BBC America Greenlights 'Blue Planet II'

The seven-part docuseries, a successor to 2001's 'The Blue Planet,' will be narrated by David Attenborough.
'The Blue Planet' (2001)

BBC America is doing more for the planet.

On the heels of the premiere of Planet Earth II on Saturday night, the network has greenlighted a successor: Blue Planet II.

The new seven-part nature series will explore the world’s oceans and be narrated by broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough.

"Hot on the heels of a rapturous response in the U.S. to Planet Earth II, we are delighted to announce our next, phenomenal and beautiful series from the BBC Natural History Unit, Blue Planet II,"  BBC American president Sarah Barnett said Sunday in a statement. "Like Planet Earth II, this is a remarkable and relevant sequel — this time plunging us into an awe-inspiring trip into our planet’s oceans — that will stand out as rare and extraordinary, even in today’s superlative TV landscape."

Added Attenborough: "I am truly thrilled to be joining this new exploration of the underwater worlds which cover most of our planet, yet are still its least known."

Twenty years ago, a team of wildlife filmmakers from the BBC’s Natural History Unit (NHU) set out to make a series about the breadth and scale of the earth's oceans with 2001's The Blue Planet,. Now, the NHU has returned to the underwater worlds with even more ambitious filming and a fresh cast of aquatic animals. The filmmakers spent some 1,000 hours shooting in every continent and in all of the world's oceans to immerse the audience in some of the most expansive but least well-known parts of the globe.

Blue Planet II will explore the latest frontiers of scientific discovery, from icy-white polar seas and vibrant blues of the coral atolls to the storm-tossed green Atlantic coastline and the black depths of the alien deep. The series will display new landscapes, including methane volcanos that will erupt in the Gulf of Mexico and create underwater lakes of poisonous brine, and the so-called “Boiling Sea” phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean. In addition, astonishing new creatures have been filmed for the first time (among them: hairy-chested Hoff crabs, snub fin dolphins that spit water through the air and Pacific leaping blennies).

"Blue Planet II promises to combine the exceptional craftsmanship that our audiences have come to expect from BBC Natural History with genuinely new revelations about the creatures and habitats of the world's oceans," said Tom McDonald, head of commissioning for the Natural History and Specialist Factual. "I have no doubt it will thrill and delight the audience, and deliver a new benchmark in Natural History filmmaking."

Added executive producer James Honeyborne: “In the last decade, the oceans have been shown to be richer than could have been imagined, with more species being discovered than ever before. Blue Planet II is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary new behaviors and remarkable new creatures. Showing a contemporary portrait of marine life in the world’s oceans today, it will provide a timely reminder that this is a critical moment for the health of the world’s oceans.”

Blue Planet II is being made by BBC Studios Natural History Unit, co-produced with BBC America, WDR and France Télévisions in partnership with The Open University, Natural History and Specialist Factual.