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This series sheds light on the expanding Animal Planet mission since, after all, trees aren’t animals.

In Kaplan’s words, the channel aims to deliver TV “that impacts how we view and interact with the natural world around us.”

Or, with “Treehouse Men,” in particular, she explained: “When you’re in a treehouse, you feel like you’re living like a bird.”

In the season ahead, Animal Planet will roll out a number of additional new series, with 13 of its current shows returning.

But what about subsequent seasons as the channel explores further broadening the brand? Could scripted drama be on the horizon?

“The bar is very high for scripted drama on other networks, and we want to be competitive,” Kaplan replied. “Besides, the real world is really fascinating, so you don’t want to do a scripted drama that you could do just as well as a reality show. I don’t think we have the right idea yet for a scripted show.”

But might it be in Animal Planet’s future?

“I can totally imagine us doing it,” said Kaplan.

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Online:

http://animal.discovery.com/

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EDITOR’S NOTE _ Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at fmoore(at)ap.org and at http://www.twitter.com/tvfrazier