LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- A recap of Discovery Communications' various series and scheduling announcements not covered in today's wave of press releases (sorted by premiere date):
CHASING CLASSIC CARS (Velocity)
Returns January 8 at 10PM ET/PT
Hosted by high-end collector car enthusiast , Wayne Carini, Velocity's signature series CHASING CLASSIC CARS welcomes viewers into the elite world of high-end car collection, as Wayne finds, buys, restores and sells some of the finest and most unique vehicles ever manufactured. Wayne chases down original one-off cars in secret stashes around the country and meets with some of the hobby's most respected collectors, restorers, and artisans. Whether he is restoring a vintage ride, or searching for a hidden gem in garages around the world, Wayne's straight-shooting sensibility and passion for everything on wheels makes CHASING CLASSIC CARS a must-see for car lovers everywhere.
MECUM: MUSCLE CARS AND MORE (Velocity)
Kissimmee Auction January 23-26
Enter a world where the cars are the stars on MECUM AUTO AUCTIONS. Charismatic auction king Dana Mecum calls the shots as car aficionados bid for the best on the block Whether it's the chant of the auctioneer calling the bids or the frenzied ring men working the crowd, this LIVE-broadcast series promises all the action from the front row. This January, the franchise travels to Kissimmee Florida for their largest auction to date.
PUPPY BOWL IX (Animal Planet)
World Premiere Sunday, February 3, at 3 PM (ET/PT)
PUPPY BOWL is back for its ninth consecutive year with an all-star, all-adorable cast that's itching to play in a winning combination of terrier tackles, canine touchdowns, puppy penalties and fido first downs. Featuring fan-favorites including the water bowl cam, kiss cam and an aerial view of the field provided by a blimp and its hamster pilots, this year's big game marks the return of @MeepTheBird who will tweet all the latest updates and puppy drama from inside the stadium on game day. Furry puppy players in need of a cool down will bask in the crystal clear waters of a special puppy hot tub and, in a game-day first, a loveable lineup of hedgehogs will occupy the sidelines of the grand gridiron and cheer with delight for their favorite pups.
STRIP THE CITY (Science)
Premieres Tuesday, February 5, at 9:00PM (ET/PT)
Strip The City uses stunning CGI animation and expedition - driven actuality to strip major cities naked of their steel, concrete, air, ocean and bedrock - layer by layer, act by act - to explore their hidden infrastructure and solve key mysteries surrounding their origins, geology, archaeology, industry, weather and engineering. Each episode will explore six iconic features of each city - one per act. Each icon will take us a layer deeper into the city. They will range from man - made skyscrapers and metro systems to natural dunes and lakes.
ODDITIES - Season 4 (Science)
Premieres on Saturday, February 9 at 9:00PM (ET/PT)
Oddities is the weird world of Obscura Oddities and Antiques, where the customers are as odd as the artifacts. Everyone and everything from the world's smallest escape artists to light bulb eaters, from two headed ducks to three legged chickens, find their way here. Think Pawn Stars meets the Adams Family.
ODD FOLKS HOME (Science)
Premieres on Saturday, February 9 at 9:30PM (ET/PT)
Picture your favorite characters you've seen come through shop doors on Oddities. Now, imagine what their houses must look like! In every episode of Odd Folks Home, we're following the country's weirdest and most obsessed collectors home for a look at their unimaginable treasures and bizarre lifestyles. We'll get a peek at their prized obsessions and an inside look at how they find, create and maintain their massive stockpile of strange.
GLORY HOUNDS (Animal Planet)
World Premiere Thursday, February 21, at 8 PM (ET/PT)
On the battlefields, a remarkable group serves the United States with limitless courage and unparalleled loyalty. Devoted to protecting their comrades, military working dogs serve beside their human partners in Iraq and Afghanistan, only asking for affection in return. The show explores the friendships between man and dog, which are magnified and transformed into deep, emotional bonds that can last the rest of their lives. From tracking insurgents to sniffing out explosive devices, military working dogs are an integral component of the armed forces. GLORY HOUNDS drops audiences into the heat of battle and reveals extraordinary stories of heroism and friendship that have shaped the lives of the men and women who serve our country.
ALIEN ENCOUNTERS 2 (Science)
Tuesday, March 5 and Tuesday, March 12 at 10:00PM (ET/PT)
They answered our message...travelled billions of miles...and now they are here. In this intriguing sequel, "Alien Encounters 2" begins exactly where ALIEN ENCOUNTERS - THE ARRIVAL ended - a swarm of small spacecraft depart their huge mother ship, and hover in our atmosphere. The human race waits... Then, the ships open their hatches, and deposit thousands of mysterious capsules on the earth's surface. Are they are message, a gift...or a weapon? 4 The Mother Ship hovers ominously silent and empty in our orbit, but the world is riveted, not by the mighty craft above, but the pods here on earth. They open...we brace for contagion... These startling developments set in motion the overarching questions of this special - how will we respond to an alien presence in our midst? With wisdom and restraint, or panic and fear? How can we understand their motives if we can't understand their language, technology, or life forms? For many, the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligence has meant months of watching and waiting with equal parts of hope and fear. Suddenly our cultural differences could become very small in comparison to this giant force that may have benevolent or evil intentions for involvement with our species. What will happen when we see behind the curtain of the mothership?
ALIENS: THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE (Science)
Tuesday, March 19 and Tuesday, March 26 at 10:00PM (ET/PT)
This is the 'Encyclopedia Galactica' of non - Earthlings. This series is a comprehensive investigation into the latest scientific understanding of life beyond Earth. Showcasing the extraordinary scientists who are grappling with the ultimate questions of "What do Aliens look like?" How do they think?" "What does their language sound like?" and of course "Will they come in peace?" This adventure takes us to stunning, remote locations on Earth and across the Universe itself in a quest to create the ultimate guide to our hidden neighbors.
In addition to the above, Marjorie Kaplan - President and General Manager, Animal Planet - confirmed its much-ballyhooed series "Whale Wars" will return for a sixth season.