Discovery, Nat Geo take deep dive into shark programming

Rick's Reviews

Shark Week and Sharkfest will offer close looks at the underwater predators. (Photo courtesy of National Geographic)

(KGET) — The shark infestation has started.

National Geographic has launched its ninth annual “Sharkfest” while the 33rd “Shark Week” begins on Discovery starting July 11. Both will present a wide variety of programs with one thing in common – sharks.

“Sharkfest” is six weeks of programming that includes 21 hours of new premieres and 60 hours of enhanced content. Not only will the premium content continue to be available on National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD and Nat Geo Mundo, but National Geographic will also make select series and specials available post-premiere on Disney XD and Disney+ the following Fridays after their premiere beginning July 9.

For the past eight years, a focus of “Sharkfest” has been the science of sharks in an effort to give audiences a better understanding of the ocean’s top predator while also featuring their true beauty, power and mystery. The annual summer event gives the facts behind the predators and works with top scientists and advocates to inform and enlighten viewers.

This year’s roster includes: Paige, Winter, shark attack survivor, “Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story”; Dr. Mike Heithaus, marine ecologist, “Croc that Ate Jaws”: Laura Garcia Barcia, environmental biologist; Melissa Christina Marquez, marine biologist, “Shark Attack Files”;  Carlee Jackson, shark and sea turtle conservationist, “Shark Attack Files; Alison Towner, marine biologist, “Shark Attack Files”; and Sophumelela Qoma, project manager, Oceans Research Foundation.

Janet Vissering, senior vice president of Development and Production, National Geographic Partners, says, “The mysteries of the ocean’s most iconic predators are so vast, even with eight years of shark-focused content under our belt, there still remains more to be discovered.

“Like every year, shark scientists and oceanic experts have pulled out all the stops for this year’s ‘Sharkfest,’ revealing new discoveries, shocking revelations and bizarre shark behavior never seen before.”

“Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story” (10 p.m. July 12) looks at  the details of Winter’s attack and the inspirational story of how the teen remains an advocate for sharks, The six-part series “Shark Attack Files” (9 p.m. July 12) investigates bizarre and fascinating shark behavior. It includes footage from actual attacks, interactions and behavior captured by both professionals and observant bystander.

Additional highlights on National Geographic include six new episodes of “When Sharks Attack” (8 p.m. Aug. 2, Nat Geo WIld) which takes a look at why there are spikes in shark attacks. “Croc that Ate Jaws” (10 p.m. July 8) looks at what happens when two of the deadliest predators face off and “Rogue Shark?” examines a series of shark attacks in Australia.

Disney+ will stream programming starting July 9. It will debut the best programming from the previous eight seasons of “Sharkfest” beginning July 25.

The lineup of “Sharkfest” originals heading to the streaming service includes the exclusive premiere of the critically acclaimed underwater exploration feature documentary “Playing with Sharks” from National Geographic Documentary Films on July 23. Shark advocate Valerie Taylor, whose life’s work has become the basis for much of what we know about sharks today, is spotlighted. Through underwater archival footage, along with interviews, the 90-minute film follows this ocean explorer’s trajectory from champion spearfisher to passionate shark protector.

Disney XD’s programming starts July 10 and will include 12 hours of shark-filled programming premiering at 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through July 25. The Disney XD original “Eyewitness Shark: Fin Frenzy” has experts breaking down shark viral videos to reveal clues to help us understand sharks like never before. It debuts at 7 p.m. July 11.

Hulu will show all six previous seasons of “When Sharks Attack.” The deep-sea saga employs underwater photography, news archives and testimonials to deep dive into mysterious and deadly shark attacks.

Programming for Shark week begins at 8 p.m. July 11 with “Crikey! It’s Shark Week.” Other programs to be broadcast during the week include “Jackass Shark Week” (10 p.m. July 11), ‘Brad Paisley’s Shark Country” (9 p.m. July 13), “Dr. Pimple Popper Pops Shark Week” (8 p.m. July 14) and “Shark Academy” (10 p.m. July 18).

The programs will feature several special guests including William Shatner, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, the cast of Jackass and many others.

The offerings are designed to be entertaining and informative. Approximately two dozen marine biologists offer looks at innovative shark research and insight on shark species in the world. This includes the first in utero camera tag in a pregnant Tiger shark, a possible new Great White mating behavior, and the discovery of an elusive pupping ground.

Discovery has joined forces with Beneath the Waves, a non-profit organization using cutting-edge science to advance scientific discovery and catalyze ocean policy. Conservation of biodiversity and highly migratory species such as sharks are a primary focus.

If you don’t want to watch the programming on the Discovery cable or through the streaming service of Discovery+, there will be material available through new AR filters for Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook plus seven nights of livestreams on TikTok. Viewers can join the conversation on social media using #SHARKWEEK.

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