Hitting the Motherlode: Historic High Ratings, New Hit Talent, as Discovery Unveils Its 2011-12 Upfront Slate
NEW YORK, April 14, 2011 -- Amid record high ratings and a cavalcade of new and returning hits, Discovery Channel announced its 2011-2012 Upfront slate with series and specials that punctuate the network's creative, aggressive and winning positioning. From a crab boat in the Bering Sea to a family business in the Bayou; from a high flying family of pilots to a charged up camp of miners; and from natural history's all-stars to the mysterious secrets of the deep, Discovery illuminates the very real human dynamics found in the most unlikely places in the world.
"Discovery is mining content gold with one-of-a-kind characters, extraordinary places and unrivaled production quality that reinforces the network's heritage while constantly innovating and pushing the brand forward," said Clark Bunting, president and general manager, Discovery Channel.
The highlights of Discovery Channel's 2011-12 Upfront schedule include the following:
From the award winning team behind PLANET EARTH comes the ultimate portrait of the earth's polar regions. The Arctic and Antarctic remain the greatest wilderness on Earth. The scale and beauty of the scenery and the sheer power of the elements - the weather, the ocean and the ice - is unmatched anywhere else on our planet. The Poles are also home to many of the most charismatic of animals: much of the most spectacular scenery and animal behavior have never been filmed before. FROZEN PLANET is the ultimate portrait of these great, awe-inspiring wildernesses.
WHERE'S MY MAMMOTH?
WHERE'S MY MAMMOTH? is the definitive natural history of one of the most iconic animals that ever lived. Thanks to climate change, the Siberian permafrost is melting, revealing vast quantities of woolly mammoth remains. This is a detective story that travels from the permafrost of Siberia to the Asian rainforest, and from the sci-fi world of genetic research into a brave new world of virtual zoos.
Every summer they return, slashing through a sea of competition to rack up new ratings successes. Grab your 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.
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.
What was once a family business is now a family feud. All bets are off for what new fireworks await in AMERICAN CHOPPER: SENIOR VS. JUNIOR. Paul Senior builds world famous custom bikes at Orange County Choppers, while Paul Junior operates his competing shop, Paul Jr. Designs, just a stone's throw down the road, with brother Mikey and former OCC employees firmly by his side. Will the family be made whole again? And what new out of this world build assignments will they take on to stretch their teams creatively and mechanically?
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.
MAN V. WILD
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, and Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara, this mentally tantalizing series takes on the myths and uses modern-day science to show what's real and what's fiction.
MAN WOMAN WILD
Myke Hawke is a former Special Forces survival expert. His wife Ruth is a TV journalist. Together, they take on some of the most forbidding and remote locations around the world. Dropped into each spot they must survive as a team for four days and nights, with only a knife and the clothes on their backs. As they test their will and their marriage, the two find common ground standing up to nature as husband and wife in the wildest places on Earth.
The Odd Couple of Survival! Military-man Dave Canterbury and naturalist Cody Lundin have very different ideas of what it takes to survive in the wild. DUAL SURVIVAL takes these two survivalists into the most forbidding terrains in the world where they must overcome all obstacles in order to survive using intuitive tactics and finely tuned skills. Finding food, water and shelter are nothing compared to their toughest challenge of all: getting along.
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.
From vampire killing kits and T-Rex fossil teeth, to pink Cadillacs and hot air balloons, each half-hour episode of AUCTION KINGS follows Atlanta auction house owner Paul Brown and his team as they hunt for and sell some of the most unusual items in America. Get to know the sellers, then watch their rarities hit the auction block as Paul and his intrepid crew dazzle bidders for top dollar. AUCTION KINGS is a roller coaster ride filled with thrills and disappointments, where one person's trash becomes another's treasure ... and you never know if it's buyer or seller who'll get the deal.
HOGS GONE WILD
HOGS GONE WILD explores the escalating national problem of free-roaming wild hogs. Because their reproduction rate is unbelievably high (two hogs and their offspring can produce thousands of their kind), controlling the population of these aggressive and unruly beasts is crucial to mitigate costly damages and physical danger. The current estimate on wild hogs is six million, with some of them growing as large as 700 pounds. In the United States, millions of dollars of damage is caused per year for business, farm and homeowners.
Fourth generation logger Bobby Goodson is one of the rare breed of swamp loggers working the dangerous and murky North Carolina marsh in search of high value timber for everything from paper products to construction grade lumber. This family-owned operation employs nearly a dozen swamp veterans including Bobby's son Justin Goodson and brother-in-law David Mueller. As the company works through the cold, wet winter and into the scorching summer, they battle extreme conditions, overcome mechanical breakdowns, face personal health crises and deal with the constant push to grow the business during a time of economic uncertainty. Through the ups and downs, the crew of Goodson's All-Terrain Logging works together to maintain their reputation of being the best swamp loggers around.
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.
PENN & TELLER'S SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE
Vegas show-stopping iconoclasts and world famous anti-Magicians, Penn & Teller bring their unique vision of the world to Discovery. Aided by a series of spectacular stunts, Penn & Teller reveal the SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE, answering the big, urgent questions of the modern world such as: Can you lift a 5000lb car with human hair? Does cursing help with pain management? And did ancient aboriginal Australians really create a cure for snoring? But there's a twist: Each episode presents up to ten amazing stories, but one of them is a lie. A multiplatform audience will play along to guess the fake - and only at the end of the show will it be unmasked.
BEST IN THE BUSINESS
Pitting farmer against farmer, fireman against fireman, florist against florist, BEST IN THE BUSINESS is the ultimate battle of job-skill supremacy that celebrates the creme de la creme of the American workforce. Each episode showcases three average American jobs - stonecutters, shelf-stockers, sheep-shearers - and turns the spotlight on the not-so-average people who take their profession to the next level. Meet mechanics who can change a tire in less than 10 seconds, grocery baggers who fill a bag in seven seconds flat and big-rig drivers that can parallel park faster than you can throw your minivan in reverse!
Meet a different breed of brothers: Robbie Keszey is an exotic animal expert and Stephen Keszey is a former city slicker learning the ropes. Together they run Glades Herp Farms, Florida's largest reptile sanctuary and exotic reptile dealership. The brothers make their living breeding and caring for hundreds of slithering, poisonous and sharp-toothed creatures - but their passion is being on call 24 hours a day to respond to animal emergencies across the state. From a 300-pound boa constrictor to rogue bobcats pillaging local farmland, the brothers make it their business to track these animals down, capture them and return them to a safe environment - without losing life or limb in the process. For the Keszeys, it's all in a day's work.
LIFE ON A WIRE
Nik Wallenda comes from seven generations of daredevils and famous circus family "The Flying Wallendas." Nik is a daredevil for the 21st Century and along with his dad, who supervises the rigging and safety, he performs death-defying stunts. We follow his whole family (mom, dad, wife, kids) as they engineer and execute their life's passion.
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 100.4 million U.S. homes, can be seen in over 180 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 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 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, Planet Green, 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. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.