Animal welfare films win big


Cable TV viewers are tuning in to animal rescue-themed broadcasts in droves, and programming is being tailored to meet demand.  On Animal Planet, the 5th season premiere of Pit Bulls & Parolees entitled “Out of the Dark” was the most watched season opener in that show’s history with more than 1.2 million viewers, helping the channel rank in the top three for nonfiction cable networks in its time slot.

At CNN, the news network’s Oct 25 broadcast of “Blackfish,” exploring the plight of captive Killer whales, was the highest-ranking CNN film of the year.  The film’s exploration of the ethics of keeping these animals in captivity and showcasing disturbing conditions at SeaWorld theme parks has been making waves.  Since the film’s premiere at Sundance in January, SeaWorld’s stock has sunk nearly 25 percent.