Discovery Slate Includes Live High-Wire Crossing of Grand Canyon
Discovery's upcoming shows include a live special in which self-described "King of the High Wire" Nik Wallenda will cross the Grand Canyon without a harness.
"Wallenda Live" is one of the highlights (no pun intended) of a slate that also includes the previously announced scripted miniseries "Klondike" and another live special, "Fast N' Live," in which competitors will race to rebuild cars, albeit not while suspended 1,500 feet over the Little Colorado River. Oh well.
Discovery also announced four natural history specials or series, including the return of "Shark Week," and seven new series. Two of them are about searching for oil, and three focus on survivalists.
The Grand Canyon tightrope walk follows Wallenda's successful crossing of Niagara Falls last year.
Discovery is unveiling its new slate to advertisers as it boasts that it is among the top 10 cable networks in total primetime viewers.
"I am excited by our Upfront programming slate that includes our first ever scripted mini-series and bold live specials", said Eileen O'Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC Networks. "The past year has been filled with provocative and compelling characters, landmark live programming and storytelling ranging from epic to everyday. The best is yet to come."
Here's Discovery's slate 2013-14 slate, as described by the network:
KLONDIKE – Discovery Channel's first ever scripted mini-series, based on Charlotte Gray's book Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike. KLONDIKE brings to life the tale about six strangers and their collective fight for survival and wealth in a small, frontier town in the remote Klondike. KLONDIKE is a co-production between Discovery, Entertainment One Television (eOne) and Nomadic Pictures in association with Scott Free Television.
WALLENDA LIVE – This special will be one of the most daring and captivating live events in history. Nik Wallenda, known as "The King of the High Wire", will traverse the majestic Grand Canyon without using a harness. Wallenda will tightrope walk, untethered, higher than he's ever attempted before at 1,500 feet above the Little Colorado River, a height greater than the Empire State Building.
FAST N' LIVE – FAST N' LOUD's Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman put their building skills to the test on last year's CHOPPER LIVE: THE BUILD OFF, and now the runners up are stepping up, grabbing the reigns and taking over the live build off!! FAST 'N LIVE will pit build teams against each other in the ultimate high stakes live build off. Some of America's junkiest cars will be restored into classic rides and fans will once again have the opportunity to vote for their favorite team.
NATURAL HISTORY SPECIALS/SERIES
SHARK WEEK – This is cable's longest running programming event and everyone's favorite summertime ritual. Every year the sharks return to Discovery Channel, slashing through a sea of competition to rack up new ratings successes. Grab your scuba gear and climb into the cage, because it's time for Great Whites, Hammerheads, Whale Sharks and more! This consistent audience pleaser never fails to deliver as it reveals remarkable new insights into these magnificent and elusive creatures.
HIDDEN KINGDOM – There are entire worlds out there that you've never seen before; worlds where an extraordinary yet unlikely cast of characters face epic life and death struggles every day. This series reveals the astonishing lives of the tiny animal superheroes in our world we may overlook. In the hidden kingdom, they reign supreme as they are more resourceful, more courageous and even more deadly than the larger animals we know so well. Enter the Hidden Kingdom and you'll discover a land beyond your imagination. Where a crack in the mud is a canyon and a puddle is as vast as an ocean.
PENGUINS: SPY IN THE HUDDLE – From the makers of WINGED PLANET and POLAR BEAR: SPY ON THE ICE comes an innovative look at one of the world's most beloved birds. The team spent nearly a year in the close company of three penguin species, deploying fifty spy cameras in order to capture the true character and struggles of nature's most devoted parents. The spy cameras are disguised as rocks, eggs and even penguins themselves - providing an unprecedented glimpse at these lovable and charismatic birds.