Originally posted Friday, July 12, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
If you know about “Monster Fish,” you watch Nat tGeo WILD.
The title describes exactly what it’s about: amiable host Zeb Hogan, a trained aquatic ecologist, travels the world to find the world’s biggest fish from carp to catfish. He is deeply knowledgeable and provides plenty of context in terms of why a fish can get so large and how it impacts any particular aquatic ecosystem.
“Monster Fish” only aired a handful of originals last year and it averaged a modest 196,000 viewers, not even ranking in the top 1,000 of all prime-time non-streaming programs.
Yet it’s a survivor. Over the past decade, Nat Geo and Nat Geo WILD have aired seven seasons and more than 50 episodes.
NatGeo WILD is one of those secondary cable networks that regularly draws 150,000 to 700,000 viewers a night in what would be considered super niche programming. (Its biggest hit by far is “The Incredible Dr. Pol,” which averaged 1.35 million overnight viewers last year.)
A couple of years ago, he built a family-friendly traveling exhibit highlighting some of those over-sized fish. Artful, realistic replica sculptures of the actual fish are on display, along with games for kids.
Last month, “Monster Fish” landed at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, its eighth stop around the country. Hogan said he tries to visit each exhibit in person, schedule permitting. The exhibit will be there until August 18.
Here is a Facebook Live video I did with him giving a walking tour of the exhibit at Fernbank before he did a talk with kids, then with adults during the museum’s “After Dark” presentation Friday evening.
As for “Monster Fish,” he’s by no means finished. He said he has 20 more suggested locations to visit around the world.