Press release from Discovery, May 18, 2016:
The most fintastic time of the year is back and making a huge splash! SHARK WEEK, television’s longest-running and most anticipated summer event, airs Sunday, June 26 at 8:00 PM ET/PT and continues through Sunday, July 3. This year, SHARK WEEK celebrates its 28th anniversary and will keep viewers on the edge of their seat with all-new jaw-dropping and compelling shark stories and, for the first time ever, offering an immersive virtual reality experience. Working with nearly two dozen of the most respected marine biologists and science institutions, SHARK WEEK will also highlight some of the most recent breakthroughs and developments to reveal remarkable new insights into these magnificent creatures.
Additionally, award-winning film director, producer, writer and actor (“Inglourious Basterds”, “The Green Inferno,” and “Knock Knock”, amongst other projects) returns as host of SHARK WEEK’s hit late-night talk show Shark After Dark for a second year in a row. For five consecutive nights beginning Sunday, June 26, Roth will bring his unique style to Shark After Dark and make his mark on SHARK WEEK with celebrity guests, shark fans and shark experts, among many others. Roth will look back at some of the highlights from SHARK WEEK and look ahead to give viewers a sneak peek at the next day’s SHARK WEEK programs.
Take a dive into the program descriptions for SHARK WEEK 2016:
Air Jaws: Night Stalker
Famed shark photographer Chris Fallows embarks on his 8th Air Jaws adventure with shark expert Jeff Kurr and shark biologist Neil Hammerschlag as they discover how great white sharks hunt in total darkness. Narrated by Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”), it turns out that great whites can hunt effectively with or without any sun or moonlight – but how do they do that?
Using cutting-edge research and thrilling historical evidence, Dr. Michael Domeier and Dr. Barry Bruce go looking for rare oceanic white tip sharks, to see if the species deserve the reputation as the “World’s Deadliest Shark.” History says they are – and when the scientists dive in the Bahamas and off Hawaii, they’re spooked by this very dangerous shark.
Isle of Jaws
In 2016, award-winning shark cinematographer Andy Casagrande discovered that great white sharks had strangely and completely disappeared from the Neptune Islands off South Australia. Where did the sharks go? Searching west along the known great white migration route, he stumbles upon an incredible discovery – a concentration of all male great white sharks off an uncharted island. Andy calls in marine biologist Dr. Jonathan Werry, and together they get up close and personal with a dozen large great whites in the hopes of solving two of the most closely guarded of all the great white’s secrets… where they mate and where they have their young. Within this program, viewers will be able to immerse themselves into the adventure with virtual reality by using the DiscoveryVR app.
Jaws of the Deep
Marine biologist Greg Skomal and the REMUS SharkCam team return to Guadalupe to find the world’s largest great white shark, Deep Blue. This time, they deploy two robot subs: one that dives to 300 feet, and another that goes to 2000. Together, they build a profile of how the great white uses the entire water column. The team uncovers hunting techniques and strategies great whites use to ambush their prey – and film a great white’s attack on the sub!
Marine biologist Dr. Craig O’Connell and Andy Casagrande travel up the Serena River in the rainforests of Costa Rica to try and find out why young bull sharks swim up the river, and how they avoid the 12-14′ American crocodiles living there. O’Connell deduces the sharks smell the crocs and creates a first-of-its-kind croc scent-based bull shark repellant – and SHARK WEEK reveals a possible important discovery that could save human lives.
Grandson to legendary underwater explorer and filmmaker Jacques Cousteau, Philippe Cousteau, and his wife Ashlan Gorse Cousteau travel with marine biologist Luke Tipple to Bikini Atoll to explore a marine environment once destroyed by nuclear testing during the Cold War. The nuclear devices detonated across the atoll vaporized two islands and destroyed everything living. Today, nature has proved resilient and restored the marine ecosystem, re-populating the atoll with reef sharks. But since reef sharks are considered non-migratory, where did they come from? Tagging shows they do, indeed migrate atoll-to-atoll – and also uncovers an illegal fishing fleet taking sharks from inside one of the largest shark sanctuaries in the Pacific.
Shallow Water Invasion
Using a self-propelled shark cage called “The Explorer”, marine biologists Mauricio Hoyos and Grant Johnson will investigate a recent discovery at Guadalupe Island – great whites moving into shallow waters at night. This movement shows that sharks entering shallow water are normal behavior – which would account for some of the shark encounters happening with greater frequency in the shallows along coastlines.
There’s been a war going on between seal and great whites for millions of years. Now there’s a new battleground on the map called Cape Cod. It’s different in every way from the usual rocky islands where sharks and seals usually face off in other parts of the world. The great whites have had to learn new ways to hunt seals here. Dr. Greg Skomal and his team wonder, what are the sharks doing here, how do they get here, and how do more sharks learn of Cape Cod’s bounty of seals? And more importantly: if the number of seals and sharks continue to increase at the present rate, what’s the future?
Sharks Among Us
Shark encounters are increasing around the globe. The solutions to deal with the public’s growing anxiety range from culling to using nets and drumlins – all of which kill sharks. Dr. Craig O’Connell believes he has developed a system that will prove once and for all that sharks and people can peacefully coexist – and live!
Sharks vs. Dolphins: Face Off
Sharks and dolphins have shared the ocean for ages, but only recently, scientists have begun to understand the true nature of the relationship between these two masters of the sea. It’s hostile, and dangerous, mainly for dolphins. Dolphins would rather eat fish and swim with humans; sharks would rather eat dolphins and anything they can sink their teeth into. Dr. Mike Heithaus and his team bring new research that may solve why sharks attack dolphins far more than we ever knew.
We scour the seas to bring you the greatest moments from SHARK WEEK 2016! Only the closest calls, biggest bites, and greatest gadgets made the cut! Then, we’re revealing your top picks for the best of SHARK WEEK history.
This year, Eli Roth will also return as host of hour-long special, SHARK WEEK Sharktactular. In this official countdown to SHARK WEEK, Roth will introduce viewers to the greatest sharks in SHARK WEEK history, fan-submitted viral videos and exclusive sneak peeks of the most jaw-dropping moments that will be featured on this year’s SHARK WEEK.
Famed marine biologist and shark expert Barbara Block has been studying the white sharks off of California for more than 27 years. Now, with breakthrough camera technology and tracking technology, she’s giving scientists and viewers a portrait of a formerly unseen domain. She calls it the Blue Serengeti – it’s a vast, rich, and hidden world, now more visible thanks to new camera tags deployed on both predator and prey.
The Killing Games
Dr. Jonathan Werry and shark cinematographer Andy Casagrande travel to a special location in South Australia to research a new great white hunting strategy, where they no longer wait for seals to enter the ocean – they come out of the water and snatch them from the shore! But is this unique to Australia? It isn’t; sharks are smarter than we thought and can learn new things when there’s food involved.
The Return of Monster Mako
Professional shark tagger Keith Poe, and marine biologists Greg Stuntz, Matt Ajemain and their team use state-of-the-art technology to try to document a live-predation of a thousand-pound mako shark — what fishermen call a “grander.” Granders are enormous makos that make a kind of transformation when they reach 10 feet and 1000 pounds – they become more secretive and begin to hunt bigger prey, like seals. And they’re hard to find on the East Coast – until Joe Romeiro and team jump in the water after dark and come face to face with them.
Dr. Neil Hammerschlag is the world’s leading tiger shark expert. Now, he’s on a quest to answer what he calls the trifecta of tiger shark science: where do these giant sharks mate, where do the pregnant females gestate, and where do they give birth? He hopes to find answers by tagging and tracking 40 individuals across a shallow area off the Bahamas called Tiger Beach. Second only to great whites, the tiger shark’s killing power and voracious appetite is legendary – and Neil has to deal with some aggressive sharks while on expedition.
Wrath of a Great White Serial Killer
A newcomer has taken residence in the waters of the Pacific Northwest… the great white shark. Shark expert Ralph Collier and Brandon McMillian seek answers to the main questions in this case – why are great white sharks traveling so far north and why are these encounters focused on this one particular place?
In addition to all the captivating shark programming SHARK WEEK has to offer, Discovery will bring the SHARK WEEK experience to viewers in new and innovative ways through digital and social media platforms, partnerships with non-profit groups, affiliates, education programs, and more.
SHARK WEEK has long been a celebrated summer trending topic, making online and social media a jaw-dropping treat for viewers. Leading up to and during SHARK WEEK, Discovery Channel is encouraging all fans and shark enthusiasts to share their passion and insight about sharks online – including the issues our finned friends face – through the Shark Finbassadors program. Leading the charge will be their appointed Prime Finisters including SHARK WEEK veteran Andy Casagrande and environmental activists Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau. During SHARK WEEK, the Prime Finisters will be connecting with fans through live video Q&As, interacting with fans on Snapchat and taking over Shark Week’s Instagram account to highlight their work in the field. SharkWeek.com continues to be the best destination for all things shark online including an update of fan-favorite: Sharkopedia, featuring an ocean of shark facts through stunning photography, infographics, maps, quizzes and other finomenal interactives, as well as an all new online game tied to this year’s new episodes. Additionally, Shark Puppies will be the newest addition to the SHARK WEEK live cam lineup giving fans plenty of Shark N’ Aww as they watch adoptable puppies embrace their inner shark.
In addition to the amazing offerings online and on social media, fans will be able to submerge themselves in the underwater world of sharks with Discovery VR. The virtual reality experiences, available on Android, iOS, DiscoveryVR.com and Discovery’s Facebook and YouTube channels, will let fans experience SHARK WEEK from many of the filmmakers’ perspectives. The offering will also include an augmented reality experience where fans can swim with (and learn about) sharks wherever they are and unlock geo-based experiences and games when visiting events across the country.
In partnership with Oceana, Discovery’s Saving Sharks program will be woven throughout experiences available on SharkWeek.com, enabling visitors to take action on behalf of sharks everywhere. Fans can also keep up on all things sharks by following SHARK WEEK on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.
Nearly all of Discovery’s affiliate partners are participating in promotion around SHARK WEEK with advanced screenings, sneak peeks, Shark adventure sweepstakes, social promotions and a robust Video On Demand slate. Details include screenings and family day events at city aquariums and museums and cross channel spots across all major markets nationwide.
SHARK WEEK will be supported through the company’s Discovery Education division, the leading provider of standards-aligned digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms. Discovery Education will engage students in the important topics of biodiversity, ocean conservation and sharks by integrating SHARK WEEK videos in both Discovery Education Streaming Plus and Discovery Education Science Techbook and complementing these videos with a variety of classroom activities, lessons, virtual reality content, and two immersive virtual experiences. In addition, for the first time, Discovery Education is offering educators a chance to sneak peek a SHARK WEEK program, “Jungle Shark,” prior to the premiere. This program introduces students to the Central American jungle and its new unexpected predator, the Bull Shark, which is swimming in the murky river system. Now, through the power of science, an effective bull shark repellant is being created by scientists that may just save lives.
SHARK WEEK fans can gear up for the summer with everything from beach towels, apparel, and backpacks available at Target. Toys “R” Us is offering SHARK WEEK puzzles, backpacks, and lunch boxes. Other retailers carrying SHARK WEEK merchandise include, Walmart, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Old Navy, Nordstrom Rack, and more. Keep the SHARK WEEK celebrations going all summer long with must-have products available exclusively on DiscoveryStore.com, from themed t-shirts and jewelry to glassware and toys, as well as a new shark sleeping bag. Discovery At Sea, in partnership with Princess Cruises, will deck out four ships in their fleet for SHARK WEEK, featuring premiere screening parties, games, giveaways and much more.
SHARK WEEK shows no signs of slowing down. Last year, SHARK WEEK was the highest-rated SHARK WEEK in the event’s history in Primetime in Persons 25-54 and Women 25-54/18-49. It was also the highest-rated SHARK WEEK on record in Total Day in Persons/Men/Women 25-54, Persons/Women 18-49, Women 18-34, Persons 6-11 and Total Viewers P2+ from July 5-11 in L+3. During SHARK WEEK 2015, Discovery was the #1 cable network in Prime across all 25-54s, all 18-49s, all 18-34s, and P2+. Additionally Shark After Dark, SHARK WEEK’S late-night talk show, hosted by filmmaker Eli Roth, grabbed its highest ratings yet in its third year. The series was up double digits vs. 2014 in Persons 25-54 (13% vs. 2014) and had its best ratings on record in Persons/Men/Women 25-54, Persons/Women 18-49, Women 18-34 and Total Viewers P2+. Shark After Dark also ranked #1 in its time period on cable across Persons/Men/Women 25-54.