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BBC Drops Climate Change Episode to Sell 'Frozen Planet' Show in the U.S., Other Countries

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BBC One’s Frozen Planet is the newest high-budget series depicting amazing wildlife and nature, as you can see from some of the images featured. The show which BBC says “brings to the screen the frozen wildernesses of the Arctic and Antarctic as you have never seen them before,” will not be airing in its entirety in the United States and other countries, however.

According to The Telegraph, viewers in England will see all seven episodes, while only six will be aired elsewhere. BBC has offered the show in the United States and other countries abroad without the seventh and last episode, On Thin Ice, dealing with climate change. Of the thirty networks throughout the world that have purchased the show, only one third have opted to include the episode. Frozen Planet will air on Discovery in the U.S. and parts of the climate change episode have been incorporated into the sixth episode, but will not be as prominent.

BBC has claimed that the episode’s narrator, David Attenborough, is not well-known in many countries and they were unlikely to sell the episode to many networks, saying “It would be impossible to do a presenter-less version. Only those countries that accept David as a presenter (and there are many where he is well-known – such as Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia) could be expected to take episode seven as it stands.” Environmentalists, however, are upset that BBC is allowing networks to “censor the issue” and giving in to climate change skeptics. Former head of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper, said “It raises questions about the BBC’s overall environmental coverage, which is patchy and inconsistent.” A Greenpeace rep also expressed disappointment with the decision, “It’s a bit like pressing the stop button on Titanic just as the iceberg appears. Climate change is the most important part of the polar story, the warming in the Arctic can’t be denied, it’s changing the environment there in ways that are making experts fearful for the future.”

The show will air in the United States, sans climate change episode, in early 2012 on the Discovery Channel, which co-produced the series.

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