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Old 05-25-2006, 06:16 AM
Amanda's Avatar
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Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet

-- Dramatic Social Life Of Meerkat “Mob” Revealed in 13-Part Series --

With all the love, squabbling, self-sacrifice and rivalry found in any family, a group of meerkats struggles to survive in Africa's Kalahari Desert. Animal Planet's new 13-part series Meerkat Manor is All My Children meets Wild Kingdom. Don't let their cuddly appearance fool you though - there's a good reason these meerkat families are called a “mob.” Meerkat Manor premieres two back-to-back half-hour episodes Friday, June 9, starting at 8 PM (ET/PT).

Narrated by Sean Astin of “Lord of the Rings” and “24”, Meerkat Manor was filmed over the course of a 10-year Cambridge University study. From family squabbles to love affairs to backstabbing worthy of a Shakespearean tale, these fuzzy reality-TV stars pack a huge dramatic punch.

With cameras recording their every move, Meerkat Manor introduces viewers to the Whiskers, a family of meerkats, revealing their personalities over the course of the series. Researchers call the Whiskers matriarch “Flower,” but she's neither delicate nor sweet—she doesn't let anyone boss her around. Putting her newborn pups before all others, Flower isn't afraid of conflict and will stop at nothing to get her way.


Episode 1
Viewers meet the newest additions to the Whiskers family as new pups belonging to Flower, the group leader, emerge and face the world for the first time. Drama ensues when one of the babies is kidnapped by rowdy teenage meerkats and has to be rescued by older brother, Shakespeare. Shakespeare also must face his own battle for survival when he is bitten by a deadly puff adder. Premieres June 9 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 2
Shakespeare continues to struggle for survival after a vicious bite from a puff adder. Flower's pups are under threat from Carlos, a male from a rival family of meerkats called the Lazuli. The Whiskers are involved in a vicious fight over territory with the Lazuli, but afterwards, one of the Whiskers' girls, Daisy, has an illicit liaison with Carlos. What action will the family take when they find out? Premieres June 9 at 8:30PM ET/PT

Episode 3
The Whiskers gang grows to 37 when another of Flower's unruly daughters has pups. Flower is left with the dilemma of deciding to keep all of the pups alive, or killing them to give her own litter the best chance of survival. Shakespeare continues to struggle with the puff adder bite and becomes separated from the rest of the gang while on a desperate search for food. Meanwhile, Uncle Yousarrian decides that the breeding den isn't safe anymore and tries to instigate a dangerous burrow move while the rest of the group is out foraging. As a result, one of the new pups is left fighting for his life when left alone on the baking sand. Premieres June 16 at 8PM ET/PT
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Old 05-25-2006, 06:18 AM
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Episode 4
The dangerous burrow move, started by Yousarrian, spins out of control, but will the tiny pup left in the sand survive? The rest of the gang takes Flower's pups out foraging, but they get into big trouble when a giant eagle owl is on the lookout for lunch. To make matters worse, the newest members of the group get their first taste of a huge thunderstorm as the dry season draws to a close. Yousarrian finally gets his way and starts a burrow move that ends in tragedy. Premieres June 23 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 5
The saga continues when Mozart, one of the young females in the Whiskers family, is viciously evicted by group leader, Flower. She must leave her tiny pups behind and face a bleak future on her own. A sudden storm forces the Whiskers to take shelter in an empty burrow belonging to their archrivals, the Lazuli. A terrifying battle ensues when the Lazuli return and want to reclaim their territory. Premieres June 30 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 6
Love is in the air as several of the residents of Meerkat Manor try to find mates. The meerkat drama continues when one of Flower's pups, Mitch, steals poisonous insects from his siblings and gets quite ill. Mozart, the young female evicted from the family for having pups, is finally allowed back into the group. Immediately she makes a mistake, falling for the charms of wandering casanova Carlos, from a rival gang. Will Flower discover her secret and evict her again? Premieres July 7 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 7
The Whiskers have grown again to 40 meerkats. When the whole group goes foraging together for the first time, the gang gets separated. When Flower returns from foraging, she's left with only seven meerkats, including two tiny pups. The rest of the group has been pushed even further away from her by the rival Lazuli gang. With such a tiny band of meerkats to watch out for each other, will Flower's group, including her two newest pups, be able to survive? Premieres July 14 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 8
The Whiskers have split into two groups. Flower's little band of seven meerkats is struggling to make ends meet - her youngest pups are barely getting enough food to survive. Daisy has assumed leadership of the rest of the group numbering 32, but it isn't long before Tosca, another female that Flower evicted, reappears and takes over dominance from Daisy. But Flower soon finds her group, takes back her crown as queen of the Whiskers and viciously kicks out Tosca once again. Daisy escapes the wrath of Flower, but the impending birth of her first litter after her liaison with Carlos means that her reprieve may be short lived. Premieres July 21 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 9
The Whiskers family are just getting over the family split when they are plunged into turmoil once again. Daisy, one of the young subordinate females in the family, gives birth unexpectedly in the wrong burrow. She and her pups won't survive without the help of the family, and as night falls, panic sets in. Finally, Yousarrian goes on a mercy mission to try to save Daisy and her pups - can he do it? Premieres July 28 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 10
Flower, the head of the Whiskers family, gives birth to her latest litter of pups, but when the group heads out for the day's foraging, two young and inexperienced male meerkats are left in charge. The little lads are soon bored and hungry and abandon their duties with dangerous consequences, and family outcast Tosca makes a desperate bid to rejoin the Whiskers. Premieres August 4 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 11
Flower's litter makes their first steps into the outside world. One adventurous new pup, Columbus, prematurely heads out with the foragers and learns about the harsh way of family life for the Whiskers in the Kalahari. Meanwhile, his less adventurous little siblings spend a normal, quiet pup day back at the burrow with the babysitters. The next day, the foraging party comes across an owl pellet - a sign that indicates an old enemy is in the area. While sleeping in a tree close to their burrow, they spot a giant eagle owl and must try to sneak back home to safety. Premieres August 11 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 12
Lonely Tosca, the evicted daughter of Flower, is lingering close to the Whiskers, but there's no chance that she'll be allowed to rejoin the gang. Her only chance is to hook up with roving males and start a group of her own. When the rival Lazuli gang heads into the Whiskers' territory, however, it seems that her luck is about to change. Unaware that the Lazuli are in her territory, Flower leads the foragers out, leaving the pups with Shakespeare as their babysitter. Will Flower and the gang get back in time to save them, or will Shakespeare die trying to defend the pups? Premieres August 18 at 8PM ET/PT

Episode 13
The Whiskers foragers finally return and manage to chase off the large group of vicious Lazuli rivals after a hard-fought battle. Victory is bittersweet - the pups are alive but Shakespeare has disappeared. The next morning, the whole gang including the pups, goes out to hunt. When they stumble into an area teeming with birds of prey, Mitch saves the day, leading the gang below ground into a bolthole for safety. Yousarrian stumbles across roving Carlos, trying to find more females, and chases him away. What does the future hold for the Whiskers? Premieres August 25 at 8PM ET/PT
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