Discovery, according to Merriam-Webster is the act of process of making things known or visible sometimes, but not always, for the first time. It’s no surprise then that the recently announced 2011-2012 Upfront lineup for the Discovery Channel, a media outlet dedicated to creating non-fiction content of the highest quality to amuse, inform and amaze millions of television viewers in more than 180 countries, includes preternatural ties both in new and returning series.
The new series is Penn & Teller’s Secrets of the Universe. These Vegas showmen and hosts of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! on Showtime are also world-famous magicians. They are turning their unique view of the world loose on the Discovery Channel to answers the most urgent questions of the modern age. Each episode features up to ten fascinating questions, not to mention spectacular stunts, ranging from does cursing help with pain management to did ancient aboriginal peoples in Australia cure snoring to whether a 5000lb vehicle can be lifted using a single human hair. Of course, there’s a catch. Penn & Teller are illusionists, after all. One of the stories featured in each episode is a lie that will only be unmasked at the end of the show. Did we mention that a multiplatform audience will be playing along, trying to guess the fake?
Returning favorites, Mythbusters continue their mad scientific dash to learn the truth behind popular myths and urban legends. Quirky hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, previously best-known for their special effects expertise, are joined by Tory Belleci, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara, as they use modern-day science to separate the facts and fictions of some of today’s most beloved myths.
Another returning series, Hogs Gone Wild! has an often overlooked preternatural tie-in. Not only is Hogzilla a perennial favorite among American folktales, but two of the estimated six million wild hogs in the U.S. have made guest appearances in the popular Southern Vampire Mystery (SVM) novels by Charlaine Harris and one has appeared in HBO’s original series True Blood. Hogs Gone Wild takes viewers inside the escalating national problem of free roaming wild hogs without exposing them to the risk of getting gored or confronting a maenad.
Among the Discovery Channel‘s popular specials, Where’s My Mammoth? is a detective story that takes viewers from Siberia’s permafrost to the Asian rainforest to the sci-fi world of genetic research to the brave, new world of virtual zoos in the definitive natural history of one of the most iconic creatures to ever walk the Earth, the woolly mammoth.
Where’s My Mammoth? joins Frozen Planet, a new special from the award-winning team behind Planet Earth that is bound to provide new insight into the amazing creatures and spectacular scenery of some of the world’s least explored land masses. Shark Week! will also be returning for those who can’t get enough predatory behavior among the preternatural community.
“Discovery is mining content gold with one-of-a-kind characters, extraordinary places and unrivaled production quality that reinforces the network’s heritage while constantly innovating and pushing the brand forward,” said Clark Bunting, president and general manager, Discovery Channel.
The new season programing announcements come amid record high ratings for the Discovery Channel. From new magic to long-time favorites, the upcoming season continues Discovery’s creative and