Meerkat Manor is a British wildlife docu-reality television series created by Caroline Hawkins and produced by Oxford Scientific Films for Animal Planet which follows the everyday life of a meerkat family called the Whiskers, living in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa.
The series made its international debut in South Africa on DStv's Animal Planet channel on Monday 5 September 2008, at 18h30. It premiered in the UK on Animal Planet International a week later, on 12 September, 2005.
There are 53 half-hour episodes in four seasons to date. See "Seasons" below for seasonal broadcast dates and times.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Whiskers meerkat family was embroiled in a fierce battle against their biggest rivals, the Commandos.
Last we saw the Whiskers, Mozart’s pups had been killed by the Commandos during a burrow raid, and the Whiskers were facing a long harsh winter.
Now, kicked out of their home, Flower, the matriarch of the Whiskers clan, must lead her brood through a perilous journey to mark and settle into their new manor, survive the weather and stave off the threat of predation.
The Whiskers must face new rivalry posed by their neighbours from hell, the Zappa gang, and Flower is determined to lead her brood to victory no matter what it takes.
The plot thickens when the fighting persists within the Whiskers’ own inner circle. Ever the dysfunctional family, the Whiskers find themselves involved in confrontation, control, love affairs and more drama than ever.
With daughters sleeping around and sisters fighting over the same main man, it’s no wonder that it’s a slippery slope surviving desert life.
Fans will see who lives, who dies and which ‘kat winds up as top dog.
The show is narrated by Bill Nighy in the UK and Canada, Mike Goldman in Australia, and Sean Astin (Seasons 1-3) and Stockard Channing (4-) in the USA.
Dedicated dominant female of Whiskers, Flower’s no push over. In her 4 years as dominant she has proved herself to be one of the most successful leaders on the Manor.
As the Whiskers’ dominant male, Zaphod has been Flower’s number choice of mate from the start but as time wears on he’s beginning to sit back on his laurels. Could Zaphod’s complacency leave the door open for others to pluck Flower?
Perhaps the Kalahari’s most misfortunate female, Mozart’s luck may have finally changed. Now part of new group ‘the Starsky’ Mozart is no longer just a Whiskers cast away.
Flower’s brave young pup from series one is continuing to be one of the most important members in the group. Eagle eyed as ever Mitch proves he’s the kind of meerkat when the goes gets tough.
A young caring female in the Whiskers who spends more time than most looking after the pups. Has a heart of gold.
Buster and Suggs
Part of Flower’s first litter of the year. Always play fighting and very competitive towards each other.
Dominant male of the Whiskers’ new arch rivals The Zappa gang. Has seen it all before and was a formidable leader, but age isn’t on his side. He may be past his best.
Dominant female of the Zappa gang and Frank’s partner. Lola is younger than Frank and has a short fuse when it comes to food.
Was once feared by many a dominant male in the territory for his antics as a roving male. He has now settled down to his new role as a Dominant male of his own group the Starsky with his old flame Mozart.
The Don Juan of the desert, he has rapidly risen to take Carlos’ place as the bad boy of the desert. Part of the Zappa gang this roving male has a particular taste for dominant females. Why have MacDonald’s when you can have steak?
Sister of Zappa dominant female Lola she has no time for weakness in others and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Has ambitions of leading her own group but as long as her sister is in charge will have to take a back seat. Watch this one she has claws.
The Zappa are the new neighbours from hell. With the competition for resources even greater this year, they’re proving they’ll do whatever it takes to beat the Whiskers.
With Hannibal, at the helm the Commandoes are still every bit the meanest looking meerkats on the Manor.
Season 1 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 5 September 2005 | Finale: 28 November 2005 | Mondays, 18h30
Season 2 (14 episodes)
Premiere: 16 October 2006 | Finale: 27 November 2006 | Mondays, 19h20 (double bill)
Season 3 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 10 September 2007 | Finale: 26 September 2007 | Weekdays, 19h00
Season 4 (13 episodes)
Premiere: 8 March 2009 | Finale: 19 April 2009 | Mondays, 19h00 (double bill)