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[07/22/04 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Summer Press Tour: Discovery Networks
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The cable portion of the TCA's summer press tour began yesterday in which the networks outlined their plans for the 2004-05 season and beyond.

Here's the breakdown of Discovery Networks' presentation (via press release), which covers Animal Planet, Discovery Channel, Discovery Health Channel and TLC:

MYTHBUSTERS Is Back, Dissecting and Disproving Urban Legends for a Second Season

- Beginning This Fall, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman Continue to Demystify Modern Folklore by Applying Daring Stunts, Skepticism and Science -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- MYTHBUSTERS is back, continuing the methodical scientific mayhem from the first season, with hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman having a blast -- literally -- putting more urban legends to the test. MYTHBUSTERS offers up a slate of fall premieres, beginning Wednesday, September 29, from 8-9 PM.

Adam and Jamie use special effects, science and one very abused crash test dummy to show how many urban myths don't stand up to the test. Their combined 30 years of experience in animatronics, model building and prototyping, along with their pure passion for science -- from calculating terminal velocity, to measuring voltage -- arm Jamie and Adam with the ability to build and create anything they need to bust a myth.

The first fall premiere of season two, airing on Wednesday, September 29 from 8-9 PM, features Jamie and Adam reflecting on one of the world's oldest urban legends -- did the Greek scientist Archimedes set fire to a Roman fleet using only mirrors and sunlight? Then the guys try to remove the fetid funk of a skunk by testing a list of home remedies. If only they can get the skunk to spray. Lastly, Adam and Jamie find out if a bulletproof shield can really stop a direct hit from a bullet.

The second fall premiere, airing Wednesday, October 6 from 8-9 PM, have Adam and Jamie testing their luck in Elevator of Death. Is it true that someone trapped in a plummeting elevator can survive the fall if they jump in the air right before impact? Or will this experiment have disastrous consequences for Buster? For the second myth of the episode, Jamie and Adam each spearhead a team of crewmembers. Their challenge -- build a functional levitation device, using vacuum cleaner motors. Will their creations keep them afloat, or leave them flat on the ground?

Other myths put to the test include:

* Is it possible to salvage a sunken ship by filling it with ping-pong balls?

* Can a car be made speed radar-proof?

* Can a gust of wind carry a small child holding a large bunch of balloons outdoors?

* Does quicksand exist and do Hollywood's movie depictions of the substance hold true?

* Does metallic-based tattoo ink react in an MRI scan the way aluminum foil reacts in a microwave?

* Did the Confederate Army build an Intercontinental ballistic missile in 1865?

* Is there really a Chinese water torture -- will dropping water on person's forehead at a continuous and steady rate drive them insane?

MYTHBUSTERS is produced by Beyond Productions for the Discovery Channel. For Beyond Productions, John Luscombe and Peter Rees are executive producers. For the Discovery Channel, Judy Plavnick is executive producer.

Discovery Channel is one of the United States' largest cable television networks, serving 88.5 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, U.S., is a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Home, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA.

Look Who's Rolling Into Town Haul! Trading Spaces Designer Genevieve Gorder to Host New TLC Series

Jeffersonville, New York Tapped as First Destination for Nationwide Event

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- Pack up the pickup and leave your cell phone behind! Genevieve Gorder, the designer best known for bringing big changes to rooms on TLC's hit series TRADING SPACES, is embarking on a fantastic voyage through small town America that aims to turn the very idea of a small town upside down. And this is no simple road trip -- it's a multi-layered series bursting at the seams with rich characters, design know- how, and an inspiring look at the power of neighbors to connect and create change in their communities. Gorder serves as host for the new six-part series, TOWN HAUL, set to premiere in early 2005 on TLC.

In TOWN HAUL, Gorder tackles the biggest challenge of her career, not just redesigning a living room, family room, bedroom or den, but an entire town over a series of weeks. In an eye-popping television event, she will oversee a team of skilled designers, carpenters and craftspeople as they work alongside townspeople to re-imagine, re-paint, repair and restore small towns across the United States. In addition, Gorder will continue to appear as a designer on TRADING SPACES.

For the series' initial six-episode run, Jeffersonville, New York (population 500) serves as the backdrop for Gorder's vision as her team gives new life to buildings around town and brings renewed spirit to its citizens. From the village hall to the teen center, from storefronts along Main Street to houses on side streets, nothing is off-limits as TOWN HAUL offers a look at design inspired by what happens when small towns meet with the power of big ideas. The characters and stories in TOWN HAUL are all revealed over the course of an entire season, along with a new place to call home.

"Genevieve's exuberant spirit, fearlessness and humor are a perfect match for TOWN HAUL," Roger Marmet, general manager, TLC, said. "Her energy and creativity are sure to inspire both the townspeople featured and viewers alike to make change in their lives." He continued, "I'm thrilled that TRADING SPACES has made stars of its cast, and that Genevieve's new series will also be part of the TLC family."

Said Gorder, "For me, the most interesting part of design is the people. I wanted to do a show with people that needed more than just some paint on their walls. TLC has given me the chance to actually move into towns across the country and work with them to recreate their identity. From the baseball team to the church basement to Main Street, this new series is going to demonstrate the power of what design can really do in a very big way."

Online, viewers can go to Discovery.com and click on TLC to track the progress of the renovations seen on TOWN HAUL, meet the cast and townspeople and get ideas for their own TOWN HAUL-inspired projects.

TOWN HAUL is produced for TLC by True Entertainment; Terri Johnson is executive producer for TLC; Glenda Hersch and Steven Weinstock are executive producers for True Entertainment. TOWN HAUL is sponsored in part by Swiffer and The Home Depot.

TLC is the only television network that uses real-life storytelling to connect over 93 million viewers in North America to the breadth of the human experience. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA. Visit TLC on the web by going to http://www.discovery.com and clicking on TLC.

Struggling Small Businesses Undergo Big Changes in TLC's New Series TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

- Expert entrepreneurs help fledgling shops reinvent themselves for success in new series to premiere in October 2004 -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- From a corner bakery in North Carolina to a microbrewery in New York, behind every business lie the hopes, dreams and life savings of one person who risked it all to pursue the American dream. But behind the counter, sometimes sales don't add up to profits and store owners lose hope. So, what happens when the bills are stacking up and the thrill is gone?

A new TLC series hopes to move small businesses from "in the red" to "in the money." TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS, a new thirteen-episode series on TLC, tackles small business troubles in a big way, and sends a team of gurus -- equipped with fresh ideas and plenty of inspiration -- to identify problems, turn things around and help businesses live up to their best potential, and let their owners realize their dreams. Together, the "dream team" examines all aspects, from location and product offering to marketing and customer service. They present concrete ideas to help businesses be their best. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS is scheduled to premiere on TLC on Saturday, October 16 from 10-11 PM ET/PT.

Meet the fearless TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS team:

* Richard Laermer, a former journalist turned public relations guru whose specialty is building a buzz and creating hype; Laermer is CEO of RLM Public Relations and bestselling author of five books, including Full Frontal PR.

* Christina Manca, a veteran retailer and designer whose sense for merchandising and penchant for creating eye-catching visuals helped drive sales at Macy's and Victoria's Secret among others.

* Mitch Kates, a management maven, strategic consultant and principal at Kurt Salmon Associates in New York, who helped bring brand strategy techniques and discipline to many major U.S. and global corporations including Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Levi Strauss and Co. and Calvin Klein.

* Mark Becker, whose "go with your gut" philosophy helped him make the company he founded, Max and Mina's Ice Cream into a nationally distributed brand of exotic gourmet ice cream and a multimillion dollar ice cream empire.

In the TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS premiere episode, the "dream team" works to resuscitate American Terrain Outdoors of White Plains, N.Y. Founded in 1993 by Manny Polloni, the store offers customers rugged outdoor clothing and equipment. Sadly, the great outdoors doesn't always bring business indoors. The problem? No brand identity, Manny's micro-management, and a kayak showroom dubbed "The Dungeon" by customers and employees.

Reviewing hidden camera footage of the store, the TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS team issues a small business S.O.S., implementing new customer service procedures, crafting a new logo, signage, and eye-catching window displays including a rock-climbing wall, and creating an in-store layout that gives the space more energy and a fresh look. The team also tackles "The Dungeon," adding greenery, a faux-lawn floor, a wall mural and arranging the product offering in a way that doesn't scare customers away. The team also focuses on creating more of an in-store experience and gives a lesson in how to reach the local media with low-cost PR and buzz. When American Terrain Outdoors reopens its doors, will its professional overhaul bring prosperity?

In 2003, there were approximately 23.7 million small businesses in the United States.* Sometimes a small business can take off and change the world. Krispy Kreme, Starbucks and Apple Computer are all living proof that giant corporations can begin as small businesses. But, more than half of all small business fail within their first five years.* TLC's new series TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS will capture the spirit of the American dream embodied by these businesses and help them achieve their own success.

Online, viewers can go to Discovery.com and click on TLC for more information about the featured businesses, see dramatic befores and afters of each, find out more about the "dream team" and apply to have their own favorite businesses featured.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS is produced by Granada for TLC; Michael Klein is executive producer for TLC; Neil Cohen is executive producer for Granada. TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS is sponsored in part by VISA.

TLC is the only television network that uses real-life storytelling to connect over 93 million viewers in North America to the breadth of the human experience. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC AMERICA. Visit TLC on the web by going to http://www.discovery.com and clicking on TLC.

The Discovery Times Channel and Wild Eyes Productions Announce Original Documentary Based on Mark Bowden's Forthcoming Book, GUESTS OF THE AYATOLLAH

Mark Bowden, Author of 'Black Hawk Down,' Travels to Iran to Produce Four-Part Series Investigating the Iran Hostage Crisis

LOS ANGELES, July 22 -- Twenty-five years after the hostage crisis in Iran, Mark Bowden, the acclaimed author of 'Black Hawk Down' and 'Killing Pablo,' travels to Iran for a definitive look back at one of the most dramatic international incidents of the 20th century. Based on Bowden's new book, 'Guests of the Ayatollah,' this world premiere documentary features an intense, moment-by-moment account of the events from both the hostages and their Iranian captors. A four-part mini-series, GUESTS OF THE AYATOLLAH premieres on Discovery Times Channel in 2005.

EPISODE ONE: ABUSE FROM THE WEST
The series begins with the unthinkable: an American Embassy and all of its personnel are about to fall into the hands of an enraged mob of militant Islamic students. From the CIA coup to install the Shah, to the bloody repression of Islamic dissent by notorious SAVAK secret police, to the Ayatollah's flamboyant return from exile, Bowden delves into the history of Iran's relationship with the United States. This first episode also sheds light on President Carter's decision to allow the reviled Shah to enter the U.S. -- the catalyst to world-altering events.

EPISODE TWO: THE CRISIS ESCALATES
The second installment of GUESTS OF THE AYATOLLAH continues the story of captivity and takes viewers deep inside the Washington scene with President Carter and behind the scenes at the CIA headquarters. Bowden explores how this event began to destroy the administration and uncovers the clandestine intelligence-gathering missions inside Iran. Viewers witness the bold rescue plans, including a dramatic escape aided by Canadian diplomats and the formation of the top secret Delta Force.

EPISODE THREE: TOP SECRET PLANS AND AN AUDACIOUS RESCUE MISSION IN THE DESERT
Bowden recounts the attempted rescue mission through the eyes of the Delta Force participants. Viewers see the slow preparation of the audacious rescue attempt, Carter's gradual and reluctant decision to employ the option, and the disaster in the Iranian desert that ended it killing eight American soldiers. Meanwhile the hostages continue to endure their captivity.

EPISODE FOUR: FREEDOM, THE LOSS OF A PRESIDENCY AND THE ENGINEERING OF ANOTHER
The hostages would remain in captivity through the outbreak of the Iran- Iraq war and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After 444 days of high level negotiations and standoffs, the hostages were finally released to the glory of a new American president.

The Discovery Times Channel (http://www.discovery.com/times) combines the authority of The New York Times with the programming excellence of Discovery Communications to bring viewers groundbreaking documentary series and specials that shed light on the historical roots and tell the stories behind the events and ideas shaping our times. The Discovery Times Channel is available to more than 34 million subscribers in the United States and is a joint venture between The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) and Discovery Communications, Inc., the leading global real-world media and entertainment company.

Owned by filmmaker David Keane, Wild Eyes Productions is an award-winning, international documentary film production company based in Hermosa Beach, California. The Wild Eyes team has filmed in over 60 countries on 6 continents, from America's back yard to the front lines of today's conflicts. Wild Eyes specializes in gaining singular access to remote and dangerous locations and elusive subjects, capturing decisive moments in time and bringing a commitment of respect to stories of both icons and everyday people.

Arkansas Mother of the Year's Life Chronicled on Discovery Health Channel Series

- 14 CHILDREN AND PREGNANT AGAIN! Premieres on Monday, September 6 at 9 PM (ET/PT) -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar have it all over actors Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt. In the movie, "Cheaper By The Dozen," Martin and Hunt play the parents of only 12 children. In real life, Michelle and Jim Bob are happily raising 15 children and who knows if that is the final count.

Whether it's the intense high-drama of keeping track of and raising a lot of children of varying ages or the graphic reality of many people living under one roof, viewers are fascinated with the loving and chaotic inner workings of a large family. When 14 CHILDREN AND PREGNANT AGAIN! premieres on Monday, September 6 at 9 PM (ET/PT), Discovery Health Channel presents an intimate behind-the-scenes portrait of the Duggar family as they celebrate the arrival of their newest sibling, a boy named Jackson Levi, the fifteenth Duggar.

Through heart-warming interviews and fast-paced camera work, 14 CHILDREN AND PREGNANT AGAIN! lets viewers get a rare glimpse into a large family's ever-changing world. A total of nine boys and five girls -- including two sets of twins -- would challenge any time management or child development expert.

It's a rough and tumble world trying to feed, clothe and educate 15 children but Michelle and Jim Bob lovingly embrace their lifestyle. Being the anchors of a dynamic large family requires special parenting skills and Michelle and Jim Bob are committed to their roles. In recognition of her dedication and love for her children, Michelle, 37, was bestowed the "Young Mother of the Year" award this past April in Arkansas.

From home-schooling the children, waiting in line to go to the bathroom, grocery shopping for nine boys, five girls and washing countless loads of laundry, find out how the Duggars manage their remarkable family.

14 CHILDREN AND PREGNANT AGAIN! is produced for the Discovery Health Channel by Advance Medical. William Hayes is the executive producer. Alon Orstein is the executive producer for the Discovery Health Channel.

Discovery Health Channel takes viewers inside the fascinating and informative world of health and medicine to experience firsthand compelling, real-life stories of medical breakthroughs and human triumphs. Currently in more than 53 million homes, Discovery Health Channel is the only 24-hour network and Web site, (discovery.com/health) devoted to what matters most -- your health.

Come Out and Experience the Excitement of the World Poker Tour as Travel Channel Begins Filming Season Three

- Media Are Invited to See First-hand What Makes the World Poker Tour a Wednesday Night Phenomenon -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- Imagine hearing the sound of thousands of multi-colored clay chips being shuffled in an impromptu chorus. Or the sight of hundreds of fans standing five-deep, craning their necks and standing on their tiptoes to catch a glimpse of their favorite player. Or the gut-wrenching anxiety of a player who has summoned the nerve to push several hundred thousand dollars in chips all-in on a stone cold bluff. Well, what are you waiting for? Season Three of the WORLD POKER TOUR (WPT) is currently in production and you're invited to experience what makes the WPT the hottest poker game around and Wednesday the coolest night on television.

The WPT, which airs Wednesday nights from 9-11 PM (ET/PT), features the best of the high stakes, high anxiety world of tournament poker. Season Three, being filmed from July 2004 through April 2005, will consist of more than 15 poker tournaments filmed in casinos and cards rooms around the world including:

Date Tournament Casino Location

2004

July 29- Aug. 1: The Mirage Poker Showdown - The Mirage - Las Vegas, NV

Aug. 28-31: Legends of Poker - The Bicycle Casino - Bell Gardens, CA

Sept 19-22: Borgata Poker Open - Borgata Hotel & Casino - Atlantic City, NJ

Sept 28- Oct. 1: Ultimate Poker Classic - UltimateBet.com - Aruba

Nov. 14-17: World Poker Finals - Foxwoods Resort Casino - Mashantucket, CT

Dec. 12-16: Five Diamond World Poker Classic - Bellagio - Las Vegas, NV

2005

Jan. 8-15: PokerStars.com (Cruise) - PokerStars.com - To Be Determined

Jan. 24-27: Jack Binion World Poker Open - Horseshoe & Gold Strike Casinos - Tunica, MS

Feb. 19-22: L.A. Poker Classic - Commerce Casino- Commerce, CA

Feb. 23-24: WPT Invitational - Commerce Casino - Commerce, CA (Celebrity Pro/Am)

Mar. 9-11: Shooting Star Tournament - Bay 101 Card Club - San Jose, CA

Mar. 19-26: PartyPoker Million - PartyPoker.com - Cruise to Mexico

Mar 29- Apr. 1 : World Poker Challenge - Reno Hilton - Reno, NV

Apr. 18-24: WPT Championship - Bellagio - Las Vegas, NV

Season Three, premiering in March 2005, will bring viewers the expert analysis, multiple camera angles, varying player personalities and the patented WPT Cam -- which shows close-ups of the hole cards -- that turned televised poker on its ear.

The WORLD POKER TOUR concluded Season Two on June 30 with an $8.5 million prize pool on the World Poker Championship. Currently, encore programs are presented every Wednesday night at 9 PM (ET/PT). Upcoming premieres include the specials BAD BOYS OF POKER on September 8, STARS OF DISCOVERY on November 21 and LADIES NIGHT on December 15.

The WORLD POKER TOUR series is produced for the Travel Channel by World Poker Tour, LLC. Steven Lipscomb is the show's creator and serves as executive producer. Joe Swift is the executive producer for the Travel Channel. World Poker Tour, LLC is a joint venture between Lipscomb and Lakes Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: LACO).

The Travel Channel is the only television network devoted exclusively to travel entertainment. Capturing the fascination, freedom and fun of travel, Travel Channel delivers insightful stories from the world's most popular destinations and inspiring diversions. It is available in more than 75 million homes and is a service of Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc. Visit Travel Channel on the Web at http://www.discovery.com.

Discovery Channel Doubles Down With 18 More Episodes of AMERICAN CASINO

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- The Discovery Channel has ordered 18 new episodes of AMERICAN CASINO, the newest series in the network's immensely popular roster of family business-themed programs. These additional episodes will begin production immediately after the first 13 episodes are completed and are scheduled to begin to air this fall. Hailed as "a 4-star drama," AMERICAN CASINO increased the Friday at 8 PM timeslot for Discovery Channel in many key demos in June, highlighted by a 50% increase in people 25- 54 ratings from the 12 weeks prior to launch. AMERICAN CASINO airs on Friday nights at 8 PM ET/PT.

AMERICAN CASINO, produced by AMERICAN CHOPPER and AMERICAN HOT ROD executive producer Craig Piligian, lifts the curtain on the glamorous and extravagant life at the luxurious Green Valley Ranch Resort, Casino and Spa. This series takes an inside look at the day-to-day business decisions of this lavish property, as well as the intriguing people who make the Green Valley Ranch a top-notch destination in Las Vegas.

AMERICAN CASINO is created and executive produced by Craig Piligian for Pilgrim Films and Television Inc. For the Discovery Channel, Mark Finkelpearl is executive producer.

Discovery Channel is one of the United States' largest cable television networks, serving 88.6 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Home, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC America.

Edie Falco Steps Into Real Life Cat Woman Role as Host of Animal Planet's GROWING UP BLACK LEOPARD

- The SOPRANOS Star Hosts Program About First Year of Black Leopard's Life -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- Animal Planet gave Edie Falco an offer she couldn't refuse when they asked her to host GROWING UP BLACK LEOPARD, a one-hour program following rescued Black Leopard "Eddy" from birth through his precarious first year at the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center in Denver, CO.

GROWING UP BLACK LEOPARD follows baby Eddy through the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult and will air in 2005. Falco jumps into the cub's daily routine by helping with bath time, taking him swimming and preparing his bottle.

"I have a special place in my heart for animal welfare so I jumped at the opportunity to host Animal Planet's program and help educate people about the captive wildlife situation in this country," said Falco. "Thanks to organizations like the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center, animals like Eddy live happy lives."

Eddy was born at The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center to a Mother and Father who were rescued from a facility that mistreated its animals. The Center's owners stepped in to hand raise Eddy after the cub's Father displayed aggression toward him.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were the first celebrities to host Animal Planet's popular GROWING UP ... programs, with the GROWING UP GRIZZLY specials about orphaned Grizzly Bear cubs that aired in August 2001 and January 2004. All the GROWING UP ... programs follow wild animals as they are nursed into a life that might have been cut short without their adopted human parents.

"Edie's participation in GROWING UP BLACK LEOPARD helps spread the word about organizations like The Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center that work tirelessly to promote the protection and well-being of animals," said Maureen Smith, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Animal Planet. "This program is yet another example of Animal Planet's ongoing commitment to feature the unique connection between humans and animals."

GROWING UP BLACK LEOPARD is a production of Arden Entertainment for Animal Planet. For Arden Entertainment, Dan Arden is executive producer and Lionel Friedberg is producer. For Animal Planet, Alexandra Bennett is executive producer.

Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center is a state and federally licensed zoological facility that is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Its' operation is funded by donations and volunteers. The Center has been rescuing exotic wildlife and endangered species since 1980, and is currently home to more than 135 animals. The animals at the Wildlife Center were abandoned, abused, illegally kept, or came from other terrible situations. The vast majority of animals at the Center were kept as pets and confiscated by law enforcement officials, usually within the first six months of their lives.

Animal Planet, available in 85 million homes nationwide, is the only television network dedicated exclusively to the connection between humans and animals. The network's original programming brings together people of all ages by tapping into a fundamental fascination with animals and providing an entertaining mix of programming including original movies, adventure series, sports, drama and sitcoms. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery Home Channel, Discovery en Espanol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC America.

GIFT OF LIFE Series Premieres September 23 and Reveals the Complex and Emotional Journey of Organ Transplantation

- Discovery Health Channel Partners With the Department of Health and Human Services to Raise Awareness of the Importance of Organ Donation -

SILVER SPRINGS, Md., July 22 -- On September 23 at 8 PM (ET/PT), Discovery Health Channel premieres GIFT OF LIFE, a six part series that guides viewers through the unprecedented journey of organ donation -- from the agonizing wait for a donor, to the loss and rebirth of life.

Each one-hour episode follows donor families, transplant coordinators and recipients through the complex web of logistics, surgery and emotion involved in the world of organ procurement and transplantation. Viewers witness the number of lives saved by one decision and the healing that comes through that act of donation.

GIFT OF LIFE is designed to focus attention and increase awareness of the importance of organ donation. As of today, more than 86,000 men, women and children are on the organ transplant waiting list. Donation and transplantation can save their lives, yet the need for organs far exceeds the supply. Every day, 17 people die waiting for an organ transplant that would give them a second chance at life.

"There is no greater gift than the gift of life," said Eileen O'Neill, interim general manager for Discovery Health Channel. "We are proud to use our network and the GIFT OF LIFE series as vehicles to raise awareness about this important issue."

In addition to the six-part series, Discovery Health Channel, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, announces a yearlong initiative to increase awareness of the importance of organ donation. The campaign will include an aggressive public relations and marketing campaign, PSAs and rich online content designed to educate individuals on organ donation and transplantation.

"I appreciate Discovery Health Channel working with the Department of Health and Human Services to increase organ donor awareness and for bringing real stories of real people whose lives were saved thanks to the gift of a donor and family," said Deputy Surgeon General Kenneth P. Moritsugu. "In my family's darkest hours, we found hope in knowing that someone was finding life because of my wife Donna Lee and my daughter Vikki Lianne's donations. Our heartache was lessened knowing that other families' hearts were filled with joy because their loved ones would continue to live. If we can increase organ donation, we can help spread life, happiness and hope to families across the country while beginning to ease the pain of losing a loved one."

Each intimate story told in the GIFT OF LIFE is shared with Discovery Health Channel in cooperation with Gift of Life Donor Program (GLDP), one of America's oldest and largest organ and human tissue program. Since 1974, GLDP has helped coordinate more than 25,000 organ transplants for the Philadelphia region and beyond. GLDP is committed to maximizing the availability of donor organs and tissues for patients in need. GLDP is also dedicated to providing extensive educational resources for the community to increase public commitment to organ and tissue donation.

The GIFT OF LIFE series is produced for the Discovery Health Channel by Beyond Productions. Richard Campbell is the producer. For Discovery Health Channel, John Grassie is the executive producer.

Discovery Health Channel takes viewers inside the fascinating and informative world of health and medicine to experience firsthand, compelling, real-life stories of medical breakthroughs and human triumphs. Currently in more than 54 million homes, Discovery Health Channel is the only 24-hour network and Web site -- discovery.com/health -- devoted to what matters most -- health.

No More Monday Blues! - The Travel Channel Gives Monday Nights a Makeover With New Fantasy Living Lineup This Fall

- Three Hours of Aspirational Programming Fills Primetime With Three Series Premieres and New Specials -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- Beginning September 6, 2004, the Travel Channel is giving Monday nights a makeover! Each Monday, from 8-11 PM (ET/PT), viewers will have the chance to join the Travel Channel for an evening of luxurious living and great weekend getaways.

Kicking off the night at 8 PM (ET/PT), three imaginative travel planners present customized vacation packages to deserving friends, couples and families in the series premiere of VACATION CHALLENGE. The competition heats up as each planner, under a specific budget, tries to sway the lucky vacationers to choose his or her precisely planned weekend package.

Later, at 8:30 PM (ET/PT), in VACATION HOME SEARCH, potential buyers begin the exhilarating, challenging and often times, agonizing quest of finding their own piece of heaven away from home. With the help of a real estate agent, these eager families and couples strive to get the most bang for their buck in their destination of choice and make their vacation pipedreams a reality.

Then, at 9 PM (ET/PT), from a dwelling that was once a Boeing 727 to an elegant home carved out of a two-story tree stump, viewers will witness creative living taken to new heights in back-to-back, half-hour episodes of AMAZING VACATION HOMES. Owners lead camera crews in and out of unbelievable getaways, ridiculous and sublime, for an up close and personal tour of the incredible places they call paradise.

Finally, it's on to bigger things, during the new DREAMING BIG hour at 10 PM (ET/PT), where upgrades abound in everything from pools and private islands to truck stops and McDonald's restaurants. Viewers get a taste for the high life as cameras capture all things new and improved, be it super yacht, millionaire trailer park or hotel bathroom.

The new FANTASY LIVING MONDAY line-up premieres Monday, September 6, 2004 from 8-11 PM (ET/PT).

Travel Channel is the only television network devoted exclusively to travel entertainment. Capturing the fascination, freedom and fun of travel, Travel Channel delivers insightful stories from the world's most popular destinations and inspiring diversions. It is available in more than 75 million homes and is a service of Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc. Visit Travel Channel on the Web at http://www.discovery.com.

TLC Offers Exclusive Inside Look at the Crypt of the Medici to Learn How They Lived and Died

Dr. Bob Brier Hosts Special Spotlighting Investigation of Medici Family Members and Their Centuries-Old Crypt

FLORENCE, Italy, July 22 -- Was it malaria, as claimed? Or was it a double murder, as rumored? What killed the two sons of Cosimo I? After half a millennium, these and other lingering questions may finally be answered by a fascinating scientific investigation. MUMMY DETECTIVE: CRYPT OF THE MEDICI follows a team of Italian specialists, joined by mummy expert and TLC presenter Dr. Bob Brier, as they exhume the bodies of Italy's ancient first family and use the latest forensic tools to investigate how they lived and died.

Hosted by Dr. Bob Brier, the one-hour documentary special airs on October 17, 2004 from 9-10PM on TLC in North America and internationally starting in November 2004 on the Discovery Channel.

Dr. Brier enters the crypt of one of history's most infamous and powerful families, the Medici of Italy, the patrons behind the works of da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Galileo. In Florence's famed church of San Lorenzo, the crypt has 49 bodies in different levels of preservation -- some sporting swords, gold crosses and crowns. Dr. Brier brings the family to life as he joins the first team to scientifically examine the corpses. With TLC's exclusive film access to the crypt, viewers will discover if one Medici was poisoned and another assassinated.

As these scientists and archeologists work in their special on-site lab in the intimate Laurentian Crypt in one of Europe's most beautiful churches, they will exhume the bodies as well as various clothes and other artifacts, which will be restored and exhibited. The remains will be examined and samples extracted for further study at the University of Pisa -- including DNA samples that could put to rest the mystery of various Medici deaths.

Dr. Brier, a senior research fellow at the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, will assist Italy's leading forensic expert, Dr. Gino Fornaciari, in examining the remains of this extraordinary family. The team will be the first to examine corpses in the Medici Crypt in over a century; some of the tombs have never been opened. The Medici Project's international team of paleopathologists, anthropologists, historians and archaeologists includes project director Dr. Gino Fornaciari, professor of forensic anthropology and director of the Pathology Museum, University of Pisa, and Dr. Donatella Lippi, associate professor of the history of medicine, University of Florence.

As revealed in MUMMY DETECTIVE: CRYPT OF THE MEDICI, some of the Medici remains are natural mummies; others are skeletal bones and artifacts. Experts hope these exhumations reveal the Medici's secrets to science, from what they ate to whether they suffered, as suspected, from gout. This "lifestyles of the Renaissance rich and famous" also presents a rare retrospective on a most remarkable family, including their funeral rites, leisure interests and taste in clothing.

The Medici ruled Florence and Tuscany from 1434 to 1737. Bankers, merchants and major patrons of Renaissance artists, their influence spread to all of Italy and then Europe. The family included three popes and two queens of France. It also had its share of intrigue. For instance, Francesco I's successor, his brother Ferdinando I, insisted malaria killed Francesco in 1587. But did his symptoms match up? And why did Francesco's second wife -- hated by Ferdinando -- die one day later of the same mysterious symptoms? Is she one of the two unclaimed women's bodies also buried in the crypt?

MUMMY DETECTIVE: CRYPT OF THE MEDICI reveals how scheming and assassinations seem to color the Medici family tree -- a tree that could become more clear after DNA evidence is traced. The program will include detailed examinations of four of the bodies.

MUMMY DETECTIVE: CRYPT OF THE MEDICI is produced by PSL Productions for TLC. Nancy Lavin is executive producer for TLC; Peter Spry-Leverton is director/producer for PSL Productions.

This project was made possible by the kind permission of the Special Superintendent for Florentine State Museums; with special thanks to Professor Antonio Paolucci and Dr. Monica Bietti.

For more in-depth information about the special, please go to http://www.discovery.com and click on TLC.

TLC is about high-quality, intelligent and relatable nonfiction entertainment. With smart entertaining programming that captures life unscripted, TLC relays personal stories that inspire, engage, inform and unite our audience in the spirit of life's possibilities. TLC's storytelling connects over 93 million viewers in North America to the breadth of the human experience. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater, Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel, Discovery Home & Leisure Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery en Espanol and Fit TV. The unit also distributes BBC America. Visit TLC on the web by going to http://www.discovery.com and clicking on TLC.

Discovery Networks International's (DNI) diverse portfolio includes ten TV channels; Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, People + Arts, Discovery Home & Leisure, Discovery Health, Discovery Civilization, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel & Adventure, Discovery Kids and Discovery Wings. Programming is customized into 33 languages and broadcast on 57 unique feeds. DNI's parent, Discovery Communications Inc., is the leading global real-world media and entertainment company, which runs 14 unique TV brands. Launched in the US in 1985, the company now operates in 155 countries and territories with more than 950 million cumulative subscribers. DCI also consists of Discovery.com, Discovery Consumer Products and Discovery Channel retail stores. DCI is privately held; ownership consists of four shareholders: Liberty Media Corporation (NYSE: L), Cox Communications, Inc. (NYSE: COX), Advance/Newhouse Communications and John S. Hendricks, the Company's Founder, Chairman and CEO.

The Discovery Channel Introduces the New Face of History Programming With VIRTUAL HISTORY

- Historians and Animators Work Together to Re-create Key Moments in Time -

SILVER SPRING, Md., July 22 -- In the past, film and television productions have traditionally relied on look-alike actors and talking heads to bring some of the world's most pivotal historical moments to life. In Discovery Channel's VIRTUAL HISTORY, the faces of historical figures are pulled from actual archival footage, and realistically placed on modern actors via a pioneering animation technique. This allows viewers to watch virtual "footage" of historical events where no actual film exists -- events that had been documented solely through verbal and written accounts, artifacts, and still photographs.

VIRTUAL HISTORY premieres on Discovery Channel this fall, and will air on Discovery networks around the world.

VIRTUAL HISTORY examines one day -- July 20, 1944 -- that saw many of the major players of World War II in turmoil. To create a visual account of this day, VIRTUAL HISTORY places archival images of the real faces of Hitler, Churchill and Roosevelt on actors, allowing viewers to witness a crucial moment in world history unlike ever before. Unbeknownst to the American public, FDR is fighting for his health after a suspected stroke, and his close friend and ally, Winston Churchill, worries about V2 rocket attacks on London. Meanwhile, Josef Stalin continues his plans for the Russian Army's march through Eastern Europe. And, an increasingly unstable and isolated Adolf Hitler narrowly escapes an assassination attempt perpetrated by some of his closest aides.

With world-renowned historians and biographers such as FDR expert Warren Kimball and Churchill historian Andrew Roberts on hand to detail the original sources of their information, the program pays meticulous attention to the accuracy of every possible detail.

VIRTUAL HISTORY was commissioned by Discovery Channel UK, part of Discovery Networks Europe. David Abraham is the UK General Manager of Discovery Networks Europe. VIRTUAL HISTORY is produced for the Discovery Channel by Tiger Aspect. For Tiger Aspect, Charles Brand is executive producer. For Discovery Channel, the executive producer is Tomi Landis.

Discovery Channel is one of the United States' largest cable television networks, serving 89.1 million households across the nation with the finest in informative entertainment. Discovery Networks, U.S., a unit of Discovery Communications, Inc., operates and manages the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, the Travel Channel, Discovery Health Channel, Discovery HD Theater(TM), Discovery Kids Channel, Discovery Times Channel, The Science Channel(TM), Discovery Home Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery en Espaqol and FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC America.





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