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Investigation Discovery has a 'Tiger King' miniseries sequel in the works

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, feeds a tiger

Joseph Maldonado-Passage, aka Joe Exotic, feeds a tiger in an episode of Netflix's "Tiger King." Credit: Netflix

The cable network Investigation Discovery is producing a miniseries sequel to the Netflix documentary hit "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness."

"Viewers are understandably riveted by Netflix's 'Tiger King,' but the millions of true-crime fans around the world were left wanting more," Discovery Inc. executive Henry Schleiff said in a statement Tuesday. "ID is the perfect place to find the inevitable sequel to this drama — featuring a missing husband, a hit man, and the illegal business of exotic animals."

A Discovery spokeswoman separately told Newsday that the planned sequel, "Investigating the Strange World of Joe Exotic," will be "a limited series with an anticipated 2020 premiere."

The Netflix miniseries "Tiger King," which premiered all seven episodes on March 20, follows Joseph "Joe Exotic" Maldonado-Passage, then-owner of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park, aka G.W. Zoo, in Wynnewood, Oklahoma.

Last April, he was convicted on charges including murder for hire after paying an undercover FBI agent $3,000 to kill animal activist Carole Baskin, proprietor of the Florida sanctuary Big Cat Rescue and a frequent and vocal critic of Maldonado-Passage. Under the name Joe Schreibvogel, he had lost a nearly $1 million trademark-infringement lawsuit to her in 2013. Sentenced this January to 22 years in prison for hiring the hit man and other charges, Maldonado-Passage is appealing his conviction.

The Netflix documentary also focuses on the 1997 disappearance of Baskin's multimillionaire husband Don Lewis, and speculates on Baskin's possible involvement in the cold case. Baskin has repeatedly rebutted those suspicions throughout the years, including in a March 31 essay on her organization's website, where she additionally took the "Tiger King" producers to task for alleged sensationalism and misleading implications.

The Discovery statement said its miniseries, being produced by reality-TV specialist Conveyor Media, will ask "What skeletons is Joe still hiding within his untold past? Is his conviction truly justified? Who is Jeff Lowe," an investor in G.W. Zoo who is moving the park elsewhere and rebranding it the Oklahoma Zoo, "and what does the FBI really know? What secrets lie hidden within Doc Antle's walls?," referring to South Carolina wildlife-park owner Bhagavan Antle, who appears in the Netflix documentary and has called it "sensationalized entertainment."

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