BBC America August 2010 TV Highlights

My Supermodel Baby

Here are some of the BBC America August 2010 TV Highlights:

As the American phenomenon of beauty pageants crosses the pond, Baby Beauty Queens takes an honest look at the surreal world of fake spray tans, acrylic nails, hair extensions and expensive costumes for three young girls entering the Mini Miss UK pageant. First of its kind, Mini Miss UK, serves as more than just a crown for these young girls but as the ultimate dream come true for their mothers. Madison, Tyla and Sasha, at the tender ages of seven to nine, are the focal point as they intensely prepare and practice to impress the pageant judges. Their mothers go to any length to guarantee a tiara for their daughters from expensive catwalk coaches to private vocal lessons to flashy designer dresses to even attending a New Age Christian church and praying for a win. The quest for a sparkly crown, big title and bragging rights is a modern and eccentric approach into the world of child beauty pageants. Baby Beauty Queens premieres Sunday, August 8, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Baby Birthday Bashes explores the lavish, glamorous and over-the-top parties of four different children and their families who spare no expense for their child’s special day. These lavish events take months to plan, exhausting to pull off, cost a fortune and can sometimes cause tension amongst the other parents who struggle to keep up with appearances. The parents, kids and hired entertainers shed some light on why massive, Super Sweet 16-style birthday parties are becoming so popular. From an eight year old boy’s ranch-style, Cowboy-themed party with motorbike included, a girl’s winter wonderland featuring fake unicorns and reindeer, a rocker kid’s exclusive superhero extravaganza, and a spectacular bar mitzvah at a five-star hotel with big band and flowing champagne for the adults, the documentary questions whether over-indulgence is such a big deal when celebrating the most important day in a child’s life. Baby Birthday Bashes premieres Sunday, August 15, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Modeling is big business from magazine covers to multi-page spreads to television commercials and baby modeling is becoming even bigger and a more lucrative business. Baby models can earn up to $500-$1000 a day if they have the right look and can prove they have what it takes to impress leading agents at high profile agencies and top fashion photographers. But what makes mothers decide to send their children into such a cut-throat industry? My Supermodel Baby follows three hopeful families who feel their baby has the face and selling power to secure a magazine cover or star in a commercial. For proud mothers and partners Jamie and Kelly, they believe their son Frankie has the face of Brad Pitt and Elvis and has star potential at the tender age of eight months. Their quest to secure his face on Britain’s leading parenting magazine could lead to bigger dreams for them or down a path of disappointment. And for proud mother of five, Esther, who believes her five month old son Hadley could be the next big baby model would only fulfill her own ambitions of being a model. And for out of work parents, Matthew and Leanne, they believe they’re sitting on a goldmine with identical triplets which could bring in much needed income for their family. My Supermodel Baby premieres Sunday, August 22, 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Leaving Home At 8 is an inside look at the privileged world of Highfield Prep School, a private boarding school, to tell the story of its youngest boarders – four eight-year-old girls who are having their first experience of life away from their parents. Following them through their first semester, the film is a portrait of the loving relationships between the children and their mothers, and difficult sacrifices that the parents are making because they believe that boarding is best for their children.

By chance, all of the children in Highfield’s junior dorm this year come from Army families. 8 year old April Ross is used to being regularly moved around the country. Her older brother Alex, 11, has been at Highfield for two years and loves boarding. But mom Sandra, supported by dad Frazer, is dreading the thought of losing her young daughter, and finds it difficult to cope without her. The parents are eager for the girls to thrive with stability and independence that boarding school will give them in hopes that their decision was worth it after all. Leaving Home at 8 Years Old premieres Sunday, August 29, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Breathtaking natural history programming from BBC EARTH presents an evening of incredible specials every Sunday in August.

Zoologist and natural history presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek travels deep into the heart of central Africa to Mondika research station – a unique place, straddling the border between the Central African Republic and the Congo, where a remarkable group of scientists live and study the secrets of gorilla life in Mondika. The group of gorillas, headed by silverback Kingo, contains six females and their infants including the playful two-year old Mercredi who soon becomes Charlotte’s favorite. As the gorillas of Mondika have allowed the researchers to enter their world, Charlotte soon discovers they face many threats including destruction of their natural habitat, poachers and ebola yet despite their adversities, these gorillas are thriving. Secret Gorillas of Mondika premieres Sunday, August, 1, 7:00 p.m. ET/ 4:00 p.m. PT.

A Bear’s Story follows Samson, a young black bear, born and bred in the beautiful scenic Rocky Mountains. His home was once safe and fun but with coyotes and grizzlies on the prowl this bold young bear had to learn vital survival skills quickly. Climbing trees, catching fish and escaping forest fires are just a few lessons he must learn but will Samson avoid temptation of raiding dustbins and cars for a free easy meal or will he risk it all and go a step too far? A Bear’s Story premieres Sunday, August 1, 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.

The Amazon Rainforest is one of the world’s most unique rainforests housing some of the world’s rarest animals. Presenter Charlotte Uhlenbroek journeys through the streams, rivers, swamps and lakes of the Amazon in search of crocodiles, giant river otters, pink dolphins, electric fish, piranhas and anacondas – and realizes just how unique and special the Amazon really is. Jungle: Waterworld airs Sunday, August 8, 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.

Struggling for survival, an infant hippo in the crowded Luangwa swamps in Uganda, faces tough obstacles for such a young animal. And in the heat of the dry season when water is at a premium he’s in real danger of overheating. It’s survival of the fittest for the animals in the swamps which include battles with other males, scavenging crocodiles and marauding hyenas but all are part of this young animal’s rite of passage into adulthood. A Hippo’s Story premieres Sunday, August 15, 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.

It’s a race against time for little Adelie penguin, Nero. With the biting winter fast approaching she has only three months from hatching to grow enough in size and strength to survive. In one of the coldest and harshest environments on earth, Nero has to learn quickly how to fend off attacks, moult into her waterproof coat and learn to swim in leopard seal infested waters as she prepares for her first long march to the sea of ice. A Penguin’s Story premieres Sunday, August 15, 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT.

All About Apes explores natures grandest, strongest, fastest and most widespread members of the primate order and their similarity to humans. And it’s also no surprise that chimps, gibbons, orang-utans, gorillas and bonobos share an even closer likeness to humans including their intelligence which far surpasses any other animal. Facial expressions, communication and touching are common to all primates but apes use tools, hunt, deceive and outsmart others which show an even more uncanny resemblance in both apes and humans. All About Apes airs Sunday, August 22, 7:00 p.m. ET/4:00 p.m. PT.

The world today has become an extremely dangerous place for the rhino and Rhinos: Built to Last shows, through intimate portraits, that rhinos aren’t fragile beasts at all. The white rhino is immense, weighing in at over three tons and measuring over 14 feet long. Despite their formidable physical presence, they’re rarely aggressive and observe their neighbors’ territories with respect. Rhino manners range from formal gestures to frightening chases. However black rhinos are far more aggressive and nothing sensibly stands in the way of a belligerent black rhino, even if most charges are actually bluffs to warn off intruders. The five remaining species of rhino live in three quite different places, indicating just how adaptable, widespread and successful they once were. Rhinos: Built to Last airs Sunday, August 29, 6:00 p.m. ET/3:00 p.m. PT.

Chef extraordinaire Gordon Ramsay takes a break from his kitchen nightmares and journeys to India to embark on a pilgrimage of fresh flavors and inspiration. Ramsay loves curry but knows little about the wider world of real Indian cuisine that offers much more than just curry. Exploring what is, for him, a virgin culinary experience, Ramsay sets out to experience the diversity of India’s culinary traditions, submerging himself in all aspects of the culture, no matter how challenging, unfamiliar or extreme. During his Great Escape, Gordon learns to cook a range of authentic dishes that are specific to each region he visits, and meets some fascinating food mentors along the way. He even takes part in physically challenging food-related pursuits and learns new cooking skills, cooks for over 1000 guests at a wedding and learns a complex biryani – involving eggs stuffed into quails, inside chickens all stuffed inside a goat – from legendary Indian chef, Imtiaz Qureshi. Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape premieres Thursday, August 5, 10:00 p.m. ET.

On Thin Ice follows the ups and downs, good and bad times of double Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell, British television presenter Ben Fogle and other team members as they struggle to win the first organized race to the South Pole since explorers Scott and Amundsen almost 100 years ago. However James and Scott might have taken on more than expected when they are challenged with a 500 mile cross country skiing race, on the windiest, coldest, highest and driest continent in the world, with winds of almost 50-100mph, constant daylight, extreme low temperatures and steadily increases in altitude. And if that wasn’t enough, the men must survive each other’s company, day in and day out, for up to 45 days, train their bodies to face the harshest conditions known to man, pull a sled behind them weighing almost 170lbs, escape deadly crevasses, stuff their bodies with over 6,000 calories a day and ski for up to 18 hours a day. This emotional and inspiring story reveals what these men are willing to risk in order to conquer the South Pole. On Thin Ice premieres Monday, August 9, 10: 00 p.m. ET/PT.


The tenth film in the Star Trek franchise, Star Trek Nemesis follows the mission of the USS Enterprise as they are confronted by threats of a Remen named Shinzon (Tom Hardy), who is actually a clone of Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart), stages a military coup and seizes control of the Romulan Empire. Sent to Romulus on a rare diplomatic mission, the crew of the Enterprise soon discovers Shinzon’s real goals – capturing Captain Picard to harvest his genetic material, thus giving him enough strength to conquer the universe. Star Trek Nemesis airs Sunday, August 1, 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.


Preparing an unlikely group of school kids that have never sang before and getting them ready to compete in the ultimate singing competition in China was just the challenge for choir master Gareth Malone who embarked on a groundbreaking journey to prove it’s cool to sing together. In this four episode marathon of The Choir, from every high to low note follow one man’s vision to change Britain through the power of singing one note at a time. Sunday Sing-off airs Sunday, August 1, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

Our favorite roommates, Annie (Lenora Crichlow), George (Russell Tovey) and Mitchell (Aidan Turner) are back in a three-episode marathon from the first episodes of the second season. Annie, George and Mitchell are on a mission to live normally despite being a werewolf, vampire and ghost but as much as they try to live normal the more abnormal their lives become. Being Human Marathon airs Sunday, August 8, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

Spend Sunday enjoying a dinner party without the hassle of cooking or cleaning with Come Dine with Me marathon. Come Dine with Me follows four total strangers across the UK competing for the title of the ultimate dinner party host. Each episode features a new city and a new group of amateur chefs as they take turns cooking up their idea of the perfect dinner party and at the end of the evening, the host is judged by their guests and the contestant with the most points wins a cash prize. All Day Dinner Party airs Sunday, August 15, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

Looking to escape to an exotic place and enlighten your senses with the ultimate culinary experience? Escape with Gordon Ramsay in a marathon of Gordon Ramsay’s Great Escape as he sets off to India for the first time to discover a whole new culinary world to learn about real Indian cuisine and culture. Escape with Gordon Ramsay airs Sunday, August 22, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.

Every Sunday in August premiered a new BBC AMERICA Reveals documentary from young beauty queens with fake spray tans, hair extensions and expensive dresses, to lavish and extravagant children’s birthday parties, to baby supermodels. In this BBC AMERICA Reveals marathon catch every moment leading up to the premiere of the final documentary Leaving Home at 8 Years Old. Oh, Baby! BBC America Reveals Marathon airs Sunday, August 29, starting at 3:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. PT.


Other series that will continue to premiere new episodes during August include:

Weeknights: Star Trek: The Next Generation
Mondays: James May’s Toy Stories
Wednesdays: Come Dine with Me, The Choir
Saturdays: Being Human