Discovery Channel has unveiled its programming line-up for the year ahead as part of its TCA presentation on Tuesday (Feb. 12).
Anchoring the flagship channel’s slate is a six-part natural history docuseries from American Idol creator Simon Fuller and award-winning wildlife filmmaker John Downer.
Serengeti (pictured) follows a cast of African wildlife over the course of a year that showcases the challenges of living on the Serengeti and highlights the daily challenges of life on the land, including a lioness trying to provide for her small cubs after being exiled by her pride.
Fuller and Downer worked on Serengeti for several years, according to Discovery Channel. Their team used innovative filming techniques in some of Africa’s most pristine regions to paint the ultimate portrait of survival.
The series is produced by XIX Entertainment and John Downer Productions. It was created by Fuller, who serves as an executive producer alongside Downer. The series is directed by Downer.
Serengeti, which will debut later this year, was commissioned for BBC TV by Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual.
Elsewhere, Discovery Channel is heading to Egypt to document explorer Josh Gates’ search for ancient artifacts and open an Egyptian sarcophagus for the very first time in the live event special Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live.
The tentatively titled 2 x 60-minute special will feature Gates as he offers viewers with the rare opportunity to see within the inner chambers of an excavation site, where archaeologists have unearthed a network of tunnels and tombs with 40 mummies believed to be part of the noble elite. The underground complex includes several chambers yet to be explored, and more discoveries to be revealed, including a limestone sarcophagus found buried deep within the complex.
Gates will be featured alongside world-renowned Egyptologist Dr. Zahi Hawass and Mostafa Waziri, the secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt.
The special is produced by Discovery Studios and Ping Pong Productions in association with Big Dreams Entertainment.
For Big Dreams Entertainment, Leslie Greif is executive producer. For Discovery Studios, Sandy Varo Jarrell, Peter Isacksen and Jason Sklaver serve as executive producers. For Ping Pong Productions, Brad Kuhlman, Casey Brumels and Gates are executive producers. For Discovery Channel, Howard Swartz is executive producer.
Expedition Unknown: Egypt Live will premiere April 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.