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THIRTEEN’s Emmy-Winning Nature Series Launches Season 29 with 16 New Episodes on PBS This Fall

Cuba: The Accidental Eden will kick off Nature's schedule on Sunday, September 26, 2010.

Upcoming films will explore intriguing stories such as Iraq's ecocide, the cleverness of crows, the legacy of Born Free and more.

Go behind-the-scenes with filmmakers and watch full episodes at Nature Online (pbs.org/nature).

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Connecting viewers to the ever-evolving natural world, Nature returns to PBS this fall with a new season of engrossing films focusing on the complex interaction of wildlife and humanity. In Season 29, Nature remembers the remarkable life and living legacy of Echo, the world's most famous elephant; follows one's man's dangerous mission to save the Mesopotamian Marshes; and examines the landmark Born Free story, half a century later, which transformed the way we consider wildlife.

"This season of Nature has a perfect mix of drama and surprise. We'll take viewers into the secretive world of elusive animals and on unforgettable voyages to stunning landscapes"

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG - one of America's most prolific and respected public media providers.

"This season of Nature has a perfect mix of drama and surprise. We'll take viewers into the secretive world of elusive animals and on unforgettable voyages to stunning landscapes," said Fred Kaufman, Series Executive Producer. "Our audience has a special season to look forward to."

The series opens with a look at Cuba on the cusp of a new era. Facing a potential tourist boom, the island nation takes on the role of protecting it's precious natural environment in Cuba: The Accidental Eden, premiering Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings). Cuba's economic struggles and decades of U.S. embargo may have miraculously preserved the island's ecosystems. In recent years, Cuba's flourishing wildlands, consisting of tropical forests, wetlands, and desert coasts, has attracted a steady growth of tourism. Now faced with the possible end to the U.S. travel ban, Cuba's forgotten paradise hangs in fragile balance as scientists race to protect its unique and colorful wildlife.

The program is the first of 16 hours of new episodes on Nature, followed by Echo: An Elephant to Remember (October 17, 2010), the series' third film on the world-famous elephant matriarch who died of natural causes last fall. Echo and her herd have been studied by researchers for the past 30 years led by expert Cynthia Moss. The film looks back at Echo's extraordinary life and the fascinating new chapter that's unfolding for her family now that she's gone.

Another highlight of Nature's 29th Season is Bears of the Last Frontier, a special three-part miniseries tentatively slated for Winter/Spring 2011. The film follows adventurer and bear biologist Chris Morgan on a motorcycle odyssey deep into the wilds of Alaska to bring viewers an intimate understanding of what it means to be a bear. From the grizzlies of Katmai to the big city black bears of Anchorage to the polar bears of the high Arctic, this is a one-of-a-kind journey through their world. Production updates on the broadcast is detailed in The Bear Blog on Nature Online (pbs.org/nature.)

A centerpiece later in the schedule is The Born Free Story [working title] (Winter/Spring 2011) from the producers of Deep Jungle. 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of Joy Adamson's milestone book Born Free that was turned into a seminal movie, which won two Academy Awards. The dramatic story of the Adamsons' rescue of three lion cubs and their attachment to Elsa, whom they released back into the wild, was the first filmic exploration of animals as individuals. Nature will examine the story, revisit the people featured in the film, and discuss the importance and dangers of viewing animals through a human lens as well as the shifting attitudes about conservation.

Upcoming premiere episodes in Nature's Season 29 will include:

A Murder of Crows (October 24, 2010)

Crows do not have the best of reputations. They are generally dismissed as spooky. But their image is about to take a real turn. New research has shown they are among the most intelligent animals in the world, able to use tools and recognize each other's voices and 250 distinct calls. And they are able to recognize individual humans and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later. Crow experts present captivating footage of the species as we have never seen them before.

Resurrecting Eden (working title) (November 7)

In the early 1990's, Saddam Hussein destroyed the Mesopotamian Marshes when its inhabitants rebelled against him. Once the richest wildlife habitat in the Middle East, this beautiful "Garden of Eden" was reduced to mile after mile of scorched earth, and was thought to have been destroyed forever. But one man is making an extraordinary effort to restore both animals and people to the scene of one of the greatest ecocides of the Twentieth Century.

Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom (November 14)

Legend paints the wolverine as a solitary, blood-thirsty killer that roams the icy heart of the frozen north, killing prey as large as moose with their bone-crushing jaws. But there is another image of the wolverine that is just beginning to emerge, one that is far more complex than its reputation suggests. The program will take viewers into the secretive world of the largest and least known member of the weasel family to reveal who this dynamic little devil truly is.

Leopard (working title) (November 21)

Leopards are the ultimate cat. They are the most flexible of cats, the most intelligent, the most dangerous, and, until recently, one of the least understood. They hunt from South Africa to Siberia, from Arabia to Sri Lanka, and are the most widespread predator of their size on land. Leopards are the beautiful killers that live in the shadows. This film will add up the evidence and put together a psychological profile of this extraordinarily cunning cat.

Broken Tail's Last Journey [working title] (Winter/Spring 2011)

Broken Tail was the most charismatic tiger cub ever seen in Ranthambore, one of India's best protected tiger reserves. But suddenly and without warning, Broken Tail abandoned his sanctuary and was ultimately killed by a train nearly 200 miles from his home. Irish cameraman, Colin Stafford-Johnson and his soundman, Salim, spent almost 600 days retracing the tiger's last days - and through his story reveal the fate of the few surviving tigers in India.

Birds of Paradise [working title] (Winter/Spring 2011)

Living in the depths of the New Guinean Rainforest are birds of unimaginable color and beauty. When Europeans first saw these creatures in the sixteenth century, they believed they must be from heaven and called them Birds of Paradise. But to find them in New Guinea is the holy grail of wildlife filmmakers. David Attenborough introduces a young team of New Guinean scientists on a grueling expedition to find and film these extraordinary birds.

Nature has won nearly 600 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities, and environmental organizations - including 10 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. Most recently, the series won a Peabody Award for Silence of the Bees and received an Emmy nomination for Victoria Falls.

Nature is a production of THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG for PBS. Fred Kaufman is Executive Producer. William Grant is Executive-in-Charge. Major corporate support for Nature is provided by Canon U.S.A., Inc. Additional support is provided by the Lillian Goldman Charitable Trust and by the nation's public television stations.

Nature Online (pbs.org/nature) is the award-winning web companion to the broadcast series and is spearheading Nature's distribution to new media platforms. At Nature Online, visitors can stream full episodes of Nature programs, watch behind-the-scenes video exclusives with filmmakers and producers (also available at iTunes), view program excerpts (also available on YouTube), and find fun interactive content, teacher lesson plans, and more. Join Nature on Facebook (Facebook.com/PBSNature) and follow the series on Twitter (Twitter.com/PBSNature) to keep up with the latest videos, photos, program alerts and more.

About WNET.ORG

New York public media company WNET.ORG is a pioneering provider of television and web content. The parent of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group, WNET.ORG brings such acclaimed broadcast series and websites as Need To Know, Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Charlie Rose, Secrets of the Dead, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Visions, Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, Miffy and Friends, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps and Cyberchase to national and international audiences. Through its wide range of channels and platforms, WNET.ORG serves the entire New York City metro area with unique local productions, broadcasts and innovative educational and cultural projects. In all that it does, WNET.ORG pursues a single, overarching goal - to create media experiences of lasting significance for New York, America and the world. For more information, visit www.wnet.org.

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