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"Going Ape" (TV show) is a reality series on the National Geographic Channel.

Do apes and humans have the same way of flirting and trying to hook up? Do men meeting for the first time look classically like chimpanzees establishing dominance? And do children sneaking candy parallel chimps deceiving their alpha male? Six million years ago, we branched off from the family tree we share with our ape cousins and monkey uncles. We may have evolved since then, but there's still an ape in all of us ... .

This series looks to our primate predecessors to understand human interaction and social dynamics. Not only do humans share 98 percent of our genetic code with our closest ape relatives, we also share some of the same inherent basic instincts. This revealing, often comic three-part series explores humans' daily battles for power, territory, sex and allegiance with that of our monkey cousins through humorous experiments, hidden camera footage, wildlife footage and expert analysis.

First, we'll learn that finding a mate in the primate world isn't all that different than "hooking up" in our own urban jungle. The series looks at the human dating world and compares it with primates' courtship and mating rituals. See how a guy checking out a girl by stealing glances at her chest or bottom, and a woman subtly looking at a man with flirting eyes and a slight smile, can be surprisingly similar to how our ape friends act.

And it doesn't stop there. In the ape world, males are programmed to respond to fertile females; as it turns out, the same goes for the human world. Similar to the way a female ape's rump will swell and redden when she is ovulating, a woman's lips and cheeks get pinker, and even her smell changes. Evolutionary psychologist Dr. Miriam Law Smith invited a group of men to demonstrate that, just like apes, we can't help but be attracted to those subtle signs of fertility. Surprisingly, 100 percent of the test subjects were more attracted to the scent of an ovulating identical twin, compared with that of her non-ovulating sister.

Then, check out the experiments that are designed to bring out the inner alpha ape in unsuspecting "average Joes." Primatologist Charlotte Uhlenbrooke explains that "the most fundamental thing that any individual can do to increase their status is to look bigger." Comparing wildlife footage of a troop of chimpanzees to hidden camera footage of a group of men meeting for the first time, see the fascinating similarities as the chimpanzees raise their hair to look bigger and the men unknowingly broaden their shoulders, hold their heads higher and make bold eye contact to establish dominance in the first seconds of meeting.

Finally, it doesn't matter if you've got a million Twitter followers or just 50 friends on Facebook — our desire to be popular comes from an instinctive need to be liked. By observing two young interns who think that they are applying to work for a rock star, see how primal social climbing, grooming and deception are used from day to day. Likewise, hidden cameras in a classroom catch schoolchildren sneaking candy while the teacher is not looking, just like a group of chimps try to get what they want when an alpha male's back is turned.

By observing the primate world and setting up near identical social experiments with humans, "Going Ape" explores the root of our basic behavior: our inner ape.

"Going Ape" is produced by Blink Entertainment Ltd for National Geographic Channel. For Blink, executive producer is Justine Kershaw; series producer is Matt J. Smith; and producer/director is Matthew Gillbe. For National Geographic Channel, executive producers are Ed Sayer and Richard J. Wells; vice president of production and development is Charlie Parsons; and president is Howard T. Owens.


Network: National Geographic Channel
Genre: Reality
Runtime: 60 mins.
Premiere Date: May 12, 2013
Seasons: 1
Production Company: Blink Entertainment Ltd.

"Going Ape" (TV show) scene with George Sawyer and Kelly Anne with ape actor 'Going Ape' Starts the Monkey Business — Premiering Monday, May 13, the new NGC reality series uses humorous hidden camera experiments and expert analysis to compare humans and apes side-by-side in sex, fame, power struggles and more. Read more...

Got Going Ape spoilers? What did you think of the last show?

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