Discovery’s ‘Shark Week’ returns for 28th season

Discovery Channel's long-running summer event 'Shark Week' is scheduled to return this June to celebrate its 28th anniversary with new programming and its first ever virtual reality experience.
May 18, 2016

Discovery Channel’s long-running summer event ‘Shark Week’ is scheduled to return this June to celebrate its 28th anniversary with new programming and its first-ever virtual reality experience.

The tentpole event – which runs June 26 at 8 p.m. EST/PST to July 3 – will work with nearly two dozen leading marine biologists and science institutions to highlight some of the most recent breakthroughs and developments and reveal new insights into these apex predators.

Among the 18 series slated to premiere this summer is the eighth edition of Air Jaws: Night Stalker, examining how great whites hunt in pitch black conditions; Jungle Shark, on why young bull sharks swim up river in Costa Rica’s Serena River; Nuclear Sharks, following Jacques Cousteau’s offspring – grandson Philippe and wife Ashlan – to Bikini Atoll to explore the effects of nuclear testing on the marine environment; and Shallow Water Invasion, in which marine biologists investigate the discovery of great whites moving into the shallow waters of Guadalupe Island at night.

Other programs slated to air include Sharktopia, following marine biologist Barbara Block as she profiles the Blue Serengeti; The Killing Games, in which a new great white hunting strategy is examined off the coast of South Australia; The Return of Monster Mako, documenting a live-predation of a thousand-pound mako shark through state-of-the-art technology; and Tiger Beach, shadowing leading tiger shark expert Dr. Neil Hammerschlag as he sets out to discover where they mate, where pregnant females gestate and where they give birth.

Award-winning filmmaker and actor Eli Roth will return on June 26 as host of Shark After Dark, a late-night talk show featuring celebrity guests and shark experts. The series will offer highlights of the day’s programming as well as a sneak peek into the next day’s slate. Roth will also return as host of the hour-long ‘Shark Week’ countdown special Sharktacular. The series will feature viral videos and exclusive sneak peeks to be featured in this year’s event.

Additionally, Discovery will offer an immersive underwater world experience via Discovery VR. The virtual reality experience Isle of Jaws, which will also be available as a documentary offering in Discovery’s programming slate, is expected to investigate the disappearance of great white sharks from the Neptune Islands off of South Australia. The experience will be made available through the DiscoveryVR app.

All virtual reality experiences will be made available to viewers on such platforms as Android, iOS, and Discovery’s Facebook and YouTube channels. Select offerings will also include an augmented reality experience in which fans can swim with sharks and unlock geo-based experiences and games when visiting events across the U.S.

Discovery will again partner with Oceana for its ‘Saving Sharks’ program that will be woven through multi-platform experiences and public service announcements.

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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.