The Drum Awards Festival - Official Deadline

-d -h -min -sec


By Noel Young, Correspondent

February 14, 2012 | 2 min read

If there is a better promo out there for a TV series, I've yet to see it. This is the commercial for the reality series Swamp People which has just started its third season on the US History Channel .

Not many promos draw in excess of 100 million viewers but this one did. It made its first appearance on the Super Bowl - and History Channel paid out a sum thought be $3.5 million for the airing.

The series, also available on cable in the UK, breaks completely new ground in American adventure - if you can call a million miles of swamp "ground." The Swamp people of the title are Cajun hunters who kill alligators for a living.

Season 2 of Swamp People averaged 4.95 million total viewers in the US , of which more than half were members of the 18-49 demo.

History Channel explains, "Deep in the heart of Louisiana lies America's largest swamp--a million miles of inhospitable bayous, marshes and wetlands where nature rules and humans struggle to tame it.

"Many of its inhabitants are the hardened descendants of French refugees who were forced out of Canada (by the British) in the 18th century and settled in this harsh yet majestic environment.

"Today, these people are known as the Cajuns, a group renowned throughout the world for their flavorful cuisine, distinctive music and vibrant culture.

"The reality series follows these swampers through a time of year that is crucial to their survival: the 30-day alligator hunting season. It begins on the first Wednesday in September and lasts 30 days.

Hunters are each issued a certain number of tags that must be attached to their kills; once they run out of tags, no more alligators. Some save the last tag for their prize catch - the biggest and most-menacing alligator they can find. For History Channel, that catch will be millions more viewers.

* And if UK viewers are wondering what a '410K' is (mentioned in the promo) it's a device for saving cash for retirement, tax free when you sock it away - but taxable when you withdraw it.