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Upfronts ’18: Discovery, Inc. unveils 2018/2019 programming slate

One month after finalizing its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, Discovery, Inc.’s portfolio of channels have unveiled their programming line-ups for the upcoming year. Read a breakdown of each channel below: DISCOVERY CHANNEL Discovery will ...
April 11, 2018

One month after finalizing its acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive, Discovery, Inc.’s portfolio of channels have unveiled their programming line-ups for the upcoming year.

Read a breakdown of each channel below:

DISCOVERY CHANNEL

Discovery will feature 448 hours of original programming in 2018, including the recently announced Steven Spielberg and Alex Gibney executive produced docuseries Why We Hate and the historical weaponry competition program Master of Arms (w/t; pictured).

Also coming to the network is Book of Hines, which features former military man and intelligence officer Brett Hines and his family who chose to make a new life off-grid using survival techniques Hines honed in the military; and Hard to Kill (w/t), in which Special Forces sniper and Green Beret Tim Kennedy travels the country to attempt some of America’s most dangerous jobs.

Premiering later this year on both Discovery and Science Channel is the documentary Valley of Kings, which goes inside the first major Egyptian excavation in a generation in search of several royal tombs that lie hidden.

Discovery Channel has also ordered Undercover Billionaire, a series that features a mystery mogul who has 90 days to create a million-dollar company with just a few dollars. If the self-made entrepreneur is successful at the end of the allotted time period, the company will be handed over to those who helped him along the way. And the mystery mogul will unveil his true identity to those around him.

Also heading to Discovery is the previously announced documentary Taken by the Tiger (w/t) directed by Academy Award winners Fisher Stevens and Ross Kauffman. The film chronicles those working to protect these fierce felines in the wild.

HGTV

The home reno net boasts 766 hours of original programming in 2018 and will see the return of Good Bones, which features mother/daughter duo Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak as they transform dilapidated homes in Indianapolis.

Premiering in May is the special The Housleys, which documents actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam, a senior correspondent for Fox News, as they renovate a home in Napa Valley, California; while Home Suite Home will feature teams of renovation pros who transform homes into stunning short-term rental properties for any budget. The series starts with a Nashville-based team, but future episodes will showcase other cities and experts.

Finally, Mom and Me showcases popular Oregon designer Karrie Trowbridge and her 21-year old son, Tristan, as they transform outdated properties into stylish homes.

FOOD NETWORK

The Food Network is firing up 650 hours of new and returning original programming for the small screen this year.

Cake-baking titans Duff Goldman of Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship and Buddy Valastro of TLC’s Cake Boss go head-to-head in a competition for the ages in the forthcoming Buddy vs. Duff.

Elsewhere, cooking competition series Chopped returns with lifestyle guru Martha Stewart joining the cast as a judge, bringing her food expertise and discerning critique to the judges’ table.

Also returning to the net are new seasons of Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition, Iron Chef America, Food Network Star and Food Network Star: Comeback Kitchen.

TLC

New titles headed to the lifestyle network include famous faces such as Drew and Jonathan Scott, and Kate Gosselin.

Drew and Linda Say I Do (w/t) features Property Brothers‘ Drew Scott and his fiance Linda Phan as they plan their dream wedding on TLC.

Kate Gosselin, meanwhile, will search for love in Kate Plus Date (w/t), which will provide audiences with a fly-on-the-wall look as Gosselin, now a single mom, experiences dating life for the first time in more than 18 years.

Elsewhere, the two-hour special JFK Jr. & Carolyn: A Camelot Wedding will explore John F. Kennedy Jr. and his wife Carolyn Bessette’s wedding, 20 years after their tragic plane crash. The film celebrates Kennedy and Bessette’s life and love for one another, while also capturing their wedding weekend on Cumberland Island, Georgia.

Rounding out TLC’s forthcoming line-up are Our Wild Life, which follows Bobbi Jo and her husband Jerry Abrams, their three children, and 81 adopted animals; and Mama Medium, which chronicles larger-than-life personality, psychic and medium Jennie Marie and her family in Rochester, New York. Each episode will feature several readings, offering audiences the chance to see Marie’s work first hand.

INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY 

The true crime network is bringing 650 hours of original programming to audiences in the year ahead, including the previously announced series Twisted Sisters, executive produced by Khloe Kardashian and 44 Blue.

From Zero Point Zero comes In Pursuit with John Walsh, a series that carries forward John Walsh’s lifelong goal of tracking down fugitives from justice in order to find missing children, and empowering the public to shepherd a more effective and accountable criminal justice system.

Meanwhile, Lightbox Entertainment’s two-hour special Gypsy’s Revenge will explore the death of Dee Dee Blanchard at the hands of her daughter, Gypsy Rose, who suffered from Munchausen by proxy syndrome.

Lake Erie borders four states and parts of Canada and is home to a variety of dark and deadly murder cases. The case of the 1989 kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Amy Mihaljevic is the subject of Lake Erie, a three-part special produced by Talos Films. Following Mihaljevic’s story, the series continues with hour-long stand-alone episodes that examine other murders and mysteries in the region.

Finally, The Night That Didn’t End (w/t) from Ample Entertainment will re-examine key moments from a murder investigation – as told by the victims’ family members, detectives or friends – in order to help push the storyline forward and solve the case.

ANIMAL PLANET 

The wildlife-focused net, having enjoyed its highest rated quarter in two years, has revealed its programming slate of six new and original series.

Natural history fare set to air on Animal Planet in the coming year includes Dodo Heroes, which documents people going to great lengths to help animals in dire need; docuseries The Irwins (w/t), following Terry, Bindi and Robert Irwin as they tirelessly work to carry their late father Steve Irwin’s legacy forward; and Amanda to the Rescue (w/t), chronicling the lives of Amanda Giese and her family as they care for neglected animals in need and help them find their forever homes.

Further unscripted titles premiering this year include Hanging with the Hendersons (w/t), which provides intimate insight into a family of doctors working at Colorado’s Fox Hollow Animal Hospital; and Wolves & Warriors (w/t), which documents the efforts of the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center as it looks to rescue abused or neglected wolves from dangerous domestic situations, illegal breeding operations and petting zoos, and then introduce them to combat veterans suffering from PTSD.

Animal Planet is also bringing back its popular Puppy Bowl for a milestone game, the Puppy Bowl XV.

MOTOR TREND

The male-skewing network Velocity, set to become the Motor Trend network in fall 2018, will continue to bring forth high quality automotive series, including Live, Love, Wrench.

The series follows car enthusiast and DIY mechanic Emily Williams and her husband, Aaron, as they take viewers through step-by-step repairs and upgrades on classic cars, off-road buggies and everything between.

Motor Trend will also become the home to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race, providing live coverage for U.S. and Canadian viewers. The race takes place June 16-17.

The network will also provide live coverage of the entire first IFA World Endurance Championship, extending across all three Motor Trend platforms and beginning with the Spa-Francorchamps on May 3-5, and will culminate with the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Returning to the motoring network are hit series Texas MetalBitchin’ Ridesand Wheeler Dealers.

TRAVEL CHANNEL

Travel Channel is expanding its slate of successful adventure programming with the likes of Hunting EvidenceFinding Beasts and Lost Gold.

The 6 x 60-minute Hunting Evidence will feature explorer and biologist Pat Spain in his global search to unearth answers to unsolved riddles, historic conundrums and mythic events, while Finding Beasts (8 x 60 minutes; August premiere) will track wildlife expert and filmmaker Casey Anderson in his attempts to document evidence of animals so large, or unusual, that they are thought to be extinct or exist only in folklore.

Lost Gold (6 x 60 minutes), meanwhile, will document the journeys of brothers Josh and Jesse Feldman as they set out across the American Frontier to find missing treasure dating back to the region’s gold rush era and beyond.

SCIENCE CHANNEL

Coming off the highest-rated year in its history, the network’s upfront slate includes the recently announced three-part docuseries The Innovators.

Produced by Ross Greenburg Productions, the series pairs historical and contemporary figures from similar fields, and looks at how innovation happens. The program will also make connections between modern innovators and their predecessors to tell the story of how our modern world was created.

DIY NETWORK

Meanwhile, sister channel DIY Networkhas loaded up its 2018/2019 slate with three new original premiere series.

Anchoring the line-up is four-part home reno series Hit Properties with Nathan Morris, which follows the former Boyz II Men member as he puts his skills as a home renovator and house flipper to the test; and the six-part Wood Work with Clint Harp, which shadows Fixer Upper craftsman Clint Harp as he creates personalized spaces with one-of-a-kind custom furnishings in Waco, Texas.

Finally, the eight-episode Lawn & Order will trace the lives of landscaping experts Chris Lambton and Sara Bendrick as they give new life to front yards and tired exteriors.

COOKING CHANNEL

The culinary-focused network will serve up 200 hours of original programming in 2018.

Hosted by Better Call Saul‘s Michael McKean, Food: Fact or Fiction? will explore age-old adages and uncover fascinating food mysteries that are baked inside everything we eat.

Rounding out the network’s program offering are Man, Fire, Food, in which Roger Mooking explores fire-cooked foods from local joints on back roads and byways from coast to coast; Beach Bites, following chef Katie Lee as she eats her way across the best local spots along the world’s shorelines; and Burgers, Brew & ‘Que, documenting Michael Symon’s cross-country road trip to taste the best American classics.

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