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Upfront ’17: Discovery unveils 2017/2018 programming slate

Discovery Communications has unveiled its programming slate for the upcoming year, including a show that puts people in complete darkness and a series that explores how technology is being used ...
March 29, 2017

Discovery Communications has unveiled its programming slate for the upcoming year, including a show that puts people in complete darkness and a series that explores how technology is being used to hack banks, casinos and prisons.

Read a breakdown of each channel below:

DISCOVERY CHANNEL

Discovery Channel has added 18 new series as well as 20 returning shows to its 2017/2018 lineup.

New programs for the season include survival series Darkness, where three strangers endure days buried underground; Devil’s Canyon, featuring three gold-seeking prospectors in B.C.; Gold Rush: Parker’s Trail; and Cold Case Alaska.

Discovery’s iconic Motor Monday is going into hire gear with a series of car-related programs including House of Cars (w/t), Garage Rehab and Motorheads (w/t). It’s also reviving Cash Cab, where unwitting passengers expecting a normal taxi find out they’re instant contestants in for a potentially lucrative ride.

Discovery has a lineup of doc specials that include the celebration of the 60th anniversary of NASA in Nasa: 60 Years and Beyond (pictured). Other specials include Billion Oyster Project (w/t), which takes a look at the ambitious project to restore oysters on New York’s Governor Island. In Mosquito, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Tom Frieden and the World Health Organization sound the alarm about the mounting global threat of mosquitoes. Rancher Farmer Fishermen, an official selection of the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, weaves together the stories of four unlikely conservationists working in America’s heartland. Sacred Cod explores the complex collapse of one of the world’s greatest commercial fisheries in New England.

Returning shows include: Alaskan Bush People, Alaska: The Last Frontier, Bering Sea Gold, Deadliest Catch, Diesel Brothers, Edge of Alaska, Fast N’Loud, Gold Rush, Homestead Rescue, Killing Fields, Last Alaskan, Misfit Garage, Moonshiners, Naked and Afraid, Naked and Afraid XL, Street Outlaws, Street Outlaws: New Orleans, Treasure Quest: Snake Island, Vegas Rat Rods, Yukon Men.

TLC

On TLC, popular 90 Day Fiancé return with its second spinoff series 90 Days Fiance: Before the 90 Days as well as an original digital spinoff series 90 Day Fiance: What Now? (w/t).

In Hair Goddess (w/t), audiences follow self-made woman Christina Olivia and her family as they deal with the stress of opening a new hair salon business in. The Healer follows Charlie Goldsmith, a man with the power to heal people using his mind and the power of touch in his work and life as celebrities, athletes and ordinary people look to him hoping to be cured of their ailments.

Hear Me, Love Me, See Me (w/t) based on the international relationship format, gives bachelorettes an unfiltered view into the lives of three single men, using only POV cameras, but without showing the suitors’ faces.

Meet the Putmans follows Bill and Barb Putmans and their 25-person family living under one roof, while Nate & Jeremiah By Design helps distraught homeowners turns catastrophes into dream homes.

Among TLC’s specials and events are Diana: Tragedy or Treason? (w/t), The Fall (w/t) and This is Life Live.

Returning seasons of series include The Little Couple, Kate Plus 8, OutDaughtered, Little People, Big World, Sister Wives, Baby Story Live, Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, Long Island Medium, Trading Spaces and My Big Fat Fabulous Life.

INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY

True crime network Investigation Discovery has 660 hours of premiere’s planned and has renewed 40 series.

New specials include the three-part docuseries Son of Sam: The Hunt for a Killer, marking the 40th anniversary of the capture of David Berkowitz. In Keith Morrison Investigates, veteran journalist and Dateline NBC correspondent Keith Morrison covers true crime cases that dominate global headlines. In Black and Blue, journalist Tony Harris explores the current state of police and race relations crippling the U.S. and The Trial of Anthony Gray (working title), follows in real time the verdict on Anthony Gray and if he is guilty or not guilty of murdering his parents.

New series include James Patterson’s Murder is Forever — a true-crime experience featuring best-selling author James Patterson. True Conviction follows former Brooklyn District Attorney’s office Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi as she examines murder investigations.Evil Talks: Chilling Confessions transports audiences into the interrogation room of some of the most chilling conversations in the history of crime.Shattered (w/t) takes viewers into the lives of people who have been tied to a single devastating event.

The Wonderland Murders (w/t) looks at the picturesque pacific northwest that is a playground for serial killers, while Horror at the Cecil Hotel is an investigative docuseries that examines if there is evil connected to the grisly events that continue to haunt the Hotel Cecil. In Home Alone (w/t), a quiet suburban household becomes the setting of unimaginable horror.

Murder Castle looks at Dr. H.H. Holmes who constructed a dark and dangerous death trap  hotel. Murder in the Heartland recounts the stories of Middle-American towns – and the crimes that tore through them. Prime Suspect (working title), dissects the investigation of a sweet kid who on one horrible night becomes an accused murderer. Extreme Measures (working title) follows the stories of real people who go to extreme measures to solve the murder of a loved one. Law enforcement tap into the minds of killers as they search for clues within the perfect murder in Diabolic.

SCIENCE CHANNEL

Science Channel’s highlight new programs sketch out an entertainment focus.

Hosted and executive produced by Johnny Galecki, SCIJINKS (w/t) follows the Big Bang Theory actor as he colludes with a team of scientists to orchestrate pranks informed by chemistry, physics and robotics.

Life on the Line, meanwhile, unfolds with the guidance of adventurer and science enthusiast Todd Sampson, whose faith in the laws of physics is tested in oft-treacherous experiments that place his life at risk. Finally, cult favourite MythBusters makes its anticipated debut on Science, featuring new hosts Brian Louden and Jonathan Lung. The duo had earned their titles as co-hosts last month, on the channel’s MythBusters: The Search competition.

More new programs on Science Channel’s upfront schedule include Great American Eclipse, a live event special that will feature observations from the International Space Station on August 21st, when the Great American Eclipse is set to cross the continental United States; Silicon Valley (w/t), award-winning documentarian Michael Schwarz’s three-part docuseries on the history of Silicon Valley; and Secrets of the Pyramids, an event mini-series that will employ large-scale engineering experiments and CGI animation to offer up new findings about the Pyramids at Giza.

Returning series are Science favourites What on Earth?, Outrageous Acts of Science, Unearthed, How the Universe Works and How it’s Made.

ANIMAL PLANET

The new series on Animal Planet’s upfront slate gravitate towards two themes: makeovers and mythbusting.

In the former category is Animal House, a series that follows a team of designers helmed by HGTV Design Star winner Antonio Ballatore as they work to cultivate dreamy, pet-friendly spaces for homeowners and their pets.

Cat Meets Dog, meanwhile, aims to transform the strained relationships between cohabitating cats and dogs, with the help of dog trainer Zoe Stathis-Sandor and cat behaviourist and My Cat From Hell host Jackson Galaxy. Formats My Fat Pet and Rescue Dog to Super Dog both feature pet trainers who specialize, respectively, in animal weight loss and cultivating the skills of rescue dogs.

Meanwhile, Expedition Mungo and Extinct or Alive share an investigative ethos. Both expert-led – Expedition Mungo by Paul “Mungo” Mungeam, one of the world’s premiere adventure cameramen, and Extinct or Alive by wildlife biologist and adventurer Forrest Galante – the two travelogue series aim to separate fact from well-established myths.

Returning programs on Animal Planet include Monsters Inside Me, My Cat From Hell, Pet Nation Renovation, Pit Bulls and Parolees, Tanked, Treehouse Masters and The Vet Life, the network’s most-watched new series in 2016.

2017 will also mark the 14th puppy competition Puppy Bowl, which airs on Super Bowl Sunday.

VELOCITY

Automotive net Velocity has unveiled the return of 13 hit franchises and several new series in its 2017/17 programming lineup.

New series include JDM Legends (w/t), featuring cars from the Japanese Domestic Market, Texas Metal (w/t), which covers Ekstensive Metal Works, and Last Stop Garage, about a team of ragtag mechans in North West River Labrador, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

Returning series include Bitchin’ Rides, Wheeler Dealers. Fantomworks, Chasing Classic Cars, Garage Squad, Restoration Garage, Graveyard Carz, Iron Resurrection, Unique Rides, All Girls Garage, Car Fix Truck U, Isle of Man TT and Toy Makerz.

 

About The Author
Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at mkashty@brunico.com, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty

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