Discovery Channel

The longest running television special in subscription TV history is back with more bite this summer on Discovery Channel (SKY Channel 070)

For the first time on Discovery Channel Shark Week will be hosted by fishing expert and former Aussie rugby league great for the Cronulla Sharks, Andrew ‘ET’ Ettingshausen. Featuring seven hours of NZ TV premieres, ET will introduce each one hour long special with bites of information and stories about local sharks that you can really sink your teeth into.

Feared. Admired. Hunted. Threatened. Misunderstood. The shark is one of the ocean’s apex predators. Discovery Channel’s Shark Week returns to get you re-acquainted with these magnificent creatures of the sea – from the science of shark behaviour after dark, to amazing survival stories and an up-close encounter with the Great White. The sight of a fin breaking the water is enough to send swimmers, surfers and beach-goers into a panic. However, there is more to the shark than just its bad reputation as a ferocious killer. Intelligent, graceful and undeniably an efficient predator which plays an important part in the health of the ocean ecosystem, this infamous fish continues to fascinate us. 

For more than a decade, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week has kept viewers on the edge of their seats, intriguing and educating them at the same time. Featuring the world’s most renowned shark scientists and most experienced underwater photographers, Shark Week delves into the world of this shadowy sea-lurker. This year, learn the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ behind some of the most memorable shark attacks, be fascinated by the complexities of shark behaviour and look beyond the mouthful of (very sharp) teeth.


NZ Premiere programs include:



NZ Premiere

Sunday 5 December, 7.30pm

This year, Shark Week in the United States broke records as it was the most-watched in its 23 year history with Ultimate Air Jaws earning a place on the list of top five rated Shark Week programs of all time. In this awe-inspiring documentary, shark expert and wildlife cameraman and photographer Chris Fallows risks his life to capture unique footage and stills of Great White sharks jumping out of the water after their prey – Cape Fur Seals. Now Chris has returned to South Africa’s Seal Island and mainland coastal beaches where the sharks migrate for part of the year and have been seen blasting from the water just metres from where people swim, relax and play. Chris along with filmmaker Jeff Kurr use an array of new HD cameras, a submarine and a remotely operated helicopter to capture remarkable images of these aerial attacks and investigate whether these predators want surfers for tea or if they simply want to be left alone.



NZ Premiere

Sunday 5 December, 8.30pm

Go on a wild ride as we show you the last thing you’d ever want to see in real life – close up views of attacks by the world’s most deadly sharks from inside their mouths. Shark expert Mark Addison and underwater cameraman Andy Casagrande risk life and limb to get their special mini-HD cameras Into the Shark Bite.



NZ Premiere

Monday 6 December, 7.30pm

In Shark Attack Survival Guide, host Terry Schappert puts his Special Forces training to the test to demonstrate to viewers how to survive devastating shark attacks. What do you do when attacked by a shark in shallow water? What’s the one thing to remember when confronted with one Earth’s largest predators while on a deep water dive? Terry immerses himself in these deadly scenarios and reveals the secrets to escaping these terrifying shark encounters alive.



NZ Premiere

Tuesday 7 December, 7.30pm

In 2008, fear gripped beaches along the Pacific coastline of Southern California and Mexico in the wake of multiple horrific shark attacks. Shark Bite Beach returns to the site of the attacks to recreate the dramatic stories of survival and search for clues that might explain why sharks mistook humans for prey that fateful summer.



NZ Premiere

Wednesday 8 December, 7.30pm

United States’ Late, Late Show Host, Craig Ferguson has always loved Shark Week. But when he gets the chance to get off the couch and be in the show, he gets in way over his head. Discovery wants him go to the Bahamas to swim with, touch, and, if he has the guts, feed sharks. And Ferguson starts to have second thoughts about getting close to the apex predators of the sea. Especially since he will not have the protection of a cage. Everything Ferguson sees and experiences reminds him of what he has learned from watching the Discovery Channel. Woven into Ferguson’s journey are clips from the scariest, most exciting moments of Shark Week. The results are funny, scary and ultimately very moving. Terrified of getting in the water and too proud not to, Ferguson makes the leap into an ocean full of hungry sharks.



NZ Premiere

Thursday 9 December, 7.30pm

The biggest Bull Shark ever recorded was caught in South Africa, in a river.  Was this monstrous freshwater catch a horrifying fluke, or are there more shark giants prowling this river? Jeremy Wade heads to South Africa to see if he can land a monster!



NZ Premiere

Friday 10 December, 7.30pm

Shark attack survivors recall six bloody tales of what happens when humans unwittingly find themselves face to face with the ocean’s top predator. Australian Navy Diver Paul De Gelder is on an anti-terrorist mission at the Navy base in Sydney’s Woolloomoolloo, when suddenly, he becomes the hunted. When Paul Buckley is catapulted into the air by a great white shark, he lands on its tail and holds on for dear life. Paddy Trumbull loses 40% of her blood and most of her “bottom,” when a shark sneaks up behind her near the Great Barrier Reef. Champion Surfer Todd Murashige had promised his wife he would quit surfing and take care of his family. Now it may be too late, as he lies dying on a Hawaii beach.



World Television Premiere

Sunday 12 December, 7.30pm

This documentary follows Andrew “ET” Ettingshausen journey to Australia’s Top End to hunt down the magical metre-plus barramundi. These remarkable marine monsters dominate their underwater habitat. They are finely-tuned hunters, highly developed predators, cunning killers and they live in one of the most hostile regions on earth.

Australian network Channel Nine is feeling the heat after airing a promo for Rescue Special Ops which bears a striking resemblance to one created by Discovery Channel.

Nine’s teaser for their show is remarkably similar to Discovery’s promo which features survivalist star of Man Vs Wild Bear Grylls scaling a giant letter form which spells out Discovery. Nine’s version features the Rescue cast dealing with word Rescue in much the same way.

Several shots are identical in style to the original Discovery promo.

A spokeswoman for nine has said the Bear Grylls ad was used as “inspiration, but we featured our cast, of course. The Style suited the show.”



Discovery Ignite is a local co-production funding initiative which was launched in 2007 to generate New Zealand and Australian programming for Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific  –

Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific (DNAP) in New Zealand, a unit of the number one non-fiction media company Discovery Communications, is open for programming Discovery Ignite 2010 submissions in the following categories: Core Discovery* and Innovation*.

Discovery Ignite gives Independent filmmakers in New Zealand and Australia the opportunity to pitch documentaries for local co-production.  Producers are invited to submit original, ‘distinctly New Zealand and/or Australian’ programming proposals in the above categories by January 4, 2010. Producers will be informed on January 18, 2010 if their project has been shortlisted and will then be invited to the Discovery Ignite pitching session at AIDC (Australian International Documentary Conference) on February 23-26, 2010.

Mandy Pattinson, Senior Vice president and General Manager, Australia and New Zealand, DNAP said, “We’re very excited about the fourth round of Discovery Ignite, an initiative which has a long term goal to create innovative and local content, extend relations with Australian and New Zealand filmmakers and develop our Australasian talent pool.”

At the Asian Television Awards recently, DNAP in Australia picked up a total of two wins and two commendations for Discovery Ignite productions including Winner for Best Achievement in HD and Highly Commended for Best Reality Programme (Storm Surfers), winner for Best Cinematography (Lonely Planet: Natural Born Traveller) and Highly Commended for Best Social Awareness Programme (The Future Makers). 

“DNAP Australia is extremely honoured to win four awards for Discovery Ignite’s first round of documentaries. It is an initiative which gives us the opportunity to showcase the work of local documentary filmmakers on the international scene with Discovery’s worldwide audience, so we are absolutely delighted at the recognition received at the Asian Television Awards for Discovery Ignite’s documentaries”.

2010 category and submission details:

*Core Discovery
Discovery Channel is the proud home of Deadliest Catch, Dirty Jobs and Man vs. Wild. We’re looking for one-off program ideas that complement Discovery Channel’s existing core content as well as showcase distinctly Australian and/or New Zealand personalities or characters.

Personalities who immerse viewers in fascinating stories and extraordinary experiences – that build knowledge, satisfy curiosity and inspire the very spirit of Discovery. Your subject matter could take us to amazing locations, feature action and adventure, document characters overcoming extraordinary obstacles or maybe even surprise us with rare insights through a unique subculture. Ultimately, your story should have broad audience appeal.

Showcase the hottest trends in the world of science and technology with an Australian or New Zealand twist. Aussies and Kiwis inventing objects that could change the way we all live? What’s the latest in environmental lifestyle, development and technology? The content should be both topical and accessible like some of Discovery Channel’s flagship programs Mythbusters and How Do They Do It?

For all submission details visit: and follow the link to the submission details.

Discovery Channel’s Shark Week gets you up-close and personal with the ocean’s most ferocious predator and this year features Kiwi Matt Watson…

Feared. Admired. Hunted. Threatened. Misunderstood. All of which can be used to describe one of the ocean’s apex predators – the shark. This December, Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK returns to get you re-acquainted with these magnificent animals – from the science of shark behaviour at night to amazing survival stories and a close-up encounter with the Great White. SHARK WEEK kicks off on Monday, December 7 at 8.30pm, and this year features Kiwi Matt Watson in an exclusive premiere of MAN VS. FISH (see blurb below). Other premieres include GREAT WHITE: APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION, SHARK AFTER DARK, DAY OF THE SHARK, DEADLY WATERS, MAN VS. FISH, SHARKBITE SUMMER, and BLOOD IN THE WATER. Please refer to the individual program descriptions for airing details.

The sight of a fin breaking the water is enough to send swimmers, surfers and beach-goers into a panic. However, there is more to the shark than just its bad reputation as a ferocious killer. Intelligent, graceful and undeniably an efficient predator, this infamous fish continues to fascinate us. For more than a decade, Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK has kept viewers on the edge of their seats, intriguing and educating them at the same time. Featuring the world’s most renowned shark scientists and experienced underwater photographers, SHARK WEEK delves into the world of this shadowy sea-lurker.

Learn of the whys and hows behind some of the most memorable shark attacks, be fascinated by the complexities of shark behaviour, and look beyond just the mouthful of (very sharp) teeth with SHARK WEEK.

DISCOVERY CHANNEL – Sunday 29 March, 6.30pm – 11.30pm

To celebrate the March 29 launch of Discovery Channel’s brand new look on March 29, there will be a special including some of the amazing new series and popular personalities that will be coming to Discovery Channel in 2009.

Programs include the first episode of the following new series:

MYTHBUSTERS 6: episode: Coffin Punch


In this death-defying episode of Mythbusters, the whole team tests survival myths. Adam and Jamie return to one of the fans’ favourite subjects – what is bullet-proof? Kari, Grant and Tory test a myth from the movie Kill Bill in which Uma Thurman’s character is literally buried alive inside a coffin.  For mere mortals there would be no chance of escape but this trained martial artist uses a three inch power punch to crack the casket and climb out through the dirt.   



Mike Rowe takes a look at some of the dirtiest jobs in America and discovers that many of the former Presidents had dirty jobs themselves. This extravaganza will have you seeing the America’s history in a completely new and dirty way.



Bear Grylls is back for a third season taking on the elements in some of the toughest, most inhospitable places on earth. Bear employs his unique range of survival techniques to show how you can stay alive as he endures a week of challenges in the sort of places you wouldn’t last a day without the right survival skills. In this series Bear tackles the Baja Desert, The Deep South, South Dakota, Yukon and even travels to the UK to tackle the west coast of Ireland.



Time Warp reveals our world in astonishing and spectacular new ways, by radically changing the lens of time and enabling us to see and appreciate things that are normally beyond our senses because they take place much too quickly, or too slowly.  Hosts, Matt Kearney and Jeff Lieberman, an MIT scientist and teacher, produce a series of amazing filming challenges that are cool and visually spectacular with results which are wonderfully surprising on film. Do you know how your dog uses its tongue to drink? In what exact way a face contorts when punched? What happens when an egg falls into the blades of a fan? Or an apple is hit with a bullet? Likely, with nothing but your naked eye to guide you, you haven’t got a clue. In fact, there are countless events the world has to offer that our limited senses can’t fully appreciate … until now! Using the latest in high-speed photography, the Time Warp team takes some natural events and some not-so-natural and turns them into a thing of both beauty and learning.



Even in the modern age reports of human encounters with mysterious and often dangerous beasts continue to surface. Lost Tapes is a first person, immersive experience of encounters with bizarre animals that science is reluctant to recognize. These creatures exist in our waters, woods and skies, living among us!



From the arid deserts of southwestern United States, to the lethal waters of Australia, I was Bitten features victims of the most intense, gruesome, near fatal bites from around the world, with actual photo and video footage.  However, this show doesn’t just tell the story about the bite. Prepare to be taken into the fascinating science behind the bite, which reveals the devastating aftermath of lethal toxins in the human body. This show will have you on the edge of your seat wanting more! Can you handle being bitten?



Meet 36 year-old Christine Mannina, a star homicide detective with the Indianapolis police department, with a 100% solved rate. She works alongside her partner Lesia, four other detectives, a sergeant and a Lieutenant – and together they make up The Shift. Each hour will follow the lives of Christine and her fellow officers in one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country. The series takes a 360 degree look at their lives, jobs, families, personal struggles and the bonds they have with one another as they put their lives on the line each day.

Fridays from 13 March at 7.30pm on DISCOVERY CHANNEL

New Zealand Premiere!

Witness new, never-before seen forensic techniques that will blow you away. Welcome to the next generation in forensic drama – it’s raw, it’s unbelievably riveting and it’s real. In every detective’s career, one case stands out as unforgettable with crime scenes which are so bizarre they defy logic and criminal minds that are so conniving they defy understanding. Everyone is a suspect! Only the sharpest minds and cutting-edge science can solve these shocking puzzlers. Each episode explores two of the most bizarre forensic cases, beginning at a strange crime scene, as investigators hustle for witnesses and forensic experts search for clues.

Sunday 8 March at 7.30pm on DISCOVERY CHANNEL

New Zealand Premiere!

There are many ways the Apocalypse might emerge, from the bowels of the earth or the skies above, from the depths of space or the lungs of that guy coughing in the cubicle next to you. Could a supervolcano erupt somewhere around the world? Could a rogue asteroid wipe out the human race? Could gamma rays from nearby stars destroy the ozone layer? If you’re watching this after 2012, you’ve survived all the hype surrounding the end of the last cycle of the Mayan calendar, which was due to expire on December 21 of that year. New Age conspiracy theorists have confidently asserted that date would mark the end of life as we know it, predicting a host of potential doomsday travesties – hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and nuclear winter. However, no matter what year it is, the threat distinctly exists. The question isn’t only when is the Apocalypse coming…but how?

Premiering on Wednesday 4 February 2009 at 9.30pm, the 6-Part Series follows Mushers and their sled dog teams across 1,150 miles of unforgiving Alaskan wilderness as they take on Mother Nature – and each other – in The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Through dense forests, over mountain ranges and across frozen rivers and isolated tundra in the wilds of Alaska – Discovery Channel was there to chronicle one of the most demanding competitions in the world though the eyes of the men and women who dared to take on the monumental challenge.  

The gruelling Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race competition from Anchorage to Nome puts the teams through the ultimate test of human and animal teamwork and endurance.  Mushers prepare all year to ready not only themselves but also their team of 16 sled dogs – elite athletes in their own right.  It is said that no animal on earth covers as much ground as fast as an Iditarod sled dog.  But the harsh environment and extreme concentration can take its toll on the teams, no matter how hard they may have trained.  Of the 96 dog mushers who started the 2008 Iditarod competition, only 78 completed the race.

During TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD, Discovery Channel follows seven mushers and their dog teams – both race rookies and race legends.  Some are hoping to win while others are just hoping to finish.  To scratch – or drop out of the competition – would be devastating for any musher who has put everything on the line for a chance to compete, including personal finances.

The Iditarod Trail is steeped in history.  It was originally used as a mail and supply route from the coastal towns of Seward and Knik to the interior mining camps and eventually all the way to Nome.  Mail and supplies went in and gold came out – all by dog sleds.  Mushers became legends.  In 1925, part of the trail became a life-saving highway.  Mushers and their dog teams were called upon to bring serum to epidemic-stricken Nome and save the town from diphtheria that had overtaken it.  The Iditarod is a commemoration of those brave and legendary mushers and their faithful dogs.

Mushers featured in TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD include:  Four-time Iditarod winner and record-holder Martin Buser, Iditarod rookie Rick Holt, pioneering musher and breast cancer survivor DeeDee Jonrowe, “Winningest Musher in the World” Jeff King, two-time racer and diabetic Bruce Linton, two-time Iditarod champion Lance Mackey, and race rookie Darin Nelson.

TOUGHEST RACE ON EARTH: IDITAROD is produced for Discovery Channel by Original Productions.  Thom Beers and Phillip Segal are executive producers and Jeff Conroy is co-executive producer.  For Discovery Channel, Paul Gasek and Tim Pastore are executive producers.

Discovery Channel, SKY Digital Channel 70

Everyone’s favourite week of ocean terror is back!

Sunday 18 January 2009 – Saturday 24 January 2009

Mysteries of The Shark Coast
New Zealand Television Premiere (1 ep x 120 mins)
Australia’s northeastern coast is a hotbed for shark activity. Its tropical seas are home to more sharks and more different species of sharks, than any other in the world. However, there’s trouble in the sharks’ stronghold down under, as even here the sharks are disappearing. What’s happening to them? Is it something we’re doing or do we not fully understand the real lives of sharks? A special cross-discipline team made up of Australian marine biologist Richard Fitzpatrick, a filmmaker, a conservationist and an adventurer will band together to undertake the largest shark tagging expedition in Australian history. The rest of the ‘shark investigator’ team is made up of noted shark documentary filmmaker and host Mike deGruy, scientist M. Sanjayan and Ph.D and adventurer, Celine Cousteau. Their mission: to discover the cause for the mysterious decline in sharks along Australia’s coast and figure out how we can help the situation. Discovery Networks’ mission was to support them by contributing $US 150,000 to this vital research which could affect the future of sharks in Australia.   In the documentary, the team of shark investigators deploy crittercams and remote cameras in several locations to explore and record secret shark behaviours and to gather new insight into the still largely secretive life of the ocean’s ultimate predator.

Mythbusters Shark Week Special
New Zealand Television Premiere (1 ep x 120 mins)
After taking a bite out of some common shark myths, the MythBusters are thirsty for more!  Grab your wet suits, spear guns and sunscreen and hit the deep blue to tackle another bite out of shark folklore. This year the team is out to test the peeper shark myth which explores whether gouging a shark’s eyes prevents attack.

New Zealand Television Premiere (1 ep x 60 mins)
What do sharks really like to eat and how can we stay off the menu?  Host, Les Stroud (‘Survivor man’) jumps into the water with species of sharks that have particularly bad reputations including the Bull, Tiger and Reef Shark. Watch as he tests how these animals determine what’s good to eat and what’s not.

Dirty Jobs: Greenland Shark Quest
New Zealand Television Premiere (1 ep x 60 mins)
In this special, Mike heads to the edge of the Arctic Circle, on the northeast side of Canada (Baffin Island) in search of one of the most mysterious sharks known to man, the Greenland shark. These sharks are easily the least understood large shark and learning more about these slow moving behemoths could help scientists understand the ecological changes in recent years occurring so rapidly around the Arctic and what their immediate impact on the food chain is.  When Mike and the crew arrive they quickly realise the biggest challenge of this job will be trying to keep from freezing to death. Not only is the life of the crew in danger, so is their equipment, as everything is completely frozen.

How Not To Become Shark Bait
New Zealand Television Premiere (1 ep x 60 mins)
Escapologist Jonathan Goodwin, egged on by his two sidekicks, is thrown into a perilous situation in order to show us how NOT to become shark bait. These guys are thrill seekers with a purpose who want to understand the science behind situations and test to the limit, everything that the world can throw at them. The more dangerous it gets, the more the hosts relish watching their friends learn How Not To Become Shark Bait.

Ocean Of Fear
Channel Premiere (1 ep x 60 mins)
This is the gripping story of the USS Indianapolis ship that was sunk by Japanese torpedoes in the Philippine Sea on the night of July 30, 1945 during World War II. Of the 1,200 man crew, around 300 men go down with the ship and 900 sailors, many maimed and burned, were plunged into the water and were left floating helplessly for four days, beset by hunger, driven mad by thirst and menaced and eaten by hundreds of sharks. Ocean of Fear examines why the sharks attacked the way they did and investigates the survival strategies of the men in the water, including the 300 survivors who fought the sharks. The ordeal of the crew is a testament to human endurance in treacherous conditions.

Other Shark Week programs include:

– Tuesday January 20 at 8.30pm
TOP FIVE: EATEN ALIVE –  Wednesday January 21 at 8.30pm
SHARK FEEDING FRENZY –  Thursday January 22 at 8.30pm
PERFECT PREDITORS –  Friday January 23 at 8.30pm
SHARKMAN –  Saturday January 24 at 7.30pm

Sunday 11 January, 7.30pm on Discovery Channel

New Zealand Television Premiere (1 ep x 60 mins)

The story of the colossal squid that was landed by the New Zealand fishing vessel, the San Aspiring, in the Ross Sea in 2007.

During the few weeks of summer in 2007, Antarctica fisherman caught a colossal squid, the largest ever discovered. This provided the very first opportunity for scientists to study the oceans most elusive predator, by freezing the specimen until they can get to New Zealand’s national museum, Te Papa. Getting the Squid there is only part of the journey as they also have the massive task of de-frosting it correctly in order to be able to ultimately study the first in tact sample of a colossal squid! Join the team of specialists as they prepare to undertake the first scientific investigation ever of an adult colossal squid.

The 2007 female colossal squid is the most massive invertebrate ever discovered, weighing in at 495kg. It is 4.2 metres long and holds the record for the world’s largest eye measuring 27cm in diameter. The colossal squid was landed by the New Zealand fishing vessel, the San Aspiring, in the Ross Sea in 2007 and gifted to Te Papa by the Ministry of Fisheries. Stored for a year in a freezer in Te Papa’s Tory St facility, it was defrosted in April 2008 and examined by a team of international scientists.

The only colossal squid exhibit in the world ( opens to the public on Saturday 13 December, proudly supported by the New Zealand Seafood Industry and Alcatel Lucent. The 495 kilogramme, 4.2 metre female colossal squid (Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni), the most massive invertebrate ever examined, will be on display at Te Papa for three years. Admission to the exhibit is free.