Fancying fangs

While Discovery's Shark Week
has drawn viewers with its exploration of the sea's most efficient killing machine, newly launched National Geographic Channel is looking to take a bite out of the nature-loving population with Snake Week.

The five-hour documentaries, scheduled to air March 19-23, will look at the habits and habitats of everything from king cobras and lanceheads to the herpetologists who seek them out. Why snakes? They are "highly misunderstood," says National Geographic Channel President Laureen Ong. "We probably have the premiere library of documented snakes." They are apparently also ratings-generators. Looking back to the success of National Geographic's Explorer
series, she says, "Snakes have been among our highest-rated programs."