Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot: Research or Entertainment?

Posted by: Craig Woolheater on June 16th, 2011

I would like to remind everyone that Animal Planet is in the entertainment business, not in the finding Bigfoot business, regardless of the name of the series.

They care about ratings, which determine how much they get to charge their advertisers.

They care about having as many people as possible tuning in and watching the program.

The cast of the show; Matt Moneymaker, Cliff Barackman, James “Bobo” Fay & Renae Holland are essentially actors.

I’m not saying anything against them, I’ve been there and done that as far as Bigfoot TV goes.

Having participated in episodes of Mysterious Encounters, Weird Travels and MonsterQuest, I can tell you for the most part, these shows are scripted.

I can also guarantee you that the show is not geared to Bigfoot researchers, Sasquatch enthusiasts and such.

If it was, Animal Planet would not be able to charge enough advertising revenue for several thousand viewers.

It is geared towards the general public and those that may have a curiosity about the subject matter.

The producers of Finding Bigfoot are not documenting Bigfoot research, they are trying to put together a show that will draw as many viewers as possible.

People are asking, “Why if they are finding credible evidence of a Bigfoot in the area, would they hit the road to the next state, witness, location, episode, etc.?”

It’s because they are on a budget and shooting schedule.

The general public doesn’t give a rat’s ass who invented call blasting or wood knocking.

It’s entertainment folks!

I would guess that Matt’s blowup with the team was edited to make him look like the bad guy on purpose.

Every show has to have a villain and Matt is the villain on Finding Bigfoot.

Just as Russell Hantz was the villain on several seasons of Survivor. He was the guy everybody loved to hate.

I know for a fact that on at least one season of the show, he was also voted most popular.

Lighten up and enjoy the show for what it is!

It is getting the idea of the possibility that Bigfoot exists to a larger cross section of the public.

About Craig Woolheater
Co-founder of Cryptomundo in 2005. I have appeared in or contributed to the following TV programs, documentaries and films: OLN's Mysterious Encounters: "Caddo Critter", Southern Fried Bigfoot, Travel Channel's Weird Travels: "Bigfoot", History Channel's MonsterQuest: "Swamp Stalker", The Wild Man of the Navidad, Destination America's Monsters and Mysteries in America: Texas Terror - Lake Worth Monster, Animal Planet's Finding Bigfoot: Return to Boggy Creek and Beast of the Bayou.

18 Responses to “Animal Planet’s Finding Bigfoot: Research or Entertainment?”

  1. dharkheart responds:

    Unfortunately for Bobo, Cliff and Ranae, the show seems to be sliding into the sludge of reality television entertainment; a murky mire Matt appears to enjoy while the others take the investigations seriously.

  2. RaceBannon responds:

    GREAT article Craig! I think Matt has even helped not only Finding Bigfoot as being the “bad guy”… but has also helped drive up the number of postings on this web site!!

  3. Crypto_Don responds:

    While I understand that Animal Planet is in the business of getting ratings and advertising dollars, it does this by providing programming that’s more factual in its representations of the natural world, including cryptids. The people who watch Animal Planet want to see the real animal world. If Animal Planet is editing it for entertainment only, how many other shows have also been misleading in their representations of how animals actually behave? I don’t mind creative re-enactments as long as its made clear, but editing the show to the point where it becomes the exact opposite of actual events crosses the line. Those other shows that Craig mentions are all off the air, do it part, I believe, to their creative editing. In the case of Bigfoot, we are dealing with a subject that really doesn’t need that much editing. For the believers, they get to see actual evidence and witness testimony; for the skeptics, they get to see crazy people walking around in the woods at night screaming and jumping at every sound they hear. The entertainment’s built into the system with having to tweak it.

  4. CDC responds:

    “Research or Entertainment”? Neither.

    With producers controlling evidence, it can’t be considered true research.

    With all the dramatic pauses with no conclusions, it is not entertaining.

    It is what it is…a waste of time.

    There was potential, there was possibility, there was hope…but alas there “IS” only disappointment.

    If you enjoy disappointment in your research or entertainment, then “Finding Bigfoot” is the show for you.

  5. JMonkey responds:

    Alas, if they really found Bigfoot I am sure we would have already heard about it. That being said, I do find the show entertaining. It makes Matt out to be the selfish %^#&*^, It makes Bobo the big guy that does all the heavy lifting, and the other two are the scientist with opposing views. Whether that is truly an accurate depiction or not I have no clue, but that is what I get from watching the show. I am hoping that by the end of the season they find some really cool evidence that might get them started on some REAL research in the future. Television series rarely find anything new. The only real scientific find I remember were the fossilized footprints of some ancient reptile on Destination Truth. I find it hard to believe that they even found that, but it was most certainly fun to watch.

  6. JMonkey responds:

    Sorry, I remember a few finds on MonsterQuest as well. My 6 year old got me into all of this. He loved MonsterQuest and if it mentions Bigfoot then we are there now. He has Bigfoot toys even (At great expense might I add). We even drove to see an eye witness in Pottsboro, TX that my dad knows, and he took him out to where he saw the creature. It was a blast. I am not sure what to believe as of yet, but I know something is out there. Too many people have seen it to chalk it up to craziness.

  7. EastTexan responds:

    Craig – Thank you for your words of wisdom. This is something we should have been remembering all along. My son was in video production for a “reality show” at one time and he has let me know how far from “reality” it many times is.

    I appreciate how you and Loren remain professional and evenhanded on this blog. May we all follow your lead.

  8. bigfoots responds:

    Attn Animal Planet:

    If you can’t do it right then just don’t do it.

    If we want entertainment, we can watch Comedy Central.

    I’m done watching Finding Bigfoot for obvious reasons.

  9. Redrose999 responds:

    Glad you posted this Craig, I think you’ve made a good point. And I have to agree, the ratings for the show are showing it is getting across to the public. It might do some good. Perhaps, though I have yet to finish the latest episode, I will try to give it another chance.

  10. RaceBannon responds:

    GREAT posting Craig. I think this statement coming from you will make a difference from some of the people who comment here. I also have felt that Finding Bigfoot was making Matt look worse than he actually is. I even believe the “bad guy” image of Matt has helped drive up the post here on your site!

  11. JMonkey responds:

    Well after last night I would, I am not sure anymore. How in the hell are you going to show Matt walking all the way up to the image and then not show the vital piece when the creature actually walks off into the woods while he is nearby. Oh, that’s right, because then we would have seen that it was only a deer or some other normal 4 legged creature. I am quickly becoming fed up with the shenanigans that is Finding Bigfoot. It seems to me that this research would be more appropriate on Fact or Faked.

  12. SirKen63 responds:

    Then they need to come out and say this. Problem I am having is you have someone like Matt that is this person you describe in this article here and we would all agree with that. Except Matt! Matt is stating something else and saying no it not us, but it has to be you if you’re saying these things.

    Now why do we care? Cause Matt and everyone else involved are in the Bigfoot community and then there the BFRO. Now that means if they will do this show on Animal Planet and say and do things that are not true or right. Then they will do this in the BFRO and their evidence.

    Least that how I feel. If it was anyone else we would not care and just call him crazy and move on along time ago, but it’s Matt, Cliff and Bobo and 2 out of them 3 I used to respect in the Bigfoot world.

  13. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    Well said Craig!!!

  14. texasbigfoothunter responds:

    I agree this show is for pure entertainment.

  15. mandors responds:

    The old adage is that there is no such thing as bad press. In the cryptozoological world I’m not sure that’s true. One non-truth–P/G film was admitted to be a fake–put the search and understanding back years. In this case entertainment keeps the idea alive, but it might inspire monkey suit wearing jerks to run around the woods. We are just beginning to scientifically investigate this phenomena–thank you Dr. Jeff–sensationalism might not help.

  16. Shelley responds:

    I think it is because “Animal Planet” doesn’t believe that Bigfoot is a real animal.

    It’s just a silly, ratings-raising summer show, to fill in until the fall. I think they are actually laughing at the BFRO people who believe in this, as well as actively undercutting their methods and anything they might discover during the filming of this. I can’t believe that the BFRO people are allowing themselves to be put in this position. Sort of reminds me of young actresses who do porn or nudie work to get attention–and then wonder why no one accepts them as “real” actresses …

  17. korollocke responds:

    Rather have another season of Lost Tapes, that was entertaining. I used to watch Monsters and Tales from the Darkside and Lost Tapes was along those lines.

  18. Artist responds:

    You actually WATCH Survivor??????

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