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Fall TV Preview: Discovery Channel

John Ford wants a big fourth quarter. Who doesn't, really? But Ford, president and gm of Discovery Channel, has a plan to make it happen. He's putting out an unusually large slate of new and returning programs, aiming to make Discovery's fall season a robust one. 'The schedule's kind of like a garden, you're pruning it and weeding it,' says Ford.
August 1, 2008

John Ford wants a big fourth quarter. Who doesn’t, really? But Ford, president and GM of Discovery Channel, has a plan to make it happen. He’s putting out an unusually large slate of new and returning programs, aiming to make Discovery’s fall season a robust one. ‘The schedule’s kind of like a garden, you’re pruning it and weeding it,’ says Ford.

In this case, the weeds include American Chopper, which was moved to TLC because it wasn’t hitting the primetime average Discovery wanted. The new flowers include series such as Prototype This!, Time Warp and Iditarod (w/t). In the tradition of one of the channel’s cornerstone programs, MythBusters, Prototype This! and Time Warp take viewers inside the how-tos of modern life.

The week starts with Sunday, the channel’s destination night, which will commence with Planet Earth repeats at the beginning of the quarter, followed by evenings of stacked series and specials. Tuesday is anchored by another cornerstone series of the channel, Dirty Jobs, and Wednesday by MythBusters. Friday is adventure night, with Survivorman and shows of that genre.

Where it airs: 96.7 million homes
Hours on air: 24/7
Website: www.discovery.com
Send pitches to: producers.discovery.com
Upcoming shows to watch for: Time Warp, Prototype This!, Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy, Discovery Project Earth, Into the Unknown with Josh Bernstein

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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