This modest half-hour wildlife series was one of CTV’s most successful series ever in terms of both longevity and profitability. Originally produced for US syndication in 1968, it had a brief run on NBC in the spring and summer of 1969. Metromedia, the producers, then brought it to CTV, who entered into a co-production deal to produce the series in Canada.
The material for the original 31 episodes came from On Safari, a series produced and hosted by Armand and Michaela Dennis. CTV producer John Must then travelled the globe to find new material, and produced 70 new episodes with Alan Small as narrator. Kelloggs were the U.S. sponsors for many years, and were delighted with the quality of the work coming from Canada.
The series entered the CTV schedule on Sundays at 5:00pm in September 1968. It moved to prime time at 7:00pm on Sundays in September 1970, but in the fall of 1971 it returned to the 5:00pm slot, where it remained through September 1976. It returned in repeats in September 1978, again on Sundays at 5:00pm, and was seen on CTV for the last time in September 1985, a remarkable record.
Written by Pip Wedge - July, 2002