Discovery Channel Celebrates 20th Anniversary Year with Specials that Honor our History and Embrace our Future
- A Dozen Specials, to be Telecast Throughout 2005,
Search for the Greatest American, Visit the Titanic Expedition with James
Cameron and Take Off for a Virtual Mission to an Alien Planet -
SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 13 -- For 2005, the Discovery
Channel reveals an ambitious slate of specials that will showcase the
network's signature themes and topics of history, nature, technology,
adventure, investigation and exploration to mark its 20th anniversary.
Program highlights include an expedition into the shipwrecked Titanic with
Oscar-winning director James Cameron, outerspace missions to an alien planet
and into the heart of a comet, specials on Khans and cavemen, a MONSTER HOUSE
special edition and -- with the nation's input -- a search to name the
greatest American of all time.
From far-away lands to the bottom of the ocean and into outer space, these
specials continue the Discovery Channel's commitment to creating programming
only Discovery can. While some programs revisit timeless Discovery themes,
others embrace the spirit of Discovery in bold new ways, using scripted drama,
cutting-edge technology and engaging personalities to help viewers explore
According to Jane Root, executive vice president and general manager of
the Discovery Channel, "These 20th anniversary specials seek to honor our
commitment to the idea of discovery and the power of storytelling represented
in our programs about nature, history, science, exploration and innovation.
These are all part of our quest to teach, inspire, entertain, captivate and
connect people around the world.
In that spirit, the roster of Discovery Channel's 20th anniversary
specials includes the following:
* A two-hour special edition MONSTER DISCOVERY HOUSE on Monday, January
31, 8-10 PM (ET/PT), taps 10 all-star builders for a marathon seven-day
session and three times the typical Monster build for a makeover of epic
proportions. A Southern California fraternity house embraces a Discovery-
influenced atmosphere with a Renaissance-inspired living room, a Gear Head
kitchen complete with a chopped-off Porsche 911 for cabinetry, a Spanish
galleon lounge, an enormous T-Rex fossil-enclosed barbecue pit and a Greek
* CARRIER: ARSENAL OF THE SEA, a one-hour documentary on Sunday, February
13, 9-10 PM (ET/PT), tracks the eight-week voyage of the newly christened
warship, the USS Reagan, as it sails from its building point in Norfolk, Va.,
to its home port of San Diego. Delving into the high tech weaponry and
fighter planes aboard the enormous nuclear-powered vessel, the special follows
its 20,000-mile route as a fresh crew gains its sea legs and faces a perilous
passage through the Straits of Magellan.
* GENGHIS KHAN: RISE OF THE CONQUEROR premieres Sunday, March 20, 9-10 PM
(ET/PT) and traces the life and times of the brilliant 13th century military
strategist who rose from being the outcast son of a minor warlord to building
the largest empire ever, stretching across two continents. Genghis employed
military tactics that were still being used in the 20th century.
* Stunning footage of undersea exploration and cutting-edge enactments of
another time bring new revelations about Genghis Khan's grandson and the
military catastrophe that prompted the demise of his reign in KHUBLA KHAN:
FALL OF THE MONGOL HORDES on Sunday, March 20, 10-11 PM (ET/PT). Khubla's
quest to keep pace with his grandfather Genghis' rule became a torturous
exercise as he launched a sea campaign to take over Japan, an obsession that
decimated a gargantuan fleet of 4,400 ships and cost more than 100,000 lives.
* The one-hour special SUBMARINE: HIDDEN HUNTER, on Sunday, April 17, 9-10
PM (ET/PT), heads deep into top-secret territory with an engrossing profile of
the new Virginia Class vessel, which represents a quantum leap forward in
submarine design. Downloading the details, intricacies and specialties of the
sub's high-tech design and impressive systems, the special gives the ultimate
view of its role in leading the Navy into a bold new phase of undersea
* LIVING WITH WOLVES, on Sunday, May 15, 9-10 PM (ET/PT), offers a
compelling behind-the-scenes account of wildlife filmmakers husband and wife
Jim and Jamie Dutcher, in this prequel to Discovery's Emmy award-winning
documentary WOLVES AT OUR DOOR. This two-hour program delves into the
filming, memorable moments, struggles and logistical problems the couple faced
as they spent six years living with a pack of captive wolves in the Sawtooth
Mountains of Idaho.
* With input from the U.S. population, Discovery sets out on a bold
mission: to determine who is the GREATEST AMERICAN of all time in this four-
part weekly series starting in May. After nominating the top 100, viewers
will get to learn more about each candidate and vote on who should be named
the Greatest American. A celebrity host and famous advocates will make a case
for their favorite choices and will try to rally viewers to vote for their
* The two-hour ALIEN PLANET, on Sunday, June 26, 9-11 PM (ET/PT), takes
viewers on a virtual trip to a planet whose every detail has been conceived by
top scientists. This planet, Darwin IV, is located 6.5 light years from Earth
with two suns and 60 percent of Earth's gravity. From the viewpoint of two
futuristic probes, viewers can explore the bizarre plants and animals that
might live in such an environment. Scientists theorize that Darwin IV and its
many life forms will match future discoveries.
* On Discovery Channel's actual birthday, June 17th, the network will be
airing a 20th Anniversary special filled with all of our landmark moments and
milestones over the years.
* Perfectly timed to coincide with NASA's first-ever mission to a comet,
COMET IMPACT!, on Sunday, July 10, 9-11 PM (ET/PT), follows one of the most
ambitious space expeditions ever, to drill into a passing comet. The two-hour
special shows how comets were born in the early days of the solar system, uses
animated blueprints to illustrate the fascinating breakthroughs during the
design of the spacecraft, features cutting-edge technology and late-breaking
discoveries, and takes audiences on a riveting CGI ride aboard a comet
streaming toward the sun.
* This July, in the enthralling TITANIC (wt), Academy award-winning
director James Cameron leads his team of underwater experts on a series of
historic dives to film and document the innermost spaces of the world's most
famous shipwreck, located 375 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. Using two
$20 million research subs, four mini-robots, a seafloor-to-satellite data
system and a suite of the most advanced cameras and lights, Cameron's team
will capture unparalleled images of the Titanic.
* The two-hour special FIRST AMERICANS, in December, embraces and expounds
upon the radical new theory that cavemen from Europe discovered North America.
A recent discovery -- the oldest man-made object ever found in North America -
- is rewriting history. Carbon dating indicates the artifact was buried
17,000 years ago...at a time when archaeologists previously believed America
wasn't even inhabited. Using that find as launching point, new ideas suggest
that in the throes of the Ice Age, when clans of humans were trapped in a
shrinking land, Europeans brought their technology to North America 6,000
years before anyone else. This special looks at how this may have happened.
Additional programming initiatives will be announced as the anniversary
Discovery Channel is the United States' largest cable television network,
serving 89.6 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 Channel, Discovery Wings Channel, Discovery en Espanol and
FitTV. The unit also distributes BBC America.
SOURCE Discovery Channel
Web Site: http://www.discovery.com