Discovery Channel fortifies lineup with special COVID-19 slate featuring network stars

American pay-TV network Discovery Channel has bolstered its lineup with a slate of COVID-19-related programming that will spotlight network talent from Deadliest Catch, Gold Rush and Street Outlaws. The forthcoming schedule aims to highlight the “global ...
May 5, 2020

American pay-TV network Discovery Channel has bolstered its lineup with a slate of COVID-19-related programming that will spotlight network talent from Deadliest CatchGold Rush and Street Outlaws.

The forthcoming schedule aims to highlight the “global pandemic and illustrates why connections to each other and to the natural world have never been more important.”

“We took this unprecedented time in the world as an opportunity to re-think how we bring our talent and their stories and voices to audiences around the world,” said Nancy Daniels, chief brand officer for Discovery and factual, in a statement. “Whether it’s the antics of the Diesel Brothers or diving into deep conversations with Mike Rowe and the captains of Deadliest Catch, we’re committed to finding exciting new ways to bring the world to our viewers each and every night.”

In addition to the linear premieres, Discovery’s multiplatform team has produced a 30-minute companion piece that sits alongside Animal Planet’s The Zoo, which explores how the ongoing pandemic has affected the animals living at The Bronx Zoo.

Each Friday while we stay at home, Discovery Instagram is taking viewers on a field trip. Discovery previously toured the San Diego Zoo, went down under to tour the Australia Zoo with Robert Irwin Jr. reaching over 2M users, and then headed back to the states to the Georgia Aquarium. All events will be archived here.

Anchoring the new slate of factual programming are Expedition Unknown: Josh Gates Tonight, which premiered April 22 and will continue airing Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT through May 27; and Deadliest Catch: After the Catch, which debuted April 28 and broadcasts Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Expedition Unknown: Josh Gates Tonight features Josh Gates as he undertakes a global journey from the safety of his home through unseen footage of his explorations from across the globe. Gates is joined by a new famous face each week.

Deadliest Catch: After the Catch, meanwhile, features Mike Rowe as he connects with the captains and deckhands to delve into the events of the latest season of Deadliest Catch as well as the impact of the pandemic on their lives.

Yet-to-premiere programming includes:

Gold Rush: The Dirt from Home, which will premiere May 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT; May 15 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; and May 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series will see Christo virtually check in with miners from across the Gold Rush universe to ensure they’re keeping busy and safe through the coronavirus pandemic.

Naked and Afraid Watch Party sees survivalists from past challenges watching their episodes while video chatting together. The pair of contestants will offer new insight into the challenges, partner dynamics and survival tactics. The series airs at 9 p.m. ET/PT on May 10, May 31, June 14 and June 19; and at 10 p.m. ET/PT on May 17.

In the tentatively titled Naked and Afraid XL Clothed and Opinionated, meanwhile, past Naked and Afraid XL participants will deconstruct the newest season of XL while providing commentary on the latest crop of survivalists to take on the 40-day challengeIt broadcasts May 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT; June 7 and June 28 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

Slated to debut June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, Diesel Brothers Hunkered and Bunkered will spotlight the Diesel Brothers as they showcase current “quarantine builds” and socially distanced adventures, all while conducting interviews with leaders in the motor world.

Moonshiners: Quaranshine” will see the cast creating their own high-proof hand sanitizer in quarantine while taking “social distancing to an off-grid extreme.” A premiere date has yet to be scheduled.

Premiering May 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT, Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine – Lost Miner Lockdown sees Turin and his team self-shoot their lives in self-isolation as they prepare for their next big expedition.

Discovery has also slated a special episode of Monster Garage, which sees Jesse James, Body Drop and Big Schwag watch an episode from the original Monster Garage vault and talk about life in quarantine. The episode will include “glimpses” of the new garage, James’ new tools and machinery and a “peek” at moments from the first episode, before production was shut down as a result of COVID-19. An airdate has not been set. 

Elsewhere, Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings (airdate TBD) features “never-before-seen” action between NPK stars. Events will include races between rivals, crashes, car problems and “crazy fast” passes.

The two-hour special Street Outlaws FarmTruck & AZN, meanwhile, sees the Street Outlaws stars provide a self-shot tour of the shop and the current status of new builds. A premiere date has not been set.

In Homestead Rescue Quarantine Edition (airdate TBD), the Raney homestead is in “perpetual quarantine mode” in the Alaskan wilderness. Master homesteaders Marty, Misty, and Matt give self-shot insight into life on the family homestead.

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.