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'Big Blue Live' to premiere on AETN Aug. 31

Posted 31 Aug 2015

'Big Blue Live,' a BBC and PBS first-of-its-kind multimedia coproduction, will air live on AETN Aug. 31-Sept. 2 at 7 each night. The program will air again each night at 10 p.m. with a new live episode for the West Coast.

'Big Blue Live' will be broadcast from the Monterey Bay Aquarium and from aboard Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary vessels, as well as from Monterey shoreline locations. Scientists, filmmakers, photographers and other experts came together for two weeks in late August to film some of the world's most charismatic marine creatures – humpback whales, sea lions, dolphins, elephant seals, sea otters, great white sharks, shearwaters, brown pelicans, blue whales and more – gathering at this time of year in Monterey Bay to feed on the abundance of food in these waters. Monterey Bay's unique underwater geography, with a deep ocean canyon close to shore, brings species by the thousands into the once endangered, now thriving, ecosystem of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in California. In addition to the live portions of the programs, BBC and PBS crews have been filming video and b-roll footage over the course of the summer, which will be rolled into each broadcast to expand upon what is being seen live.

'We are all very excited about 'Big Blue Live,'' AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. 'It is spectacular to watch and is perfectly aligned with our promise to educate, enlighten, inform and entertain all at the same time.

'Programs represent only a part of AETN's services to our state, and 'Big Blue Live' is a sterling example.'

In both PBS feeds, viewers can watch one of nature's great reality shows, delivered through state-of-the-art filming technologies and live reports from air, by boat and below the waves. The multiplatform event will be led by two anchors, with several on-air correspondents and additional leading scientists and experts providing insights during the program.

On-air anchors for the U.S. shows include Dr. M Sanjayan, who is senior scientist at Conservation International, and UK-based science broadcast journalist Liz Bonnin, known for BBC science programs 'Bang Goes the Theory' and 'Stargazing Live.' Dr. Joy Reidenberg, a comparative anatomist and marine mammal expert, featured in PBS's 'Inside Nature's Giants' and 'Sex in the Wild,' will provide scientific insight into the anatomy of Monterey Bay marine life. On-air correspondents include Steve Backshall, best known for his work in the U.K. on BBC's 'Deadly 60.'

'Big Blue Live' airs live over three nights:

The multiplatform, digital experience for 'Big Blue Live' will be at, where users can watch the live streaming simulcast of each night's broadcast and interact with a series of live marine wildlife cameras throughout Monterey Bay. The site will also serve a social hub, by helping the audience discover, explore and join the national conversation about the series, including perspectives from the local communities of PBS member stations. To participate in the conversation, fans are encouraged to use #BigBlueLive across social media.

Funding for 'Big Blue Live' has been provided by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).