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Animal Planet Going After Its White Whale

Animal Planet announced its programming slate for the upcoming season, and it's a lot of the same stuff — more My Cat From Hell, another installment of the Puppy Bowl, a new show about a dog trainer who specializes in "tiny terrors." But the network is also getting into scripted programming, with a two-hour movie called Revenge of the Whale. Martin Sheen stars as Old Thomas Nickerson, who, as a young man, sailed on the Essex, the ill-fated whaling ship whose voyage inspired Moby-Dick. Spoiler: The ship sank, and a lot of men died. According to Animal Planet's press release, the movie will follow a young Nickerson as he "faces the destructive force of sea storms, the power of whales, the brutal desolation of the sun and sea after the shipwreck and, finally, the dark deeds he must do to survive." Spoiler again: Those dark deeds are cannibalism.

Photo: Getty