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Animal Planet's HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN' to Return 7/29

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Ditch the rod and reel this summer because Skipper Bivins and Trent Jackson are back in action and ready to give fresh noodling newbies a shot at HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN'. Animal Planet, the first network to introduce viewers to noodling, where participants must dive into murky waters to dig out monster-sized catfish, heats up this summer with the second season of HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN'.

Last season, HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN' set the summer ablaze as one of cable's biggest hits (and best TV title ever); now, HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN' returns Sunday, July 29, at 8 PM (et/pt) with a seven-episode run and is sure to crank up the temperature with a crazier cast of city slickers who are ready to take the hillbilly plunge to a whole-new level.

When HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN' debuted, it made a huge splash, showcasing this southern style of fishing and surprising viewers with the concept that city slickers jump at the chance to get rural with Oklahoma's most famous hillbillies. This show, which amassed a cult following of fans, even has celebrities like Joel McHale and Kristin Chenoweth going gaga for handfishin' and has become part of pop-culture vernacular. This season, HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN' becomes more competitive; in each episode, expert hand fishermen Skipper and Jackson choose two team captains among the group of six newbies, who haven't the faintest idea how to catch catfish with nothing but their bare hands and feet. Stakes are raised as mud is thrown quite figuratively and literally (there's some jovial trash talking), and teams are rewarded points based upon the size of the caught fish.

In a series event sure to make viewers hoot and holler, Skipper and Jackson are excited to teach the city slickers what it means to get down and dirty in Oklahoma. This season, the catfish await the following couples:

· Chuck, a newbie from a rural Iowa town of only 120 people, brings his mother-in-law, Mari Jane, who is determined to prove that despite her age she's ready to get bit.

· Cleveland hunters Dusty and Dena describe themselves as bad-ass women and think catching catfish is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Do Skipper and Jackson prove them wrong?

· Can an almighty power guide mega-church pastors Tim and Tom, of Morristown, NJ, to snare the biggest fish out there?

· Ballroom dancers Mike and Alex, of Livingston, NJ, by way of Russia and Ukraine, have competed against each other for years. Can their poise, discipline and grace hold up in a hillbilly-sort-of tango?

· Baton Rouge hairstylists Nicole and Corey have been married for two years. They're excited to get their hands, feet and even their hair wet down in Oklahoma this summer.

· Miami beauty queens Lissette and Michelle sure can rock the stage in their bikinis, but are they willing to remove their pageant sashes when they plunge into murky waters?

HILLBILLY HANDFISHIN' is produced by Half YaRD Productions for Animal Planet. Sean Gallagher and Abby Greensfelder are executive producers for Half YaRD Productions. Keith Hoffman is executive producer for Animal Planet.

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