[06/24/10 - 11:35 AM]
Discovery Channel's Powering the Future Provides Definitive Look at Global Energy Challenges
As previously reported, the four-part event airs Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18, from 8 to 10 PM (ET/PT).

[via press release from Discovery]

Discovery Channel's POWERING THE FUTURE Provides Definitive Look at Global Energy Challenges

-- Four-Part Special Series Produced by Discovery Studios to Encore on Science Channel and Planet Green --

SILVER SPRING, Md., June 24 -- As the crisis in the Gulf of Mexico deepens, the ongoing search for viable alternative energy sources is more urgent than ever before, but navigating the complex web of options is both complicated and confusing. This July, Discovery Channel will pull back the curtains to reveal our quest for clean energy. POWERING THE FUTURE, a four-hour special series produced by Discovery Studios, premieres Saturday, July 17, from 8 to 10 PM and Sunday, July 18, from 8 to 10 PM (ET/PT). Hosted by Dr. M. Sanjayan, lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy, the special closely examines where our energy could come from and how we are striving to create a clean, limitless, secure supply of energy.

From economics and climate change to national security and global politics, energy is the driving force behind most everything on the planet. POWERING THE FUTURE puts energy on the national stage, addressing the challenge from every angle and cutting through the noise by establishing a target: identifying a clean, limitless, secure energy supply and addressing how it could possibly be delivered. Producers traveled to more than 30 different locations around the world -- from an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico to the oil sands of Canada, from Washington, D.C., to Beijing, China -- to meet with the people at the heart of the issue.

"We are the energy generation, but we as Americans do not fundamentally understand what energy is, where it comes from, how we use it and how much we need," said Dr. Sanjayan. "POWERING THE FUTURE aims to help educate viewers and empower them to take action with their personal energy needs. Watch the show and you won't throw a light switch, eat a hamburger, drive a car, fly a plane or look at the New York City skyline the same way again."

"POWERING THE FUTURE was developed through the extraordinary vision of our founder and chairman John Hendricks," said Clark Bunting, president and general manager of Discovery Channel and president of Science Channel. "At a time when the nation's attention is sharply focused on both our dependence on and the dangers of fossil fuels, Discovery Channel delivers the most complete study of how we can transform our energy needs and what our energy future will look like."

"POWERING THE FUTURE continues Discovery Communications' long tradition of showcasing compelling and contemporary programming that both engages and informs on topics of critical importance to the world we live in," said Carole Tomko, president and general manager of Discovery Studios. "We are excited to put the full resources of Discovery Studios behind Discovery Channel in its efforts to illuminate one of the most pressing issues of our time."

In the first episode, The Energy Revolution, airing Saturday, July 17, at 8 PM (ET/PT), Sanjayan explores the beginnings of a shift in energy use that will change the world. Whether for national security, the economy or the health of our planet, there are as many drivers for change as there are technologies vying for a top spot. The hope is for a silver bullet to solve the problem all at once; the reality is that mankind is looking at the next industrial revolution, requiring the greatest minds and all the creativity we can harness. The episode looks at cutting-edge technologies that could allow us to break our dependence on fossil fuels.

Additional episodes of POWERING THE FUTURE include (all times ET/PT):

The Energy Planet

World Premiere, Saturday, July 17, at 9 PM

Starting from an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, Sanjayan looks at how the abundance of the planet's energy fuels every aspect of life on Earth. From wind, water, the sun, volcanoes and hurricanes, from the smallest cells to the tallest trees, Earth has the natural energy to power the planet, but mankind is not using it. What can humans learn from the creation of the natural world that will help create energy?

Striking a Balance

World Premiere, Sunday, July 18, at 8 PM

We are bombarded daily with conflicting messages about energy from sources with vastly different agendas and motives. This episode filters out politics and special interests by looking at numbers: How many people will be on the planet by 2050, and how much energy will we need? What happens if we grow and consume at our current rate? It's common knowledge that we use enormous amounts of energy, but until it's quantified, it's impossible to grasp the true extent of how much is wasted.

Leading the Charge

World Premiere, Sunday, July 18, at 9 PM

Unlikely characters and companies are leading the charge in an energy sea change. The U.S. Navy, China and even the Empire State Building (or your next-door neighbor) -- when it comes to energy, these unlikely forces are slashing their carbon footprints and propelling the new economy. But it's happening around the world faster than in the United States. From highly efficient wind turbines to cutting-edge solar cells, the U.S. has an unprecedented track record for discovering the technologies to break our fossil fuel addiction, but rather than developing and employing them here at home, it has also developed a knack for giving them away.

Encore presentations of POWERING THE FUTURE will air on Science Channel Monday, July 19, from 9 to 11 PM and Tuesday, July 20, from 9 to 11 PM (ET), and on Planet Green Sunday, July 25, from 9 to 11 PM and Monday, July 26, from 9 to 11 PM (ET).

POWERING THE FUTURE is produced for Discovery Channel by Discovery Studios. Paul Gasek is executive producer for Discovery Channel, and Chris Weber is vice president of production for Discovery Channel. Chad Cohen is executive producer for Discovery Studios. Carole Tomko is president and general manager of Discovery Studios.

About Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel 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 is distributed to 100.1 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 Studios

Discovery Studios is the full-service production studio within Discovery Communications that develops and produces innovative, high-quality original programming for the Discovery networks. With offices in Silver Spring, Los Angeles and New York, Discovery Studios is the largest domestic producer of content across Discovery networks. Discovery Studios offers unique access to the talent, reach and unrivaled expertise of Discovery. Discovery Studios is also home to the growing Branded Entertainment division and the robust Footage & Music Services division offering an outstanding multimedia library for use in productions around the world.

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 180 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, Planet Green 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.

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