TV’s Swamp Craze Shows No Sign of Drying Up

Meet the Swamp Man: Shelby Stanga, star of History Channel's new swamp show (Photo: History Channel)

If you think TV is a swamp, then you’re not entirely wrong.

For roughly the last five years or so, the swamps of Louisiana and Florida have become go-to locations for a number of reality-TV shows.

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Producers and networks ranging from History Channel to Investigation Discovery have been drawn to America’s bayous by a combination of tax-break incentives and the seeming plethora of colorful characters plying the wetlands in search of alligators, lumber and other natural resources that other people will pay for.

Enter the Swamp Man. He’s Shelby Stanga, who’s already familiar to fans of History Channel’s “Ax Men.”

And now, he’s getting his own spinoff series scheduled to premiere on History on Tuesday, Aug. 6, at 10/9c. Announced this past week, “The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man” will follow “the exploits of Shelby ‘Swamp Man’ Stanga, the larger-than-life character who lives and logs in southern Louisiana,” said a History Channel press release.

“Born on the bayou, Shelby answers to no one and plays by his own rules,” the announcement said. “Most people think of the swamps as a place ridden with critters, mud and danger. For Shelby, it’s home.”

Here’s a “Swamp Man” sample: Click on the pic to watch Shelby Stanga on “Ax Men”:

Alrighty then. Set for an initial run of eight half-hour episodes, “The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man” will have Stanga hunting for a species of wood known as sinker cypress in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Swamp, which happens to be infested with alligators.

That’s one of the hazards of living in or around swamps, as millions have learned by watching TV’s myriad swamp series, including “Swamp People” (History Channel), “Swamp Loggers” (Discovery Channel), “Swamp Men” (Nat Geo Wild), “Swamp Wars” (Animal Planet) and even “Swamp Murders,” a series seen on Investigation Discovery that recounts murders that took place in swamp country (where victims’ remains usually wind up).

“[Shelby Stanga’s] adventures [will] take viewers deep into bayou culture and the colorful characters in his life,” History Channel said of its new “Swamp Man” series. “Whether he’s hog hunting, encountering venomous swamp creatures, working with a voodoo priestess or ridding swamp rats from a fancy house, the ‘Swamp Man’ takes on each project with enthusiasm — on his own terms.”

As well he should. All we can say is: Good luck with those swamp rats, Swamp Man! We can’t wait to see that one.

Before you go, click on this pic to watch another “Swamp Man” clip from “Ax Men”:

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.


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