There are a whole lot of TV shows, documentaries, and movies to keep us entertained and there are genres for pretty much every taste. But sometimes the line between documentary, reality TV, and pieces of fiction isn’t easy to decipher — even for shows on Animal Planet.
The network recently aired a special two-hour episode of a popular reality TV show from years ago. And after watching the footage, people are questioning if Finding Bigfoot is real.
Is ‘Finding Bigfoot’ real?
Animal Planet used to be a premium network that shared a very specific type of content. It was initially a joint venture with BBC Worldwide and the programming was primarily educational nature documentaries.
The network was great to turn on for kids as they would end up learning a lot along the way. However, Animal Planet went through a programming change, favoring more salacious shows designed to hook adults in.
One of the network’s biggest hits was a documentary-style reality TV show called Finding Bigfoot. The premise of the show followed four explorers and researchers who set out to gather potential evidence that the mythical creature Bigfoot was actually real.
It was marketed and categorized as reality TV and was one of the network’s highest-rated shows. People were hooked on the mystery, and it drew in the conspiracy theorists who spend a lot of time and energy trying to prove Bigfoot is real.
When the network re-branded again, moving back to more family-friendly content, Finding Bigfoot was out. The show ran for nine seasons and filmed over 100 episodes.
However, the hiatus didn’t last forever and when Discovery Plus launched — which also carried Animal Planet content — the network decided to put together a two-hour special of new bigfoot sightings.
In February 2021, the special was exclusive to Discovery Plus and was later released on Animal Planet in September of the same year. The show featured one story that quickly caught the attention of many when a Michigan hunter claimed to have the most convincing footage yet.
Craig Sulk snapped footage from his home in 2012 and later got in touch with the network, and he was one of the people featured on the show’s special in February 2021. And the new content sparked an interesting conversation: Should the network call Finding Bigfoot “reality TV”?
Animal Planet has come under controversy and concern because the networks’ top-performing series isn’t educational at all. In 2012, critics asked if Animal Plant was “damaging its rep with shows about Sasquatch and mermaids,” which has been a continuing critique since.
"Finding Bigfoot implies they will eventually find Bigfoot,” another critic said. "How did Animal Planet get duped into this?” “Cannot believe Finding Bigfoot is back on Animal Planet,” someone else added. “I have just watched the new movie based on the hit TV series Finding Bigfoot,” tweeted another. “(Spoiler alert: They didn't find him).”
While the network will never say it, Finding Bigfoot isn’t real because the creature isn’t real. It does make for some good TV, and while we know some reality TV shows have some element of not completely real, this one continues to give critics pause.
Finding Bigfoot can be streamed on Discovery Plus.