Entertainment Magazine: TV: Discovery Channel: Shark Week


During SHARK WEEK’s 20-year anniversary celebration from July 29 to August 4, eight all-new programs will air in the 9 PM hour.  Additionally, Discovery Channel will fill its total day schedule from 9 AM to 3 AM (ET/PT) with shark documentaries -- including a “Viewers Choice” hour at 8 PM.

The eight premiere programs airing in SHARK WEEK 2007 are:

Ocean of Fear: The Worst Shark Attack Ever

Sunday, July 29, 9-11 PM ET/PT  (2 hour special)

This two-hour premiere special kicks off the primetime 9 PM hour of SHARK WEEK’s 20th Anniversary and is narrated by Richard Dreyfuss, who memorably played Matt Hooper in Jaws.  The special tells the gripping story of the crew of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, sunk by two torpedoes in the Philippine Sea on the night of July 30, 1945.  Eight hundred sailors, many maimed and burned, were plunged into the water … and floated helplessly for four days, having to deal with hunger, driven mad by thirst and menaced by hundreds of sharks.  Assisted by George Burgess, America’s foremost investigator of shark attacks, Discovery Channel re-opens the official shark attack file on the Indianapolis – the first time this incident has ever been scientifically investigated.  Ocean of Fear examines why the sharks attacked the way they did (and why they sometimes did not), and investigates the survival strategies of the men in the water, including those who fought the sharks.  Survivors recall their ordeal on camera and remarkable reconstructions, filmed with real sharks, reveal the drama from both the sharks' and the humans' perspectives.

Deadly Stripes: Tiger Sharks

Monday, July 30, 9-10 PM ET/PT

At nearly 20 feet in length, with hundreds of razor-sharp teeth and a weight of over 1,300 pounds, the tiger shark is one of the world’s best-equipped predators.  Nicknamed the ocean’s garbage disposal for their not-so-picky eating habits, tiger sharks are believed to be solitary animals.  This premiere SHARK WEEK program examines an unusual and mysterious event off the South African coast.  Each year, tiger sharks gather en masse off Aliwal Shoal and then, as suddenly as they appear, they vanish.  South African shark expert Mark Addison, who has worked with tiger sharks for over 20 years, has a theory that these sharks are actually the same individuals year after year -- and he hatches a plan to prove it via satellite tracking.  To do so, Addison braves the waters without a shark cage, chain mail suit or scuba gear.  He also free-swims without an oxygen tank, to allow him to get up close to tag the sharks with a satellite tracking device -- risking not only being bitten by the tiger sharks, but also drowning. 

Top 5 Eaten Alive

Monday, July 30, 10-11 PM ET/PT

This premiere program features five of the most amazing stories of shark attack survival, told by the victims themselves.  Among the stories:  An abalone diver’s head and arm are bitten by a great white … A young woman swimming in the deep ocean near Easter Island is caught in a tug-of-war between her rescue crew and a massive shark with her leg in its jaws … A shark scientist surrounded by a dozen predators in the Bahamas is bitten on the calf … A fisherman’s arm is bitten off, yet he has no memory of the attack … A woman vacationing on a yacht near a remote Pacific island is pulled underwater by a 9-foot tiger shark and fends it off with a punch to the nose, while her shipmates scramble to find help in the middle of nowhere.

Shark Feeding Frenzy

Tuesday, July 31, 9-10 PM ET/PT

It’s been said that a shark will eat anything from a license plate to a suit of armor, but the reality is that the menu of the so-called “eating machine” is complex, specific and so important that it determines everything about the shark -- including its size and where it lives.  Hosted by Survivorman and SHARK WEEK host Les Stroud, this program takes a close look at the diets of seven species:  great white, mako, tiger, bull, Caribbean reef, lemon and hammerhead sharks.  A series of hands-on tests are conducted to learn more about the diet of these predators – and discover which shark has the strongest jaws, how often a shark needs to eat and why, and what senses incite a shark to attack.

Perfect Predators

Wednesday, August 1, 9-11 PM ET/PT (2 hour special)

During more than 400 million years of evolution, over 400 species of shark have developed highly refined instincts and abilities to keep them the ocean’s top predator.  This premiere program observes sharks in their environment in oceans around the globe, including tracking the migration of a baby shark in Bimini, attaching cameras to the social lemon shark to see how they relate to one another, and investigating a newly discovered great white behavior.  Some great whites have been tracked migrating from the West Coast of the United States to a blank spot on the map in the mid-Pacific at the same time every year – but why?  Also investigated are new scientific applications and technologies being developed using the unique properties of shark skin – from mimicking its barnacle-shedding properties on the outer side of ships, to its bacteria-resistant properties to coat medical applications such as operating tables and catheter tubes. 

Shark Tribe

Thursday, August 2, 9-10 PM ET/PT

Animal behaviorist Dave Salmoni and South African shark scientist Ryan Johnson journey to the remote, tribal shores of New Guinea to unravel the mysterious secrets of the local shark whisperers who “call” in sharks from tiny canoes, without bait.  As Dave and Ryan immerse themselves in this extraordinary ancient ritual, they gain knowledge that could help humans and sharks coexist. 

Sharks: A Family Affair

Friday, August 3, 9-10 PM ET/PT

As South Africa’s leading shark expert, Craig Ferreira has spent his entire life studying and diving with sharks.  For the past several years his dream has been to travel the world for a year to study what has been called “the dirty dozen” – 12 of the deadliest species of shark – and pass on his knowledge about and love for sharks to his children.  On this expedition, Craig brings his entire family – his children Storm, Cruise and Wilder and his wife Jytte – to the world-famous “Shark Alley” off of South Africa’s Dyer Island for seven days, where they tag sharks and observe great whites from an underwater cage. 


Saturday, August 4, 9-11 PM ET/PT (2 hour special)

Michael Rutzen is on an unbelievable quest -- to hypnotize, in open water, one of the most dangerous animals on the planet – the great white shark.  Rutzen has been working with sharks for many years to study their body language.  He believes if he can put sharks into a sleep-like state called tonic immobility, he could reveal a completely different side to their nature that might inspire people to want to protect, rather than destroy, these incredible apex predators.

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