More than a year after “Tiger King” transfixed viewers who were holed up at home during the first COVID-19 lockdowns, Joe Exotic’s famous cat lady nemesis is getting her own docuseries.
Carole Baskin’s new Discovery+ docuseries, “Carole Baskin’s Cage Fight,” will follow Baskin as she investigates animal abuse of big cats at the Oklahoma zoo once run by her rival, Joe Exotic.
The docuseries will hit the streaming service on November 13.
Baskin, who runs Big Cat Rescue, shot to national notoriety last year thanks to Netflix’s “Tiger King,” which focused mostly on Joe Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage, but also documented his and Baskin’s long and complicated rivalry in detail.
Exotic was convicted in 2019 of a murder-for-hire plot to kill Baskin and is now serving a 22-year sentence in federal prison in Texas. He was also convicted on 17 federal charges of animal abuse.
A judge has since awarded the G.W. Zoo property to Baskin.
The series “reveals Carole’s story in her own words,” Amy Introcaso-Davis, executive VP development and production factual programming at Discovery, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Viewers will see this larger-than-life personality in the fight for her beloved big cats’ lives as she uncovers and stops the exploitation of these animals.”
“The story that gripped the world barely scratched the surface,” the trailer for Baskin’s new series says.
“Hey, all you cool cats and kittens, it’s Carole Baskin,” Baskin says in the trailer, using her signature greeting.
“We were told ‘Tiger King’ was a documentary about the abuse of wild animals,” Baskin continues. “It turned out to be a reality TV show at best.”
“I’ve been going after animal exploiters for decades,” she says. “Joe Exotic is one of them, and he’s in jail. I want to go on to bringing down the next bad guy.”
“We are going to catch you,” she promises. “If you’re abusing big cats, I’m coming for you.”
Baskin, who went on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” last year, will even get help in her investigation from Joe Exotic’s niece, who worked at G.W. Zoo for much of her childhood.
Her husband, Howard, will also be featured in the series. “Tiger King” toyed with speculation that Baskin played a role in the disappearance of her second husband, Don Lewis, a rumor she has denied, accusing the series of having the “sole goal of being as salacious and sensational as possible to draw viewers.”
The 58-year-old Exotic is currently waiting to be re-sentenced, as his original sentence was ruled to have been harsh in July. Exotic had hoped to receive a presidential pardon from former President Donald Trump, but Trump left office without granting him one, a development that Baskin said left her relieved.
“I’m taking a deep breath because I feel such a sense of relief,” she said in January. “From the very time that he was sentenced I have worried about there being a presidential pardon that could undo all of the hard work that went into bringing this person to justice. When today at noon a new president was sworn in, I felt like I was finally safe from that threat.”
Baskin’s docuseries is produced by ITV America’s Thinkfactory Media.
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