Discovery Channel Announces 2016-2017 Upfront Programming Slate
Discovery Returns with an Ambitious Lineup of 22 Returning Series and 20 New Ones
(New York, NY) - Today, Discovery Channel unveiled the primetime programming slate for the 2016-2017 television season. Discovery has an ambitious lineup of 22 returning series and 20 new ones.
New series include COOPER'S TREASURE, SACRED STEEL, THE WHEEL and Deadliest Catch spinoff DEADLIEST CATCH: DUNGEON COVE that will follow the brave fisherman in Newport, Oregon who risk their lives at sea as well as the families left on shore. On the heels of the global broadcast of RACING EXTINCTION - cable's most-watched documentary in more than three years - the network will launch DISCOVERY IMPACT. This groundbreaking anthology series will focus on mankind's impact on the environment and the impact that individuals can have in solving the world's most pressing global issues.
In addition to the highly-anticipated mini-series HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS, Discovery announced it will premiere a new scripted project called MANIFESTO that tracks how FBI agent Jim "Fitz" Fitzgerald brought down Ted Kaczynski, the "Unabomber," through his pioneering work in forensic linguistics.
SHARK WEEK returns after finishing as the highest-rated week ever. Other tentpole programming will include ELEVATION WEEKEND, anchored by critically-acclaimed documentary film SHERPA; as well as returning favorites including monster survival hit NAKED AND AFRAID and its spinoff NAKED AND AFRAID XL, 16-time Emmy(R) Award-winning series DEADLIEST CATCH, Discovery's first-ever true crime series KILLING FIELDS, Discovery's highest rated series GOLD RUSH as well as hit series BERING SEA GOLD and TREASURE QUEST, among others.
"Discovery had a record-breaking 2015. We are up among millennials and double digits with women, Hispanic and African American audiences," said Rich Ross, Group President of Discovery, Animal Planet and Science Channel. "I believe this current slate of programming will continue to build the brand and attract an even more diverse audience."
Discovery Channel's 2016-2017 programming schedule highlights include:
NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES/SPECIALS
COOPER'S TREASURE - COOPER'S TREASURE is a new documentary series that tells the incredible story of a legendary astronaut's secret treasure map he began from space. In the 1960s, Gordon "Gordo" Cooper was considered one of NASA's original space pioneers and broke the record for the longest space flight onboard Faith 7. While on the mission, he discovered something incredible. Working for decades in secret, Gordon created a map based on his findings from space, which he believed could uncover billions of dollars-worth of treasure. Before passing away, Gordon shared his secret with his long-time friend Darrell Miklos, including files full of meticulous research with the hope that his exploration would continue and the treasure would ultimately be found. Darrell is now setting out with a team of seasoned explorers and researchers to uncover treasure and once and for all accomplish Gordon's long-held dream. (Ample)
DEADLIEST CATCH: DUNGEON COVE - From the creators of multiple Emmy(R) Award-winning series Deadliest Catch comes DEADLIEST CATCH: DUNGEON COVE, a new series that explores the lives of fishing families and the sacrifices they make to survive. Newport, Oregon is one of the last remaining fishing towns along the edge of the notoriously violent 'Graveyard of the Pacific' that stretches from Oregon to British Columbia. Here, generations of Dungeness crab fishermen and their families sacrifice everything that they have, including life itself, to carve an existence from the sea. DEADLIEST CATCH: DUNGEON COVE premieres in Fall 2016. (Original Productions)
SACRED STEEL - SACRED STEEL joins the network's iconic Motor Mondays line-up and will take viewers inside one of the most exclusive and unusual bike clubs in the world that produces one-of-a-kind pieces of art. Jason Wilson opened shop with Sacred Steel over a decade ago and never looked back, crafting custom fabricated high-end choppers and painstakingly restoring American classics. From humble beginnings, Jason and his motley crew of misfit friends honed their mechanical skills and founded Douche Larouche, now a full-fledged institution, complete with bylaws, regular meetings and in chapters across the country and around the globe. Club members range from noteworthy fabricators and childhood friends to highly connected icons in the world of underground bikes. All their joking aside, the club is a tight-knit brotherhood with members having everybody's back and having the time of their lives creating jaw-dropping modern classic motorcycles in the process. (Half Yard Productions)
THE WHEEL - Survivalists go head-to-head against the world's most unforgiving climates and each other in the new adventure series THE WHEEL. While most survival shows feature just one or two extreme environments, THE WHEEL demands that participants conquer eight distinctly grueling landscapes across the world, each requiring a completely different set of survival skills. With each turn of the Wheel, survivalists must tackle the planet's most unforgiving terrains - including freezing tundra, parched deserts, rugged mountains and steam jungles - one immediately after another, with little time to prepare what few tools and materials they have. (Pilgrim Media Group)
NEW DOCUMENTARY SERIES 'DISCOVERY IMPACT'
This year, Discovery introduced DISCOVERY IMPACT at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Top documentary filmmakers from around the globe will shine their spotlight on crucial conservation stories to enlighten society on the most pressing environmental issues of today. The groundbreaking documentaries featured in this new series will focus on humankind's impact on the environment and what individuals and society as a whole can do to solve some of the largest problems facing the planet. Three films that will air as specials under the DISCOVERY IMPACT banner include SONIC SEA, TOUCAN NATION and DROUGHT (working title).
SONIC SEA - SONIC SEA highlights the continued emergence of noise pollution in our oceans and those working to prevent its harmful effects on our marine wildlife. Directed by Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld, SONIC SEA travels beneath the ocean's surface to uncover the damaging consequences of increased ocean noise pollution and what can be done to prevent the extinction of some of the largest creatures on Earth. Narrated by Rachel McAdams, and featuring interviews with marine ecologists, ocean life experts, and wildlife activists, including Sting, the film highlights how noise from both commercial and government ships and other sources, has affected whales in recent years, including the mass stranding of whales around the planet. The good news is that this is a form of pollution that can be stopped, as long as society has "the political will to solve it." (Natural Resources Defense Council in association with Imaginary Forces and International Fund for Animal Welfare)
TOUCAN NATION follows the uplifting story of Grecia, a toucan whose unconscionable abuse sparked international outrage and inspired a national animal welfare movement. Seeking to right a wrong and improve the life of this helpless bird after his beak was mutilated and he was left to die in the Costa Rican countryside, animal rescuers and veterinarians enlist a team of volunteer experts including 3D-printing engineers to design and construct a prosthetic beak. At the same time, a committed group of activists wage a battle to implement penalties for animal cruelty, motivated by the notion that every life - whether wild or human - is inherently valuable and must be protected. Directed by Emmy(R)-winner Paula Heredia, (In Memoriam: New York City,) TOUCAN NATION chronicles each step of the journey as they Zooave animal refuge works to save this beautiful bird and activists across Costa Rica rally to bring about lasting change. (Heredia Pictures in association with Alpha Channel Productions)
DROUGHT (working title) - From five Academy(R) Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman ("Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt,") Barbara Kopple ("Harlan County, U.S.A.") Alan and Susan Raymond, (I Am A Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School") and Sundance award-winning director Jesse Moss ("The Overnighters,"), the film looks at the water crisis in the West affecting 40% of the U.S. population. Presented in association with ProPublica who published Abrahm Lustgarten's series "Killing the Colorado," DROUGHT (working title) presents surprising stories that reveal the causes and consequences of our water disaster-in-the-making and proposes some innovative solutions. DROUGHT (working title) debuts on Thursday, August 4 exclusively on Discovery Channel. (Telling Pictures in Association with the Studios for Discovery Channel)
HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS - Based on a true story, HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS will tell the story of how Milwaukee schoolyard pals William (Bill) Harley and Arthur Davidson built - and rode - the machines that rule the road. Beginning at the turn of the 20th century, at the shores of Lake Michigan, the series charts the birth of Harley-Davidson during a time of great social and technological change and tells the epic story of how two 19-year-old kids from Milwaukee started a company in their backyard that would go on to become an American legend. (Raw Television)
MANIFESTO - Ted Kaczynski, also known as the "Unabomber," terrified the nation over the span of 20 years from the 1980s through the early 1990s. A new scripted series from Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti's Trigger Street with the pilot script from writer Andrew Sodroski, MANIFESTO will tell the story of how the FBI brought down one of the most infamous criminal masterminds in the world from the point of view of an FBI profiler. The series will trace how FBI Agent Jim "Fitz" Fitzgerald challenged the "old school" ways with his radical new approach to intelligence gathering. Prior to Fitzgerald's involvement, the profile of the perpetrator took a completely different direction. Fitzgerald had training as a profiler, but it was his focus on linguistics that became vital to breaking the case. He believed that the key to unlocking the true identity of the Unabomber would be found in the language of The Manifesto, a detailed account of some of Kaczynski's plots. (Trigger Street Productions)
SHARK WEEK - SHARK WEEK is back and bigger than ever before! The 29th Annual SHARK WEEK, television's longest running and most anticipated summer event, makes a huge splash this summer with all-new compelling and jaw-dropping shark stories and shark technology. This year, SharkCam dives deeper than ever before and follows giant great whites into the dark ocean to record never-before-seen behaviors. For the first time ever, sharks will face off with dolphins, seals, crocodiles and even humans, as one science team finds themselves surrounded by a gang of large tiger sharks. Discovery Channel is working with nearly two dozen of the world's most respected marine biologists and science institutions to reveal remarkable new insights into these magnificent creatures. Additionally, Discovery Channel will continue to draw attention to the threats currently facing sharks around the world through in-depth, multi-platform content produced in conjunction with conservation partnerships.
ELEVATION WEEKEND - This year, ELEVATION WEEKEND takes viewers to striking destinations, following men and women on their journey to conquer the elements. The centerpiece of the weekend is SHERPA, an intimate look at how Mount Everest's Sherpa community united in grief and anger to reclaim the mountain following the 2014 avalanche that killed 16 of its members. Featuring intimate access to members of the Sherpa community, their families, and Western adventurers who were getting ready to climb Mount Everest before the tragic event, film highlights this volatile time in the Everest climbing industry which served as a turning point for many of the Sherpas and their families as they considered whether to continue working on the mountain. SHERPA debuts on Saturday April 23 and will be preceded by an encore airing of "Valley Uprising." In addition, the weekend will consist of re-broadcasts of highly popular Discovery Channel programming including, North America and Dual Survival.
MOTOR MONDAYS is guaranteed appointment viewing for all-motor action and fun each Monday night for 52 weeks a year. Motor Mondays features all-new series including SACRED STEEL as well as returning favorites such as FAST N' LOUD, MISFIT GARAGE, STREET OUTLAWS, STREET OUTLAWS: NEW ORLEANS, among others.
Discovery Channel's series returning in 2016-2017 include: ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE (Park Slope Productions), ALASKA: THE LAST FRONTIER (Discovery Studios), BERING SEA GOLD (Original Productions), DEADLIEST CATCH (Original Productions), DIESEL BROTHERS (Magilla Entertainment), FAST N'LOUD (Pilgrim Media Group), GOLD RUSH (Raw Television), KILLING FIELDS (Sirens Media), MISFIT GARAGE (Pilgrim Media Group), NAKED AND AFRAID and NAKED AND AFRAID XL (Renegade 83), STREET OUTLAWS and STREET OUTLAWS: NEW ORLEANS (Pilgrim Media Group), TREASURE QUEST (MAK Pictures).
About Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel is dedicated to creating the highest quality non-fiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which is distributed to 100.8 million U.S. homes, can be seen in 224 countries and territories, offering a signature mix of compelling, high-end production values and vivid cinematography across genres including, science and technology, exploration, adventure, history and in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.