Mutual keeps its wild side alive with webisodes - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo
article photo
Stephanie Arne of Mutual of Omaha's "Wild Kingdom" webisodes.(MUTUAL OF OMAHA)
article photo
Jim Fowler, left, and Marlin Perkins in the original “Wild Kingdom” television show. Below, Stephanie Arne of Mutual of Omaha’s “Wild Kingdom” webisodes.(MUTUAL OF OMAHA)


Mutual keeps its wild side alive with webisodes
By Todd von Kampen / World-Herald correspondent


From Sunday night network television in the 1960s through Internet streaming today, Mutual of Omaha has kept the door open to its “Wild Kingdom” for generations of viewers.

So it was only logical that the insurer's most iconic brand would once more be revived through November's debut of four all-new “webisodes” of “Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom,” starring Stephanie Arne in the host's role originated by Marlin Perkins.

“If you think about it, 'Wild Kingdom' has always been on the cutting edge” of video entertainment, said Jim Nolan, Mutual's director of corporate communications. “Now entertainment has changed again. You watch what you want, when you want, how you want. … This new iteration of 'Wild Kingdom' responds to that phenomenon.”

Nolan said Mutual commissioned the webisodes to honor the 50th anniversary of “Wild Kingdom,” which debuted on NBC-TV on Jan. 6, 1963. They appeared between Nov. 3 and Nov. 24 on Mutual's wildkingdom.com website and YouTube, with each program posted at the same Sunday night time — 6 p.m. Central — that Perkins' original series aired. Each webisode is between six and seven minutes long.

“Wild Kingdom” aired continuously through 1988, with Mutual directly syndicating the program to TV stations after it left NBC in 1971. The show made a comeback in 2002 on the Animal Planet cable network, lasting for nine seasons.

Mutual began a contest in March 2013 to choose a host for the webisodes, including an online vote to narrow the field. Arne, who beat out two other finalists after interviews at Mutual, is a wildlife educator for the Honolulu Zoological Society. But the South Dakota native began her zoological career at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium — home to the “Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom” Pavilion.

Nolan said Arne “has a good background” to continue the tradition of previous “Wild Kingdom” hosts Perkins, Jim Fowler and Peter Gros. She's “extremely energetic, extremely knowledgeable, a fun person.”

Additional webisodes of “Wild Kingdom” will be released in the coming months, Nolan said. Episodes of the original “Wild Kingdom” are available at wildkingdom.com, while the Animal Planet shows are available at animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/wild-kingdom.

“Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom”
Debut: Jan. 6, 1963

Original network run: 1963-71, NBC-TV

Syndicated television: 1971-88

Cable television: 2002-11, Animal Planet

Webisodes: 2013-present, wildkingdom.com and YouTube

Hosts: Marlin Perkins, 1963-85; Jim Fowler, 1963-88; Peter Gros, 1985-88; Stephanie Arne, 2013-present

On the Web: wildkingdom.com (NBC and syndicated episodes, 1963-88, and webisodes, 2013-present), animal.discovery.com/tv-shows/wild-kingdom (Animal Planet episodes, 2002-11).


Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom


Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

Here's who'd play Pelini, Osborne and 19 other Nebraska celebrities in a movie
Here's who'd play Pelini, Osborne and 19 other Nebraska celebrities in a movie

When Hollywood comes calling to tell the story of one of our own, we need to be ready with some casting suggestions because the movie executives will certainly want to hear what we think.


'That thing is atrocious': Rusty steel panel in downtown Papillion plaza spurs complaints
'That thing is atrocious': Rusty steel panel in downtown Papillion plaza spurs complaints

The panel is made of weathering steel that's commonly used in building designs. It's supposed to be turning into a vibrant orange panel emblazoned with a monarch butterfly, but the transformation process is taking longer than expected.


Paul McCartney's best moments (and also his weirdest)
Paul McCartney's best moments (and also his weirdest)

Paul McCartney, who will perform in Lincoln this summer, is responsible for some of the most beautiful pop music ever recorded. But he’s had some head-scratching moments, too.


Watch Westside High seniors Jack and Jack answer fan calls
Watch Westside High seniors Jack and Jack answer fan calls

Vine superstars and Omaha residents Jack and Jack were in studio with Mike'l Severe. Fans called in with questions for the guys from across the country.


‘Wonder Bread Years’: Tickets on sale now for salute to baby boomer generation

Tickets go on sale today at the Omaha Community Playhouse for “The Wonder Bread Years,” Pat Hazell’s comedy salute to the baby boomer generation.


What to watch: John Wayne in 'Stagecoach' on TCM
What to watch: John Wayne in 'Stagecoach' on TCM

John Wayne stars as the Ringo Kid in this classic Western about a group of people traveling through the unsettled West who are threatened by Geronimo.


An early look at the new Beercade (photos)
An early look at the new Beercade (photos)

A new Beercade's only a few months away, and the owners let us look at the new space next door.


Michael W. Smith will perform at the Nebraska State Fair
Michael W. Smith will perform at the Nebraska State Fair

Michael W. Smith will headline the Nebraska State Fair’s Christian concert on Thursday, Aug. 28.
Smith will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Heartland Events Center.
The multiple Grammy Award winner has sold more than 15 million albums, has had 28 No. 1 hits and 40 Dove Awards, making him one of the nation’s favorite mainstream Christian artists.


Listen: Larry the Cable Guy tells us about his recent injury on a movie set
Listen: Larry the Cable Guy tells us about his recent injury on a movie set

In this clip from Monday's "The Bottom Line," Larry the Cable Guy talks about his benefit show for the Team Jack Foundation, his recent injury and what kind of Husker fan he is.


Paul McCartney will play Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena this summer
Paul McCartney will play Lincoln's Pinnacle Bank Arena this summer

It will be his first time performing in Lincoln, but he did play Omaha in 2005.


 
Search
Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings






Read this!








VIDEOS

Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved