The Premiere of Wild Kingdom

January 6th Celebrates The Premiere of Wild Kingdom

Today on Days to Remember we celebrate how on January 6th 1963, Wild Kingdom premiered on NBC.

Who remember Wild Kingdom?

Wild Kingdom, sometimes known as Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, is an American television show that features wildlife and nature. It was originally produced from 1963 until 1988, and was revived in 2002. The show’s second incarnation currently airs on Animal Planet in the U.S.
The original Wild Kingdom grew from discussions that started in 1962 between zoologist Marlin Perkins and V. J. Skutt, the chairman and CEO of insurance company Mutual of Omaha.

The company had been the sponsor of an earlier animal-related show, Zoo Parade, that Perkins had hosted from 1952 until 1957.

Also intimately involved with the creation of Wild Kingdom was Zoo Parade producer Don Meier, who was credited as the series’ creator.

Today’s YouTube presentation brought to you by user name “The Old School,” shows the beginning of the theme show when the television show came on for Wild Kingdom.

It was one my favorite television shows growing up, because it gave me chance to see other animals from different countries.

Wild Kingdom was first broadcast by NBC. The half-hour show aired on Sundays starting January 6, 1963, and continued until 1971, when the program entered syndication. As a prime-time syndicated program, Wild Kingdom enjoyed great popularity. Although most of the programs aired after 1971 were repeats, new shows continued to be produced until 1987.

Several episodes were filmed by cameraman Roy Pinney. Perkins was the host for most of the show’s history until he was forced to retire in 1985 for health reasons. He died of cancer the following year at age 81 and Jim Fowler, Perkins’ long-time assistant and sidekick, became the host.

Perkins often introduced commercial spots by tying them into the subject of the show. For example, at the end of a segment about lions, he might say something like, “Just as the mother lion protects her cubs, you can protect your children with an insurance policy from Mutual of Omaha,” which is why it was called Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, in the beginning.

As we remember what that show meant to us, back then as we celebrate how on January 6th 1963, Wild Kingdom premiered on NBC.

Written & Designed by JD Mitchell
jdmitchelldesigns@gmail.com

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