- Former TV host Ellen DeGeneres will return with a two-hour documentary on gorilla conservation and the creation of The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
- The documentary will highlight DeGeneres’ love for animals and her admiration for primatologist Dian Fossey, showcasing the impact of the campus on gorilla conservation and biodiversity.
- The upcoming documentary represents a shift in genre for DeGeneres, marking her return to television after the controversial end of her long-running talk show.
Former TV host Ellen DeGeneres will return to television with the upcoming Discovery Channel two-hour documentary special Saving the Gorillas: Ellen’s Next Adventure. A new report from Variety reveals that Saving the Gorillas is directed by Abigail Harper and executive produced by Christopher Collins, Lydia Tenaglia, and Craig H. Shepherd for Zero Point Zero Production. DeGeneres and Jeff Kleenman executive produced for A Very Good Production. The special is set to air on September 23rd at 10 p.m. on the Discovery Channel and again on September 24th (World Gorilla Day) at 10 p.m. on Animal Planet. Saving the Gorillas is also set to stream on discovery+ and Max.
The upcoming documentary will explore the talk show host’s love of animals and admiration for primatologist Dian Fossey while working to create The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund in Rwanda. Since its opening back in 2022, the campus has assisted in gorilla conservation and local biodiversity. The campus additionally hosts visitors. DeGeneres stated:
“Every single thing has led me to just have a big enough platform to say, ‘Look at work Dian Fossey did.’ There’s nothing that keeps you more present, more in the moment, than sitting with gorillas.”
Craig H. Shepherd Said the Company Is “So Thrilled to Partner With Ellen, Portia, and Their Team”
Craig H. Shepherd, executive vice president at Zero Point Zero Production added, “We are so thrilled to partner with Ellen, Portia, and their team to bring this amazing Gorilla conservation journey to life on screen. Their impact on conservation and the immediate community in Rwanda is an inspiration for all.” An official synopsis for the upcoming documentary states:
“What begins as Portia de Rossi’s simple desire to come up with a nice birthday gift for her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, snowballs into something bigger than anybody could have imagined. The couple find themselves embarking on one of the largest architectural and landscaping projects in the history of Rwanda, only to collide with challenges like volcanoes, earthquakes, and a global pandemic.”
The summary continues, “It all culminates in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them, their family and friends as they celebrate the opening of The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. It is an adventure filled with laughter, tears, and experiences none of them ever dreamed they’d have. At the center of it is Ellen, doing things that are not only life-changing for hundreds of others, but that affect an entire nation and give the mountain gorillas a hope for survival greater than they’ve ever had before.”
Saving the Gorillas marks the comedian’s return to the small screen following the end of her long-running talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show which wrapped up its 22-season run in May of 2022. Previously in 2020, the show became embroiled in controversy after claims calling the series a toxic workplace came to light. The upcoming documentary also serves as a change in genre for DeGeneres who has previously been mainly known for her comedic work.