Animal Planet to Air ‘A Groundhog Day Story’

PhilPUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (EYT) – Groundhog Day has been celebrated for 130 years with Punxsutawney Phil predicting the end of winter.

The date of Phil’s prognostication has been celebrated since 1886, and this year, Animal Planet will air “A Groundhog Day Story” that will reveal the history and legend of Phil and those who protect him throughout the year.

The show premieres at 10:00 p.m. on Thursday and will repeatedly air at 11:00 p.m., midnight, 1:00 a.m., and 2:00 a.m.

The legend surrounding Phil has become an American tradition: If he sees his shadow and returns to his hole, he has forecasted six more weeks of winter; if he does not see his shadow, then his prediction is an early spring.

The show provides a first comprehensive look at the history and legend of Groundhog Day, its impact on the town of Punxsutawney, and a look into the spirited group of volunteers responsible for all of it: The Inner Circle, who protect Phil throughout the year and plan the annual celebration in Punxsutawney.

The special also shares illuminating details about Phil himself, such as where he lives, what he eats, how he travels, what aggravates him and his wife who is his companion.

“As Groundhog Day is the only national holiday dedicated to an animal, we at Animal Planet are proud to give Punxsutawney Phil and the Inner Circle a television home,” said Patrice Andrews, General Manager of Animal Planet.

The show also shares the storied history and steady growth in the popularity of Groundhog Day – from the first official event, documented in local newspapers, to the arrival of television broadcasts, and ultimately the 1993 film, Groundhog Day, where actor Bill Murray played a weatherman trapped in a personal time warp repeating the same day again and again, cementing Groundhog Day as a cultural phenomenon.

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