The family of Steve Irwin, who hosted Animal Planet’s “The Crocodile Hunter” alongside his wife, Terri, before his untimely death, has announced plans to return to the network to create new shows and projects.
“We’re so excited to be returning to Animal Planet and our wonderful Discovery Communications family,” Irwin’s son, Robert, announced in a video posted to his sister’s Instagram account in mid-October, referencing the media entity behind the network.
“So watch out for next year,” his sister Bindi added. “We have wonderful new adventures coming to your television screen.”
“It all started in 1996 with ‘The Crocodile Hunter,’ and now the Irwin family is back!” their mother concluded.
Steve Irwin died in 2006 after being stung by a stingray barb while filming an underwater documentary, according to Today. Afterward, the family essentially fell out of the limelight until their sudden return in October.
“Grief is never something you get over,” Terri told The Associated Press. “You don’t wake up one morning and say, ‘I’ve conquered that, now I’m moving on.’ It’s something that walks beside you every day.”
“And if you can learn how to manage it and honor the person that you miss, you can take something that is incredibly sad and have some form of positivity,” she added. “That’s kind of what we decided to do with Steve.”
While it remains unclear what exactly their return will involve, Animal Planet general manager Patrice Andrews has confirmed they will indeed be returning.
“Steve Irwin was a champion for all wildlife and he and Terri’s excitement and enthusiasm brought viewers from around the world in touch with nature,” she said in a statement. “Their passion for animals, love for their family, and leadership in conversation awareness left a strong legacy that continues today.”
“We are thrilled to have Terri, Bindi and Robert back in the Animal Planet family,” she added.
During the height of Irwin’s career, “The Crocodile Hunter” quickly became one of its most popular programs, in part because of his “colorful personality, seeming fearlessness in wrestling dangerous animals and his ‘Australianisms’ — like the expression ‘Crikey!’” as noted by the AP.
“Steve was very much the face of our channel,” Andrews told the AP. “People even today in focus groups bring up the impact of ‘The Crocodile Hunter.’”
She added that one of goals behind bringing back Irwin’s family is to re-focus the network on animals. Though still known as Animal Planet, the network has in recent years shifted its programming and marketing to the point that its current tagline is “Surprisingly Human.”
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