On Sunday night, Maine game wardens made their small-screen debut when Animal Planet aired a sneak preview of the new TV show, “North Woods Law.”
Count me among what I expect is a legion of instant fans.
Engel Entertainment, which produced the show for Animal Planet, succeeded on many levels. Most recognizably, it captured the beauty of Maine with some stellar camera work. And most importantly to the Maine Warden Service, the production company produced a show that clearly defines (and respectfully depicts) the role that the state’s game wardens play.
If you missed the sneak peak, the official debut is Friday at 9 p.m. North Woods Law will continue to air each Friday night at the same time. A quick note: According to an email from co-executive producer Devon Platte, this Friday’s episode won’t be a repeat: It’ll be NWL Episode 102 — the second of six that are in the can at this point.
The episode that diehard viewers stayed up to watch on Sunday will be repeated on April 6.
If you did miss the advance showing, here’s some of what you missed:
- Wardens dealing with a convicted felon who may (or may not be) in possession of a firearm.
- A warden (and his K-9 partner) bushwhacking across some rough terrain in search of lost moose hunters.
- Wardens scrambling to respond to the report of a black bear loose in Portland.
- The search for a man who dumped a boat (and trailer) in the Maine woods. Complicating matters: The perpetrator took a grinder to the boat’s identification numbers and all numbers that would have proven ownership of the trailer.
- Two wardens stake out a field, where they deal with an irate man who is suspected of illuminating wildlife with his headlights.
There’s more, including a hilarious clip from a future episode featuring a true Mainer who asks a question that might sound a bit odd to viewers “from away.” Paraphrased, this character wants to know if he’ll be allowed to eat a moose that wardens are trying to rescue from the mud, should the poor critter wind up not cooperating with those efforts.
All in all, North Woods Law hit a home run with its first effort. In talking with some state fish and wildlife officials who have tagged along on filming sessions, it seems there’s plenty more to choose from in future episodes.
Platte checked in again via email earlier this week and said he’s receiving positive feedback from folks who watched the preview. He also pointed out that getting some early buzz is important to a new show as it tries to build a niche on a network.
So, if you’re interested, there’s your assignment for this week: Get buzzing. Tune in on Friday.
And let us know what you think.