Former “Home & Family” co-host Mark Steines has been set as the host of Nat Geo’s upcoming “Animal ER Live,” the cable network said Thursday. This marks the TV journalist’s first small-screen job since he was abruptly ousted from Hallmark Channel last June.
Here’s the official logline for “Animal ER Live,” which premieres March 30:
Capturing the fast-paced drama and intensity of a hospital procedural mixed with the unbreakable bonds between pets and their owners, each episode of Animal ER Live will trail teams of emergency veterinarians and specialists as they work tirelessly through the night to save the lives of our pets from coast to coast, giving viewers insight into the extraordinary and unpredictable world of urgent animal care. The series will also follow a wide range of touching cases in emergency rooms and waiting rooms, and accompany on-call vets to homes and farms to treat animals that are too sick or too big to travel.
“I’m thrilled to partner with Nat Geo WILD and Big Fish Entertainment on this exciting new series that highlights the amazing work of those who have dedicated their lives to helping animals,” said Steines. “As an animal lover and advocate myself, I’m looking forward to showcasing the realities, drama and heartwarming moments these urgent care teams face on a daily basis as they work tirelessly to save the lives of animals in need.”
Per Nat Geo, “Animal ER Live” will feature Steines and veterinary experts Dr. Justine Lee and Dr. Will Draper throughout the night, “giving commentary on what audiences are seeing in real time as cameras bounce to and from the featured animal hospitals and mobile vet emergency units in Boston, Massachusetts; Portland, Oregon; Charleston, South Carolina; Plainfield, Illinois; Kanab, Utah; Fort Bragg, California; and Waller, Texas.”
At the time of Steines’ ousting from “Home & Family” last June, Hallmark Channel clarified exclusively to TheWrap that there were no complaints about the “Entertainment Tonight” alum’s behavior on or off the set before it suddenly cut ties with the veteran anchor after six years and that the show was simply choosing to go in a different direction. He was replaced by Cameron Mathison in July.
Last September, Steines filed a lawsuit against Hallmark parent company Crown Media, alleging that he was fired after supporting two women who brought sexual-harassment claims against the series’ executive producer at the time, Woody Fraser. Crown Media quickly responded to the suit, stating it had “no merit” and that the decision to replace Steines was due to declining ratings.
“Animal ER Live” airs Saturday and Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT, for four weeks, premiering Saturday, March 30 on Nat Geo.