Apparently it started as a long-standing university research project and someone realized they could get a TV show out of it.
I remember seeing a commercial for the show where they rattled off a bunch of critic responses to it, one of which stated it was "the answer to the Sopranos". Um...what? A hugely popular drama based on a crime lord is being surpassed by a documentary about African wildlife? The hell?
I think the critic was referring to the Whiskers' inter-group feuding and cutthroat internal politics. The meerkats may not carry concealed weapons, but the Sopranos never went so far as to eat their rivals' kids, so who's nastier isn't clear.
The whole part where they strongly implied if not outright stated that Sophie was the daughter of Flower. Note that near the beginning of the first season, Mozart gives birth to Sophie, and that becomes a key plot point in how Mozart's treated. I mean, did the new scriptwriters even try to look at the old script? Let's not get started on them reusing the name "Sparkle" (it was the name of Sophie's littermate who died in the first season. The name was used again for a briefly-mentioned meerkat in season three). I think the worst part is that everyone else thought the new narrator was a much more pressing problem to complain about than these huge continuity errors.
What's wrong with reusing a name, exactly?
See I thought it was the researchers giving the Merekats the names not the program-makers.
The researchers gave them names for purposes of their studies, but the show re-named some of the animals for purposes of the narration.
Shakespeare just disappeared? You'd think in a crowded hole like that somebody would have seen what happened.
What? Shakespeare didn't disappear, he died protecting the burrow at the end of season one, didn't he?
Yeah, but for some reason, they couldn't confirm it. Never found the body, apparently. Considering how fans were reacting to it, especially since they used it as the big Cliffhanger at the end of the first season... They opted for invoking the trope and letting viewers believe what they wanted. Even though that didn't really offer closure...
Well, they could hardly expect the meerkats to stick to a script, could they?
This troper is horribly bugged by the fact that most of the show is faked, so many different meerkats die, get evicted or go missing and get replaced, no mentions of it. In fact, the REAL Sophie died during the botched burrow move and her sister Tina Sparkle replaced her, then Tina, due to her eviction was replaced by Finn who also got evicted before being replaced by Ella, Flower's daughterand many more events of this, without mention, just for the sake of drama. It bugs me horribly.
It kind of shatters the positive view this troper had of the show. I watched it when I was a child and I loved the show but reading about how much of it was fake makes me terribly sad.