Whitesburg KY

Animal Planet will re-run first 4 ‘Snake Man’ shows

Four episodes of “Snake Man of Appalachia” will re-run next week on the cable channel Animal Planet.

Keith Hoffman, executive producer for Animal Planet, said the network will air the first episode of the reality show featuring Letcher County snake handler Verlin Short and his family at 5 p.m. on March 19. The episode, entitled “Church and Snake,” premiered on Animal Planet January 12.

The second episode, “Fire on the Mountain,” will air at 5 p.m. on March 20. The third episode, “Homecoming,” will be televised at 5 p.m. on March 21, and the fourth episode, “A House Divided,” will be shown at 5 p.m. on March 22.

Hoffman said Animal Planet has still not decided when to air final two episodes of the series, which was put on hold early in February. He said the re-airings are a chance for those who missed the first episodes to catch up on the series while air dates are being set for the remaining shows.

“ It won’t be a tremendous amount of time,” said Hoffman. “It will happen.”

The reality show depicts Short, of Pine Creek at Mayking, as an out-of-work coal miner struggling to find a job to provide for his wife, Reva, and their four children, Denishea, Wanda, and twins Jeremiah and Mackenzie. Verlin Short attends church services where snakes are handled and catches copperheads and rattlesnakes in eastern Kentucky and West Virginia.

Hoffman said the show fits in with Animal Planet’s “Surprisingly Human” brand.

Hoffman said there still has been no decision made on whether there will be a second season of “Snake Man of Appalachia.” He said that answer depends on whether there is a strong enough interest in the show.

Dan Sexton, executive producer of “Snake Man of Appalachia,” met Verlin Short in 2002 while producing a documentary about snake handling for the Travel Channel. Sexton, owner of Dan Sexton Media in Corte Madera, Calif., decided there is public interest in the religious ritual and wanted to further explore the topic as well as introduce the Short family to the world.

A film crew first shot footage in Letcher County of the Short family for the pilot episode in the spring of 2010. Animal Planet ordered five more episodes and the sevenperson film crew came back to Letcher County in the fall of 2010 to shoot the extra footage. At the time of filming, Denishea was 16, Wanda was 13, and twins Jeremiah and Mackenzie were eight.

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