It might be cold in Alaska, but as a location for non-scripted reality series, the nation’s 49th state is red-hot.
TV’s latest Alaska-based reality show is this new one from History Channel, “Mounted in Alaska,” announced Monday by the cable channel. Scheduled to premiere April 7, this series is not about mounted policemen (they’re Canadian anyway), but about taxidermy – which is the ancient craft of preserving hunting trophies (i.e. dead animals) and “mounting” them for display.
The History Channel series focuses on a family of taxidermists – the Knight family – in Anchorage who use both modern and older techniques to preserve carcasses for a variety of clients (the older methods are what make this series historical and, therefore, fodder for the History Channel).
It’s TV’s second announcement of a taxidermy show in less than a month. The last one was a TLC project called “Taxidermy USA” – signaling that taxidermy shows might start proliferating all over the place.
But if they do, they’ll have a ways to go before catching up with the recent boomlet in Alaska shows – most notably “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” which aired last year on TLC and, come to think of it, touched on the topic of taxidermy in several contexts, particularly when the home of Palin’s father was shown with all of its mounted trophies.
How many Alaska shows are on TV now (or have been seen recently)? We went in search of them and came up with this inventory: “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” (TLC); “Deadliest Catch,” “Flying Wild Alaska,” “Gold Rush: Alaska” (Discovery); and “Alaska State Troopers” (National Geographic Channel). And there are probably more.
What’s driving this gold rush in Alaska TV shows? If you guessed “tax incentives,” then give yourself a gold star for your keen understanding of the TV business. Apparently, the state has instituted economic policies favorable to producers that have drawn the attention of networks and production companies, boosting TV production in the state, as this story explains.
With incentives this attractive, look for more Alaska shows in the months to come.