Henry S. Schleiff, group president for Discovery Communications channels Destination America, Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Family Channel, unveiled a slate of forthcoming series and specials across the roster during an Television Critics Association tour session on Thursday (July 30), including a live exorcism and the U.S. tycoon series, American Titans.
Destination America will revisit the home that inspired the 1971 film The Exorcist on its 66th anniversary this Halloween with a live televised exorcism. Produced by Tremendous! Entertainment, Exorcism: Live! will take viewers to the original 1949 home of Ronald Doe in the suburbs of St. Louis in an attempt to rid the home of its demons. The special will feature the cast of Ghost Asylum, the Tennessee Wraith Chasers, as well as psychic medium Chip Coffey as they use state-of-the-art technology to document any paranormal goings-on.
Exorcism: Live! will bow on October 30 at 9 p.m. EST/PST on Destination America, and will showcase multiple live camera feeds on DestinationAmerica.com.
Among the series set to bow across the network’s Investigation Discovery channel is Indecent Proposal, which will air with back-to-back episodes August 22 at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST/PST. The Punched in the Head Productions series explores the quandary individuals face when presented with life-altering moral dilemmas and the consequences of their actions.
Elsewhere, the U.S. broadcaster has also greenlit the documentary special Behind Closed Doors: Shocking Secrets, which is set to expose issues around domestic abuse in the U.S.
Produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions, the one-hour special will explore the life and death decision to leave an abusive situation. Hosted by the Emmy Award-winning Al Jazeera America anchor Tony Harris, the special will air this October.
Harris will also partner with the civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and its founder, Morris Dees, for the tentatively titled docuseries And Justice for All, set to launch in early 2016 for ID. Again produced by Peacock Productions, each one-hour episode will act as a “voice for the oppressed” while spotlighting the SPLC’s history-altering battles that crippled some of America’s notorious hate groups.
Elsewhere, the previously announced Lincoln Square Productions-made series Barbara Walters Presents American Scandals has a fall air date.
The hour-long episodes – which will debut November 2 at 10 p.m. EST/PST on ID – will revisit some of the American journalist’s (pictured) most memorable one-on-one interviews and delve into personal insights while conducting exclusive interviews with key personnel in each original case. Featured stories include Jim Harris discussing his mother’s murder of celebrity diet doctor Herman Tarnower; Mark David Chapman, who murdered John Lennon; and Erik and Lyle Menendez, who shot their mother and father to death.
Investigation Discovery will also air the previously announced titles Death by Gossip with Wendy Williams on October 9 at 10 p.m. EST/PST; Killer Instinct with Chris Hansen on August 17 at 10 p.m. EST/PST; and Do Not Disturb: Hotel Horrors on October 21 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.
As well, Investigation Discovery will air season three of Deadly Devotion on August 3 at 9 p.m. EST/PST; season nine of Deadly Women on August 7 at 10 p.m. EST/PST; season three of Swamp Murders on August 12 at 10 p.m. EST/PST; season five of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda on August 18 at 10 p.m. EST/PST; season two of Nowhere to Hide on August 20 at 10 p.m. EST/PST; and season six of On the Case with Paula Zahn on August 30 at 10 p.m. EST/PST.
AMERICAN HEROES CHANNEL
The former, 6 x 60-minute series – produced by Discovery’s in-house prodco The Studio – follows such heavyweights of American industry as John D. Rockerfeller, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison and William Randolph Hearst. American Titans uses recreations and expert commentary “to reveal what it took for the founding fathers of the Fortune 500 to steer the Industrial Revolution into the Gilded Age.”
“Without the doggedness and foresight of these visionaries, pathways would not have been cleared to usher in modern-day moguls like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and entrepreneurs on the brink,” said Kevin Bennett, executive VP and GM of American Heroes Channel, in a statement.
Elsewhere, American Heroes Channel is putting the spotlight on historic chase and undercover operations in Manhunt: Kill or Capture. The 10 x 60-minute series – which debuts on August 12 at 10 p.m. EST/PST – centers on memorable manhunts, task force shutdowns and undercover infiltration of infamous American criminals such as drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Medellin cartel leader Pablo Escobar, and Miami drug dealer Griselda Blanco.
The series is produced by World Media Rights, with Jean-Claude Bragard serving as executive producer and Matthew Barrett as creative director. Liz Massie is exec producing for American Heroes Channel.
Finally, the net has also set a premiere date for the previously announced space race doc special, One Giant Leap. The 43 Films-produced special follows the tragedies, fears and pressures of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission, which led to America’s historic moon landing, and will premiere on August 5 at 10 p.m. EST/PST.
DISCOVERY FAMILY CHANNEL
The Leftfield Pictures-produced Lost and Found (working title) will follow a pair of “professional finders” who help others locate missing items. Mike Schario and Jesse Brown – the owners of Ohio “weird-tique” shop Finders Keepers – collect pop culture memorabilia from the past 50 years and also work as treasure hunters hired to locate long-lost items. The eight-part series debuts in November.
The series airs as part of the net’s ‘Project Thank You’ campaign, which showcases stories of people showing gratitude to loved ones or perfect strangers who have affected their lives. Further details on the campaign are to be announced at a later date.