Lions, Leopards and Grizzlies, Oh My! Nat Geo hatched last week at NGCWild.com a broadband service featuring short- and long-form content within 4 initial categories: amazing moments, animal preservation, predation and the tamer side. Amid an attractive and easily navigable site, users can catch videos highlighting a king cobra being caught for relocation, fur seals brawling for territory or reasons for a falling dolphin population in the Mediterranean. "It’s all about celebrating animals in nature with a focus on the preservation angle," said Nat Geo vp, research and digital media Brad Dancer, who noted that the service will become a key extension of the net’s Save Our Planet conservation initiative when it launches this fall. The campaign will get its own channel on the site, as will the Wildlife Conservation Society, the org that runs the Bronx Zoo. Until then, user feedback is determining what works and what doesn’t on the site, where content will be rotated weekly, said Dancer. That users currently spend an average of 15min perusing content is promising, but big plans are already in the offing. A primary goal remains for the site to "become very fluid and transparent with users," said Dancer, through content sharing and online discussions. Tech upgrades for full-screen viewing are underway, and Wild will emerge this summer on cable VOD and mobile devices. The overarching goal for the service is to be everywhere that consumers want it, a common thrust among today’s evolving content owners. It’s just not everyone that can proffer footage of a man crawling into an alligator den or of humpback whales coordinating for a fish hunt. At NGCWild.com, the common digital term "quick bites" assumes an entirely different meaning. CH Highlights "Act of Honor, El Honor De Un Sacrificio," Sat, 7pm ET, History Channel & History Channel en Espanol. Those who have not sustained a personal loss in Iraq often think of the thousands of U.S. troops who have perished there as nameless and faceless. This simple doc rectifies that wrong for one patriotic soldier. — "Gabon, The Last Eden," Friday, 10pm, Nat Geo. With media’s focus on edgy fare, this nature program is a throwback, but thank goodness Nat Geo’s doing it. Gabon makes an excellent subject: a lush, exotic land, loaded with photogenic animals endangered by poachers. Add the ravages of a civil war, a bureaucracy with a will to preserve nature and Glenn Close’s adept narration. SA Worth a Look "Wide Awake," Wed, 8pm, HBO. What came first, the night or the night owl? Alan Berliner doesn’t ask that question in his humorous, first-person look at the not-so-amusing problem of sleep deprivation, but his curiosity is entertaining. Does Berliner’s insomnia derive from hearing his parents battle late at night? Or is sleeplessness genetic? Could sleep deprivation be a synonym for human error? A sobering thought: a person without sleep for 24 hours has the same reaction time as someone who’s legally drunk. Credit HBO for giving this doc an alternate premiere at a time when those who need it most can watch it—Wed at 1:30 am. [More reviews, including GSN’s Salute to Bob Barker, at http://www.cable360.net] SA

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