Thanks to Animal Planet, Mike Tyson Has a Pigeon Brain

The ex-champ will star in a reality series for the network in which he squares off against others in competitive pigeon racing. No, we're not making this up

  Animal Planet is doing a reality show with Mike Tyson focusing on the world of pigeon racing.

Really.

We kind of prefer the Animal Planet that did cute shows such as "Meerkat Manor." But now, apparently, every cable network needs slick, slightly provocative fare to survive — and so, this.

From the release:

Building on the success of the network’s rebrand and content transformation, Animal Planet has announced a new show with Mike Tyson, currently known as TAKING ON TYSON, where the former heavyweight champion of the world will take audiences inside the intensely competitive and bizarrely fascinating world of pigeon racing.

Slated to film this spring in New York City and debut in early 2011, the show will give audiences an insider’s look at pigeon rearing and racing, a sport that is far from the mainstream. The novice pigeon racer Tyson goes toe-to-toe against several individuals in hopes of being crowned a champ all over again.

Tyson has a deep passion for the birds and raised pigeons all his life. In fact his first-ever fight as a child was in defense of his birds. But this show will follow his first foray into racing them competitively. So for the first time in years, Tyson enters a sport as an underdog.

“I’m honored to be a part of this monumental show on Animal Planet,” said Tyson. “I feel a great pride acting as an official representative for all the pigeon fancier’s out there. I want people to see why we love these birds. It feels good returning to the rooftops of the city where it all started for me – New York.”

TAKING ON TYSON was created and produced by Touch Productions in association with Tyrannic Productions for Animal Planet. Malcolm Brinkworth is the executive producer for Touch Productions, Mike Tyson is the executive producer with Tyrannic Productions, and Jason Carey is the executive producer for Animal Planet. Charlie Foley is vice president of development for Animal Planet.