[04/08/08 - 01:33 PM]
Discovery Channel Celebrates Curiosity and Wonder in a Robust Programming Slate for Upfront 2008-09
"No one can match Discovery's ability to invite our viewers into the action as it unfolds," boasted Discovery's John Ford.

[via press release from Discovery]


LOS ANGELES, Ca., April 08, 2008 � Discovery Channel announces an ambitious Upfront slate packed with specials and series that embrace imagination, exploration and adventure.

From the last great race left on the planet to the competition for a new kind of life beyond Earth, from the heart of Amazonia to the caves of Timbuktu, Discovery Channel documents the world in all its wonder.

"Discovery Channel is a window into the awesome power of the Earth," said John Ford, president and general manager, Discovery Channel. "Using the highest-quality storytelling and filmmaking techniques, our programs delve into topics ranging from science and engineering to anthropology and archaeology. No one can match Discovery's ability to invite our viewers into the action as it unfolds."

The highlights of Discovery Channel's 2008-09 Upfront schedule include the following:



Every March, for two weeks, hundreds of dogs and dozens of people from all walks of life gather in Willow, Alaska, to begin the ultimate test of animal and human teamwork and endurance. The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race�1,151 miles of dog sledding through the subzero wilderness that is Alaska in winter. IDITAROD celebrates the individuals who step up to the starting line�who signs up for the race and why do they do it?


It's the ultimate voyage�a journey from the placid, familiar surface of our world to the mysterious, molten core of the Earth. It is 4,000 miles to the heart of our planet�the same as driving from New York to the Grand Canyon and back�but we haven't penetrated more than five miles beneath our feet. More than 99 percent of our planet is unexplored. Now, with the aid of stunning visual effects, this special takes viewers on an amazing expedition inside our planet. Encounter the engine that powers the drift of the vast continents, the roots of great mountain ranges, the crucibles that forge diamonds and the mighty dynamo that literally drives the planet�and holds the key to life itself.


A landmark television event showcasing our planet's most spectacular natural events and the landscapes and animals that are swept up in the drama. In the tradition of PLANET EARTH, this special event series will highlight the spectacle of global climatic phenomena giving viewers an inside look at this stunning intersection of ecology, wildlife and meteorology.


A heart-pounding ride of meteorological thrills, spills and chills. With innovative camera equipment, unorthodox production techniques and unique special effects RAGING PLANET reveals a mind blowing world of nature's ferocious capabilities. See our world as never before. Robot cameras are deployed into the mouth of volcanoes, miniature helicopter cameras fly into the eye of a hurricane and storm films are super slowed to reveal the genesis of a hailstone.


The COLONY is a unique reality-hybrid that challenges 24 real people, with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills, to rebuild their own civilization in a post apocalyptic world created for them. In the old world (and their real lives) they were doctors, mechanics, lawyers and waitresses. Now they must apply their old skills, and develop new ones, if they are to survive and thrive in the new world.


From a rare insider's look at Iran to a portrait of modern China, to the war on cancer, to life in the age of terror, Ted Koppel brings more than 40 years of experience and unparalleled journalistic integrity to KOPPEL ON DISCOVERY. Koppel continues his unflinching look at the burning issues confronting our world, touching on some of the most important events, people and places changing lives today.



Scholars believe the Iroquois Confederacy provided a framework for the United States Constitution. How did one Native American man, known as The Peacemaker, convince 49 elders and leaders of five separate tribes�the Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga, Mohawk and Cayuga�to end their bloodshed, join a league of nations and become a model for government and civic cooperation? FIRST NATIONS brings a new focus and dramatic re-telling of life and times in early Native America, as it really was.


Few places on earth rival the biodiversity of New Guinea. From a particular species of tree kangaroos to the Papuan forest wallaby, this mysterious island is said to contain more strange and beautiful natural objects than any other place on earth. Get knee deep in the mud with world-renowned explorers, biologists and anthropologists for a multi-week trek through forbidding topography where even local islanders often remain isolated from each other.


Discovery Channel proudly presents the television premiere of the award-winning, debate-defining documentary�AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH. A passionate and inspirational look at former Vice President Al Gore's fervent crusade to halt global warming's deadly progress in its tracks by exposing the myths and misconceptions that surround it.


Explorer Bruce Parry embarks on an epic journey to the source of the Amazon�the world's greatest river, its largest forest, the most bio diverse habitat on the planet and home to some of the last uncontacted tribes left on earth. Travelling more than ten thousand miles, by foot, light aircraft and boat to stay with the tribes that live silently beneath the rainforest canopy, Parry explores eight countries, high mountains, wide savannahs, deep jungles and the most powerful river in the world.


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.


Which dinosaur was the biggest? The deadliest? The fastest? From the creative minds that brought you Discovery's critical and commercial hit, HUMAN BODY: PUSHING THE LIMITS, comes this thrilling series showcasing dinosaurs as audiences have never seen them�from the inside! Using ground-breaking CGI and cutting-edge special effects, DINO BODY will follow various kinds of dinosaurs to study their mating and hunting behavior to scientifically deconstruct how they evolved and each one ultimately had physical supremacy.



Josh Bernstein takes us on a unique journey around the globe to explore fascinating places, unlock historical mysteries and discover ancient civilizations. Bernstein travels to Mali in West Africa, retracing the footsteps of European adventurers to explore whether Timbuktu was ever an African El Dorado. In the highlands of Peru, Bernstein undertakes a daring mission to rediscover the lost civilization of the Chachapoyas, who ruled a kingdom stretching from the high Andes to the Amazon; but had vanished by the late 16th century. Reaching into anthropology, archaeology, adventure and exploration, Bernstein illuminates some of the most fascinating stories in the history of humankind.


Gas explosions, roof collapses, dangerous machinery that can trap you in pitch-black isolation for days�or worse. These are very real concerns for the men of COAL, an all-new series debuting on Discovery Channel later this year. Cameras take viewers hundreds of feet underground to show what life is like for a group of heroic men who brave the dangers of coal mines every day.


Have you ever wanted to ride a skateboard or ski down a black diamond slope, but were afraid of killing yourself? Would you like to zip to your job at high speed, but can't afford flying lessons or a plane? A crack team of inventors and engineers put their scientific chops to the test to build the impossible. Tackling seemingly impossible problems to create innovative and promising prototypes, these mavericks work at the crossroads of science and imagination.


Extreme escape artist Jonathan Goodwin knows only the basics of where he will be�a flooded office, a sinking car, a restaurant freezer. What he doesn't know is how he'll be locked in or tied down. Strategies and escape routes are tracked and viewers will see the breakout from his point of view. Joining Goodwin is engineer Terry Stroud. An expert in physics and engineering, Terry demonstrates the science of both entrapment and escape, illuminating just how Jonathan ultimately finds that one way out.


The invisible become visible as MIT scientist and engineer Jeff Lieberman reveal our world in astonishing and spectacular new ways, by radically changing the lens of time. Time bending and mind blowing, it lets viewers 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.


Joining with HowStuffWorks.com, this series combines a dynamic mix of subjects to feed viewers' cravings for fresh, fast, highly entertaining information. Providing the television equivalent of a stream-of-consciousness, search-engine quest for information, a cast of credible insiders reveal how everything works.



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. Deep 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.


In the feisty DIRTY JOBS, host and everyman Mike Rowe gets the grimy scoop on downright nasty occupations. That foul play for pay could be processing smelly seafood in a fish factory, collecting bat guano for prized fertilizer, combing creek bottoms for edible wildlife or cleaning septic tanks to maintain a fresh-smelling environment.


Adventurer and survival expert 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 zebra kill in Africa's savanna. No matter the climate or locale, Grylls is up to the task.


Are the stories about the exploding dog in a microwave and keeping cell phones away from gas pumps true? MYTHBUSTERS is back, continuing 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.


Follow a team of maverick engineers as they take everyday technology and apply it in new, revolutionary ways. Could bulletproof Kevlar protect an airliner from bombs? Could truck dampers be used to earthquake-proof a house? Our experts bring their professional expertise to the table and ask the questions that the viewers may also be asking�how in the world is this technology possible, and why can't it help others? Their mission: to make the world a safer place.


People are fascinated by how things work. From incredibly high-tech items like plasma TVs to remarkably mundane objects that we use every day, such as toilets, tissues and toothpaste, every object has a story and an incredible process behind it. Host Brian Unger meets the people behind the building process and discovers the often dramatic, funny, ingenious solutions people come up with to make products bigger, better, cheaper or faster.

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. 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 2008]  


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