department to move to Netflix, who can offer greater financial backing for projects.
Blue Planet II creator, James Honeyborne, left the unit last month after almost 30 years to set up his own independent production company, which was consequently snapped up in a deal with Netflix to produce nature and science series for the streaming giant.
Attenborough will, however, narrate an upcoming Netflix series called Our Planet which, despite the name, is not part of the official BBC natural history series. Due to be released in April, it is of similar scale to its hugely popular BBC counterparts, with 600 crew members filming for four years around the world to create it.
In an interview with the Financial Times Attenborough stated that he would continue to work with the BBC but was impressed by the global reach Netflix can achieve. “It’s over 200 million people, it’s urgent, it’s instantaneous. And it stays there for months, so it can get an even bigger audience through word of mouth," he said.