Why in the hay does Discovery always air their own butchered version, this time replacing David Attenborough with Alec Baldwin. I wouldn't even watch the Opera one and ordered my life blu-ray and had it delivered before Life even aired in the US. Attenborough's versions are much much better, and most include a lot of extra footage.
Discovery channel is horrible. Along with the rest of our U.S 'educational' tv :-( Did you know Discovery was refusing to air the last episode because its about climate change? I know the idea has some opponents here, but come on, I didn't think Discovery channel was one of them. Fortunately they had a change of heart, and because of their initial refusal Baldwin will not be narrating, they will air the Attenborough version. I haven't watched any Alec versions, but from what I hear they are much better then the Oprah/Weaver nonsense from the other series. (no offense to Oprah fans, but she just didn't fit - worst choice of the three IMO.) To reiterate - The reason is because Discovery Channel is a terrible joke, just like History and NatGeo, not to mention the long lost Learning Channel. Thank goodness these air in the UK with David first.
"No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." Henry Louis Mencken
Dumb it down with an American actor instead of a "Sir" with: an Order of Merit, Order of the Companions of Honour, Royal Victorian Order, Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fellow of Zoological Society and Fellow of Society of Antiquaries. (see scary educated scientific elitist).
There is no fight here, Attenborough wins hands down.
The BBC is not in it, per se, to make money with advertising. It is there to educate and inform all at the expense of the British public who pay for television licenses and have tax-payer's money foot the rest. This is seen by its spectacular documentaries on Nature and Astrological physics. The only thing close in the US is PBS which has NOVA etc. Discovery is in the business of making money. The Discovery Channel was launched with $5 million in start-up capital from several investors (including ironically BBC, Allen & Company and Venture America). Discovery communications is now traded on the Nasdaq.
Nature series like "Frozen Planet" are not the highest-rated shows of the year for Discovery. In fact not even close. So in order to "boost" ratings they use, mistakenly I might add, more well known celebrities for its audience. The Oprah move was clearly to get Oprah viewers to watch but it was also a PR move as discovery communications has a joint venture network in OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.
Among Men 25-54, a Key demographic, the highest rated shows are Deadliest catch, American Chopper, Sons of Guns, Mythbusters, Dual survival, and Swamp loggers. In order to boost rating for other demographics they bring in actors to do voice overs for the BBC docs.
In a country where 43% believe in strict creationism and another 38% believe in "theistic evolution" shows about animal diversity and it's origins isolate many of viewing audience. Only 16% believe in "secular evolution". SO to soften the "blow" you add a familiar voice instead of some scary atheist and incredibly educated zoologist who knows the scientific process and needs evidence to prove any hypothesis. Add global warming to the process and you have inflamed the uneducated more.
It's sad and says many things about the education system in America; it is, however, the truth.