[04/02/09 - 12:30 PM]
The Wondrous, the Adventurous, the Curious; Discovery Channel's 2009-10 Upfront Slate Is Filled with Captivating Series and Specials

[via press release from Discovery]


(New York, NY)�Discovery Channel announces a bold Upfront slate with specials and series that illuminate nonfiction television's brightest minds and most captivating talent. The network's high-quality slate combines blockbuster natural history programming, returning favorites and mind-bending explorations of our cosmos.

"Discovery Channel is laser focused on creating the most exciting content you can find on any platform," said John Ford, president and general manager, Discovery Channel. "We ensure our leadership position by continuing to provide innovative and captivating stories that keep our audiences coming back for more."

The highlights of Discovery Channel's 2009�2010 Upfront schedule include the following:



It's America's last frontier. Twice the size of Texas with mountain ranges, forests and tundra that offer some of the largest stretches of wilderness, and some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. However, wild predators, violent storms, and below freezing temperatures make Alaska a very dangerous place to live, and explain why so much of the land has yet to be explored. ALASKA WEEK brings viewers as close as imaginably possible with special Alaska editions of some of Discovery's favorite series as well specials that explore the breadth and depth of this vast terrain.


Can you picture our cities millions of years ago? Mammoths marching down New York's Fifth Avenue, car-sized armadillos decimating downtown Dallas and giant mega-sharks patrolling the waters of our nation's capital. It's not sci-fi fantasy, it's our history. This is BEFORE AMERICA, the ultimate guide to de-evolution. With a compelling, creative mix of special effects and meticulous research, BEFORE AMERICA reveals the extinct creatures that once called our cities home, taking viewers on a fantastic journey in rewind to a place of ferocious beasts and startling topography.


The Emmy�-award winning HD program returns with all new locales exploring the essence of the world's most colorful and unique regions. Expanding on its first season, the specials reveal Africa's stunning Great Rift Valley, the Mediterranean and the Hawaiian Islands using CGI and 4D to time travel forwards and backwards. Whether it's showing mountains form or going deep into the Earth's core, DISCOVERY ATLAS connects the geological to the historical, the meteorological to the personal, presenting an unparalleled portrait of some of Earth's most interesting locations.


How is the universe put together? How is it built? And how does it actually work? Our cosmos is a fascinating place. It's so finely balanced�so finely "engineered"�that its existence is a feat unto itself. With a cast of experts and eye-popping CGI, ENGINEERING THE UNIVERSE looks under the celestial hood to tell the greatest story of all�where we came from. This is your ultimate guide to the cosmos.


From the Emmy�-award winning team that brought you the critically acclaimed PLANET EARTH comes LIFE. From the small but mighty to the gargantuan yet ingenious, this is the definitive exploration of earth's most spectacular living creatures. LIFE captures stories that reveal the world's most spectacular and fascinating animal behavior. Driven by the endless struggle to survive, wildlife is filmed on every continent and in every habitat across the world, with each drama-filled episode entirely dedicated to one of the planet's 10 most important wildlife groups.


Imagine the most ferocious animals of all time reconstructed to reveal their awesome size, intriguing anatomy and most of all, terrifying power. MEGA BEASTS reconstructs the incredible creatures that once roamed our planet, using fossil remains and mechanical demonstrations to illustrate their formidable largesse. From the Argentinasaurus, the biggest dinosaur ever, whose multiple hearts pumped blood all the way up its 40-foot long neck to the Megalodon's monstrous eight-foot jaws of terror, these once extinct titans will come forward into the modern world.


Explore the power and the beauty of our planet's natural phenomenon. RAGING PLANET 2 returns to the scene of the spectacular, traveling to the ends of the earth with all new footage of eruptions, storms, floods and fire. These events continue to shape our natural world, but how and why? RAGING PLANET 2 illustrates how these forces with their power and magnitude are part of a larger picture of interdependence. See how these violent forces of nature have shaped our earth through the ages and how they are still to be reckoned with even today.


More than 20 years after writing the groundbreaking A Brief History of Time, Discovery Channel delves into the mind of the world's most famous living scientist and reveals the splendor and majesty of the universe as never seen before. Hawking will offer a fresh perspective on the mysteries of the cosmos, charting the history of the universe, from the awe-inspiring energy of the big bang to the end of time itself. Accessible and entertaining, STEPHEN HAWKING'S UNIVERSE tackles some of the greatest mysteries of the cosmos�How did the universe begin and how will it end? Are we alone? And is time travel possible?


Every summer they return, slashing through a sea of competition to rack up new ratings successes. Grab the scuba gear and climb into the cage, because it's time for SHARK WEEK! Great whites. Hammerheads. Whale sharks. This consistent audience pleaser never fails to reveal remarkable new insights into these magnificent and elusive creatures.


With the underwater technologies that put viewers in the front seat of the exploration, TREASURE QUEST reveals the history and mystery of some of the most legendary shipwrecks of all time. Odyssey Marine Exploration's team of scientists, engineers, historians, and technicians all have one goal in mind -- to find and recover lost treasures scattered among thousands of centuries-old shipwrecks -- and become rich in the process.



Alaskan crab-wranglers fight the most dangerous working conditions, including 40-foot waves and 80-mile-per-hour winds, in the gripping 10-part series DEADLIEST CATCH. Far in the Bering Sea's frigid waters, 250 boats tempt fate and nature in "The Last Rodeo" season trying to bring in a season's catch of the highly coveted and lucrative Alaskan king crab.


Host and everyman Mike Rowe gets the grimy scoop on downright nasty, but vital, occupations in DIRTY JOBS. Rowe could be processing smelly seafood in a fish factory, collecting bat guano for prized fertilizer or cleaning septic tanks to maintain a fresh-smelling environment. His apprenticeship never ends as he learns from those who keep our world running smoothly.


Adventurer Bear Grylls is put to the ultimate test. Left in the middle of nowhere, Grylls employs his encyclopedic knowledge of nature to scavenge for food and keep his body in order. Headache? Grylls searches for pain-relieving plants. Hunger? He eats maggots in the Rocky Mountains or a fresh-killed zebra on Africa's savanna. No matter the climate or locale, Grylls is up to the task.


Back and better than ever, MYTHBUSTERS continues its mad scientific quest to discover the truth behind popular myths and urban legends. Hosted by quirky special effects experts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, this mentally tantalizing series takes on the myths and uses modern-day science to show what's real and what's fiction.


Changing weather patterns, colliding air masses and 700,000 square miles of flatland create the ideal conditions for storm chasing. It's become the annual rite of spring for a motley collection of scientists, enthusiasts and eccentrics. Follow extreme filmmaker Sean Casey and thrill-seeking meteorologist Reed Timmer on the trail of Mother Nature's deadliest and most violent creations.


The invisible becomes visible as MIT scientist and engineer Jeff Lieberman reveals our world in astonishing and spectacular new ways by radically changing the lens of time. Time bending and mind blowing, the series enables viewers to see and appreciate things that are normally beyond our senses because they take place much too quickly or slowly. A punch to the face, the break of a matchstick�each frame will tell an extraordinary story of what really is happening.


One family. Thousands of acres. Endless challenges to keeping their business afloat. Meet the Pelletiers�nine brothers balancing family feuds with nature's harsh realities as they timber harvest in Maine's rural northwest backcountry. Throughout the year, the Pelletier brothers run monster trucks along the legendary logging route known as the "Golden Road," a desolate thruway serving as sole passage between the farthest outskirts of rural civilization and a breathtaking unconquered wilderness that constitutes the single largest swath of unprotected forest east of the Mississippi.


Did you know 99% of the world's corn harvest is inedible? Or that wheat can (and does) often explode?! Or that the sides of a beer can are thinner than a human hair? We're surrounded by a world we take for granted. The real stories about the commodities that fill our lives and how they work are fascinating tales, filled with amazing and unexpected details. From the ground to your table, car, closet, medicine cabinet and places you may have never imagined find out HOW STUFF WORKS.

About Discovery Channel

DISCOVERY CHANNEL (DSC) is dedicated to creating the highest quality nonfiction content that informs and entertains its consumers about the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. The network, which reaches 98.1 million viewers in the United States, can be seen in over 170 countries, 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 of the people, places and organizations that shape and share our world. For more information, please visit www.discovery.com.

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications is the world's number-one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 170 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Science Channel, Investigation Discovery and HD Theater, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. Discovery Communications is owned by Discovery Holding Company (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, Discovery's founder and chairman. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.

  [april 2009]  


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