Animal Planet is on a roll. 

The Discovery-owned network is posting some big numbers in growth thanks to some original television programming that's been attracting one huge demographic: Men 25-54. 

The third season of "River Monsters", the best performing series in network history, recently wrapped on Monday with ratings that helped push AP to third among all ad-supported cable networks in its timeslot. It was immediately followed by a special preview of the new series "Finding Bigfoot", which nabbed 1.3M viewers. 

Back in February, I mentioned that AP was filming a new series based on the legendary ape - and it appears that their timing in terms of national interest was spot on. Whether by coincidence (or some clever viral marketing?) a purported video of Bigfoot was placed online last week, recorded with an iPhone by some hikers in Spokane, Washington. 

In a little over a week, it's already racked up over 1.5M views on YouTube and countless media articles. The full six-part "Finding Bigfoot" series is set to premiere this Sunday - but the network by apparent sheer luck was genius in running a preview this past Monday. You can't plan better publicity than an actual sighting - which may be all the more reason in today's hyper-media-connected world to be cynical of a connection. 

Either way, while "River Monsters" is exiting stage left, Season Four of "Whale Wars" is set to bow tomorrow evening (9PM/ET) - ensuring that the ratings wave will continue. Last year's Season Three exceeded Season Two levels by double-digits among all key demos. 

Check out a trailer for the new season of "Whale Wars" below! 

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.