Animal Planet Hooks Record Ratings For `Monsters'

Animal Planet's said the final episode of the rookie season of its killer fish reality series River Monsters drew 1.4 million viewers, helping the show become the most-watched in network history.

River Monsters, which chronicles the habits of aggressive and dangerous fish in freshwater locales across the globe, averaged 1.4 million viewers in its eight-episode run, beating out the 1 million viewers the network's Whale Wars averaged during its freshman season earlier this year.

The River Monsters' series finale was the second most-watched episode in the show's history, following the series' April 12 installment on killer catfish, which drew a network record 1.87 million viewers, according to network executives.

The series, hosted by extreme angler and biologist Jeremy Wade, goes into production on its second season this summer and is expected to premiere in spring 2010.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.