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Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom Review

Updated on September 15, 2011

Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins

Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, premiered on January 6, 1963. It took viewers to the far corners of the world and studied wild animals in their natural habitats.


The show pioneered the format now common to nature shows, which builds a suspenseful story around the very real challenges faced by the hosts and camera crews in the wild.

The ground-breaking program let viewers see the action, but not the violence, which helped make it the favorite nature show of millions of American families.

Hosting duties were handled by Marlin Perkins, who was joined by several field correspondents, including subsequent hosts Jim Fowler and Peter Gros. Wild Kingdom was seen on network prime-time television until 1971, at which time it was syndicated on the Mutual of Omaha National Syndication Network. Over 200 local stations asked to join the network.

In syndication, Wild Kingdom, reached the largest audiences in the program's history and was only one of five syndicated shows nominated for an Emmy in 1972.

In all, Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom was recognized with 41 major awards, including four Emmys and an endorsement by the National PTA for television recommended for family viewing.



Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom

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