It’s still not clear what form their Animal Planet work will take. The family and network are discussing several ideas for television and digital products, said Patrice Andrews, the network’s general manager.
“The Crocodile Hunter” aired on Animal Planet from 1996 to 2007. Irwin’s colorful personality, seeming fearlessness in wrestling dangerous animals and his Australianisms — like the expression “crikey!” — made him a favorite.
“Steve was very much the face of our channel,” Andrews said. “People even today in focus groups bring up the impact of ‘The Crocodile Hunter.'”
Having such defining characters is becoming tougher and tougher for cable networks. Bringing back the Irwins is part of the network’s refocusing on animals, Andrews said. That may seem obvious for a network called Animal Planet, but in recent years the network drifted from that, even adopting the tagline, “Surprisingly Human.”