A newscast featuring the return of the injured and rehabilitated Snuffy the seal went awry this week as a great white shark leaped out of the water and devoured him. Children screamed, the anchor uttered a choice expletive.
Of course, the anchor isn't real; none of it is: It turns out to be an ad for Discovery's Shark Week, which is approaching status as a de facto American holiday — like the Super Bowl — when we can all gather around the warm glow of the TV and get scared silly by ancient underwater horrors.
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How will Discovery Channel up the ante on its next TV spot? Who's next on the sharks' hit list? Baskets of puppies? "Beasts of the Southern Wild's" Quvenzhané Wallis? Maybe Shark Week will become an actual holiday by pulling an Air Jaws on Santa Claus? Like the seals of Shark Week, we'll probably never see it coming.
Shark Week starts August 4 on Discovery Channel.
Check out photos from previous Shark Weeks: