The Crocodile Hunter Family has announced that they're returning to Animal Planet, 11 years after the death of Steve Irwin, aka the Crocodile Hunter. Animal Planet made the announcement this week that Irwin's widow Terri along with children Bindi and Robert will reappear on the network next year in a brand-new show. It isn't clear just exactly what the show will be about, but the Irwin family is currently in talks with Animal Planet to discuss several ideas about where to take the Irwin family next.
The Crocodile Hunter aired on Animal Planet from 1996 to 2007. Steve Irwin's colorful and infectious personality, seeming fearlessness in wrestling dangerous animals and his Australianisms, like the expression "crikey!" made him a pop culture favorite. Fans weren't exactly sure what to make of Irwin upon initial viewings; some thought that he was a straight up wild man with a screw loose, but it became quickly evident to just about everybody that Steve Irwin flat out loved animals. Since Irwin's death, the family has picked up his legacy in trying to spread awareness to endangered species all over the world.
The Irwin family has been carrying on their patriarch's conservation work in Australia, running a zoo, a wildlife preserve, and supporting projects to try and save endangered species from all over the world. "It seemed like a really good time, since we do so many things together as a family," said Terri Irwin, in an interview from Australia. While it isn't clear what the new Animal Planet show will be about, it will certainly carry on the traditions that Steve Irwin created with The Crocodile Hunter, which is a pure love of all creatures, big and small, frightening and cuddly.
Animal Planet general manager Patrice Andrews says that The Crocodile Hunter was the face of the network and that people still bring up the acts of Steve Irwin to this day. In recent times, Animal Planet has drifted from their all animals all of the time, to more human related shows that haven't exactly been giant hits. Andrews had this to say.
"Steve was very much the face of our channel. People even today in focus groups bring up the impact of The Crocodile Hunter."
Bringing back the Irwin family is the start of the network going back to its animal roots. Currently, the network's most popular series is Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet, with a new series focusing on animals at the Bronx Zoo is also doing well.
Steve Irwin died at age 44 in September 2006 while filming an underwater scene for a television series, when a stingray's stinging barbs pierced his heart. Since Bindi was 8-years old and Robert was 3-years old when their father died, Terri Irwin said her first responsibility was raising the children. Both grew up committed to the family business and haven't been strangers to television. Bindi, now 19-years old, won a Dancing with the Stars competition in 2015 and Robert, who is now 14-years old, has appeared on The Tonight show with Jimmy Fallon displaying animals. You can check out the rest of what Terri Irwin had to say about the new Animal Planet show and her late husband, Steve Irwin, via The Washington Post.