TCA: Discovery unveils new shows for ID, TLC

In its TCA presentation in LA on Thursday (January 7), Discovery Communications unveiled such upcoming projects as an Investigation Discovery doc series directed by Joe Berlinger (pictured) and TLC's Single Dad Seeking.
January 7, 2016

As part of Discovery Communications’ TCA press tour presentation held today (January 7) in Los Angeles, the network group unveiled a raft of air dates for previously announced programs, documentaries and returning series, as well as new projects including TLC’s tentatively titled Single Dad Seeking and the Investigation Discovery doc series Judgment Day: Prison or Parole? with Joe Berlinger (pictured).


Produced by Bray Entertainment, Single Dad Seeking will document the lives of five single fathers as they search for a woman to love not only them, but their kids as well. The series will introduce five unattached women seeking a relationship with a “responsible, caring man.” Having never met in person, each couple will dive into living together in a trial run while attempting to deal with teen angst, babysitting and awkward encounters.


Discovery Channel and Science Channel unveiled a February air date for Oscar nominee Nathaniel Kahn’s documentary on the construction of the James Webb Space Telescope.

As previously reported, the one-off documentary Telescope will provide an in-depth account of the people and technologies responsible for creating the latest orbiting infrared observatory in NASA’s arsenal of long-range space telescopes.

The film will provide audiences with a look into “the high-stakes mission of building the Webb Telescope,” promising to reveal a number of firsts, including the testing of never-before-seen technologies.

Telescope is slated to premiere as part of Science Weekend on February 20 at 9 p.m. EST/PST on Discovery Channel, while Science Channel will air the doc the following night on February 21 at 9 p.m. EST/PST.

Discovery Channel will broadcast more than 20 hours of science programming including How It’s Made, Outrageous Acts of Science and NASA’s Unexplained Files. A science-themed MythBusters will air at 8 p.m. EST/PST leading into the world premiere of Telescope.


Animal Planet’s take on the NFL’s annual championship game will return via the Puppy Bowl XII on February 7 at 3 p.m. EST/PST. Produced by Discovery Studios, the two-hour event will feature 49 puppies separated into two teams – #TeamFluff and #TeamRuff – as they vie for the coveted title of Bissell MVP (Most Valuable Puppy). The Kitty Half-Time Show will showcase a kitten-inspired takeover of the San Francisco Bay Area as they paw their way across such historic landmarks as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz.

The net will also introduce its audiences to virtual reality through Puppy Bowl Virtual Reality, in which viewers can “take the field” for a complete 360-degree experience.

The event will kick off with Puppy Bowl Pre-Game Show, a tailgate event taking place at 2:30 p.m. EST/PST and will feature analysis and commentary from a team of sports correspondents.

Simon Morris serves as co-executive producer for Discovery Studios while Animal Planet’s Melinda Toporoff will exec produce with Pat Dempsey associate producing.


Over at Investigation Discovery (ID), the net is teaming up with Paradise Lost director Joe Berlinger on the three-part series Judgment Day: Prison or Parole?. Directed and exec produced by Berlinger, the program will examine the process of parole hearings in America. The doc has exclusive access to state parole boards in Colorado and Wyoming, and each hour-long episode will follow inmates navigating hearings in hope of early release.

“With first-hand accounts, Judgment Day pulls back the curtain to see if the extreme remorse expressed by convicted inmates seeking parole is real as the parole boards revisit the crimes, while also hearing the often opposing view expressed by victims and victims’ families, to ultimately decide if the incarcerated is safe for release,” reads a statement by Investigation Discovery.

The news comes as SXSW today revealed the world premiere of Berlinger’s latest feature doc, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, screening at the festival in March.

Judgment Day is produced by Blumhouse Productions and Radical Media.

Next, on the heels of Netflix’s documentary series Making a Murderer, ID has partnered with NBC’s Peacock Productions on a fast-turnaround ‘Front Page’ special hosted by journalist and Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison.

Front Page: The Steven Avery Story promises to reveal “crucial testimony and information that addresses many of the questions surrounding Steven Avery,” said Henry Schleiff, group president of Investigation Discovery, American Heroes Channel and Destination America.

The special – which began production this week – will air in late January.

Finally, ID will premiere a documentary series based on its 2015 special Hate in America. The series, also named as such, will find journalist Tony Harris teaming with the Southern Poverty Law Center to showcase stories from the organization’s case files.

The Peacock Productions-made series will debut on February 29 at 8 p.m. EST/PST. Episodes cover a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the United Klans of America, as well as the white supremacist Pioneer Little Europe group in Flathead Valley, Montana.


Following its live exorcism stunt last fall, the net is carrying on its supernatural investigation with the six-part series Paranormal Lockdown. The Groff Entertainment-produced series is hosted by Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman, and follows the pair as they confine themselves in some of America’s scariest places for 72-hour-long stints.

Groff previously exec produced Ghost Stalkers in 2014 and also appeared in Exorcism: Live!. Paranormal Lockdown is his first hosting turn for Destination America.


AHC is delving into the Wild West this January with Western Week, beginning January 18. Featured programming includes the two-part special The Cowboy, which tells the tales of the Old West through the lens of historians, actors, directors, producers and cinematographers, as well as real-life cowboys and modern-day Western figures.

Other programming set to air includes Legends of the West, which profiles the men who “protected the innocent from an endless torment of gun-wielding outlaws” in the Old West, as well as Blood Feuds, which features “six action-packed stories chock-full of simmering tensions, brutal struggles and bitter hatred centered on our nation’s most iconic rivalries.”

The Cowboy is produced by Network Entertainment, while Legends of the West is produced by Castle Pictures, Inc. Blood Feuds comes from Lion Television.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.