Discovery Channel Announces 15 New Series and Specials Beginning Fall 2007



    
    - "Race to Mars" and "Mars Rising" explore the Red Planet in landmark
                                 TV event -
     - "Against All Odds," "The Real Superhumans" and "Jetstream" among
                                 new titles -
       - "Canada's Worst Driver," "Deadliest Catch" and "Daily Planet"
                             return this Fall -
      - Green-themed programming looks at how new science is saving the
                                environment -
       - Exclusive "Big Live Events" On Discovery Broadband include a
                             Canadian in Space -
    

    TORONTO, June 5 /CNW/ - Discovery Channel blasts into Fall with the most
ambitious project of its history - an unprecedented, daring and dangerous
month-long exploration of the Red Planet: MARS. Discovery Channel announced
today that this landmark multi-platform television event - including the World
Premieres of "Race to Mars" and "Mars Rising" - is the cornerstone of the
2007-2008 season which includes the addition of 15 new specials and series,
plus new episodes of 15 returning series.
    As the scientific and space community marks the 50th anniversary of the
Space Age initiated by Sputnik, Discovery Channel presents the most expensive
science television project produced during the past year worldwide with "Race
to Mars," a four-hour expedition series; and "Mars Rising," a six-hour
companion documentary series. Experts suggest we could see a successful human
voyage to Mars in our lifetime - and when it happens, it will be the most
ambitious, complex and dangerous expedition ever undertaken. No longer science
fiction, a near-future human mission to Mars is about to become science fact
and this Fall Discovery Channel celebrates the innovation, technology and
passion that will bring the voyage to fruition.
    Developed and commissioned by Discovery Channel Canada, "Race to Mars"
and "Mars Rising" build on the channel's commitment to - and phenomenal
success of - homegrown productions. Of the 15 new series and specials coming
to Discovery Channel this season, nine are new Canadian productions, including
"Against All Odds," featuring incredible stories of real-life survival; and
"Jetstream," an adrenaline-charged from-the-cockpit series about the science
and stamina required for 'Top Gun' pilot training. Nine out of the 15
returning series are also proudly Canadian, and viewers can look forward to
new seasons of audience favourites, including "Canada's Worst Driver," "Guinea
Pig" and "Mayday."
    And from the comprehensive look at the Red Planet to a fresh look at our
own Green Planet, Discovery Channel explores the very latest technologies
improving the world with Earth-focused programming. The focus on global
warming has given new urgency to Discovery Channel's ongoing commitment to
celebrate and protect the planet. Now, Discovery Channel embarks on a bold
global initiative, featuring new programs that celebrate the Earth, the steps
being taken to protect it, and the revolutionary leaders behind these
innovative safeguards. This year, watch for "Ten Ways to Save the Planet,"
"Antarctica: The Inner Landscape" and "Mean Green Machines."
    Now in its second decade, Discovery Channel is a hit with Canadian
viewers across key satisfaction categories. According to The 2006 TV Quality
(TVQ) Survey, a national survey of audience attitudes, Discovery Channel is
the No.1 specialty channel for viewer satisfaction - and it has consistently
claimed top marks since the survey's inception in 1997. From the Red Planet to
the Green Planet and everything in between, Discovery Channel's 2007-2008
season offers a blockbuster lineup that will inform, entertain and delight
viewers.
    Beginning this Fall, watch for 15 new series and specials including "Race
to Mars," "Mars Rising," "The Phoenix Odyssey," " Pacific Wreck Abyss," "Real
Vampires," "The Real Superhumans," "Man Vs. Wild," "The Science of
Interrogation," "In the Shadow of the Moon," "Jetstream," "Against All Odds,"
"Crash Test," "Out in the Cold," "Ten Ways to Save the Planet," and
"Antarctica: The Inner Landscape."
    This season, 15 popular series return to Discovery Channel including,
"Canada's Worst Driver 3," "Daily Planet," "MegaWorld," "Deadliest Catch,"
"Dirty Jobs," "MythBusters," "Future Weapons," "How It's Made," "What's That
About?," "Guinea Pig," "Mayday," "MegaBuilders," "Mean Machines," "A Haunting"
and "American Chopper."

    (xx)Media Note(xx) - Download photography from Discovery Channel series
and specials on-line at www.ctvmedia.ca/discovery.

    Descriptions for both new and returning programs follow below.

    Born out of exhaustive scientific research and consultation, the
four-hour miniseries "Race to Mars" captures every exhilarating moment of the
first human expedition to Mars - from leaving Earth's orbit to the return
voyage home. A companion documentary series, "Mars Rising," details the work
being carried out today that will make a near-future voyage to Mars a reality.
Additional Mars-themed programming this Fall includes "Phoenix Odyssey," a
one-hour special chronicling the against-the-odds construction and launch of
the newest Mars lander, set to blast off late this summer; and "Mars Week on
Daily Planet," an entire week themed around Earth's nearest planetary
neighbour, including exclusive behind-the-scenes footage from "Race to Mars."
Program details are as follows:

    
    -   "Race to Mars" (four-hour expedition series)

        In the year 2030, the race to be the first to reach the Red Planet is
        on - and China is leading the way. China has stunned the world by
        leapfrogging over America's long-term plans and has landed a series
        of advanced rovers and robotic landers in their quest to make the
        most important discovery in history - extraterrestrial life on Mars.
        Once again, America and its partners, including Canada, are thrust
        into a winner-take-all space race - but the stakes are higher than
        the race to the Moon nearly seven decades earlier. The international
        team accelerates its plans to launch a human mission, drawing
        together astronauts from Canada, the United States, Russia, France
        and Japan for a gruelling assignment. These four men and two women
        must work together as a team, rise above their secret fears and
        struggle with the sacrifice of leaving friends and family behind.
        Among them, the driven mission commander who's never known failure -
        until he loses one of his own to the unforgiving environment on Mars;
        the rational flight surgeon who discovers a new spirituality as she
        grapples with the magnitude of her journey; the veteran cosmonaut who
        knows just how many rules can be broken; the brilliant French nuclear
        physicist; and the Canadian astronaut who will play a key role before
        the end of the journey. Training and determination will get them only
        so far, and when this crew sets out on humanity's first expedition to
        another world, nothing can prepare them for the unexpected danger and
        staggering wonder of what they will experience. Bringing this
        landmark television event to life, Michael Riley ('Supervolcano,'
        This is Wonderland) stars as astronaut Captain Rick Erwin, joined by
        Pascale Bussières ('When Night is Falling') as Jackie Decelles;
        Lothaire Bluteau ('Jèsus de Montrèal,' 'Black Robe') as Antoine
        Hebert; Claudia Ferri ('Mambo Italiano,' 'Hunt for Justice') as Lucia
        Alarcon; Frank Schorpion ('One Dead Indian,' 'Human Trafficking') as
        Mikhail Cerenkov and Kevan Ohtsji ('Stargate SG-1') as Hiromi Okuda.

    -   "Mars Rising" (six-hour documentary series)

        A companion to "Race to Mars," "Mars Rising" is a six-part
        documentary series detailing the significant challenges facing a
        mission to Mars and explores the efforts being made by today's
        scientists, engineers and planners to bring the mission to fruition.
        A human voyage to Mars will be the most ambitious and dangerous
        expedition ever undertaken. It will require multiple spacecraft,
        unparalleled ingenuity and a completely new breed of astronaut.
        Drawing upon thousands of hours of research, interviews with top
        scientists and experts around the world, and employing cutting edge
        CGI, "Mars Rising" will explain the science behind this complex and
        perilous undertaking, the reasons why we will go, the physical and
        psychological challenges of the mission, the critical moment of
        landing on the Red Planet, and the future scenario of living and
        working on Mars.

    -   "Phoenix Odyssey" (one-hour special)

        Go deep inside a most remarkable mission: a treasure hunt to the
        polar regions of Mars in search of the planet's lost water. With
        unprecedented access to the science team leading this real-life
        mission - the first of its kind - meet Peter Smith, not a NASA
        scientist but a university professor with a passion for Mars. He has
        convinced NASA to give him US$350 million to build a space ship, pack
        it full of instruments, buy a rocket and head off to Mars. Smith
        faces an uphill battle, marked by budget cutbacks, antiquated
        equipment and strict information embargoes in the face of espionage
        and terrorism. But if all goes as planned, when the Phoenix touches
        down on Mars nine months, two weeks, three days, 14 minutes and
        27 seconds after lift off - the rover will phone home and the quest
        for water - and life - on Mars will begin.

    -   "Mars Week on Daily Planet" (theme week)

        The new season of "Daily Planet" lifts off with an entire week themed
        around Earth's nearest neighbour: Mars. Mars Week will feature
        uniquely crafted "Daily Planet" stories that look at what it might be
        like to travel to Mars and the latest developments in labs and on
        test sites throughout the world to make a Mars mission possible.
        "Daily Planet" will also feature exclusive behind the scenes stories
        from the production of Discovery Channel's blockbuster expedition
        series, "Race to Mars."
    

    Also this Fall - back on terra firma - Discovery Channel explores the
limits of human endurance and the remarkable - and seemingly inexplicable -
power of the body and mind. "Against All Odds" ((*)working title), delves into
incredible stories that happen to average people, including coming back from
the dead, falling from the sky, saving others with their superhuman strength
or surviving a lightning strike. In this kinetic six-part series, see how a
typical human body can defy all known physical laws and survive the most
dangerous events using cutting-edge science and physiology. And, in the
one-hour special "The Real Superhumans," meet real people with extraordinary
powers, including a woman who can 'taste' music and a master painter born
without eyes. These super powers transcend what it means to be human, how we
use our natural senses and physical limitations - watch as the world's leading
geneticists, biologists, futurists and inventors reveal their startling
perspectives on the implications of these super powers for future generations.
Also this Fall, Discovery Channel sets out on a global quest to discover the
origins of the vampire myth and to find out why these creatures continue to
have such a hold on our imaginations with the two-hour special "Real
Vampires." Join archeologist Timothy Taylor and anthropologist Kathryn Denning
on a journey that takes them from the mountains of Transylvania and the
jungles of Brazil to the vampire "covens" of present-day New York, Taylor and
Denning attempt to find out if there is a dark reality lurking behind the myth
of this infamous creature.
    For real life survival stories with a practical twist, the two-part
special presentation "Man Vs. Wild" follows adventurer Bear Grylls as he
strands himself in popular wilderness destinations where tourists often find
themselves lost or in danger. Armed only with only the basics - a knife, a
water bottle and a flint - Grylls must find his way back to civilization...
alive. For adventure under the sea, the special presentation "Pacific Wreck
Abyss" follows the ABYSS team's perilous challenge is to journey to the bottom
of Truk Lagoon, the watery graveyard for 5,000 men - the shipwrecks and sunken
fighter planes of the Second World War. These wrecks, poignant reminders of a
war torn era, are now colourful living reefs and artificial caves, ideal
places to hunt for new species of marine animals.
    Virtually everything we come across today has been tested to the point of
destruction, from planes, trains and automobiles to buildings and bridges. And
it's all done for good reason: the constant quest to make the things we use
every day safer. In "Crash Test," witness these explosive, dramatic and visual
tests; most have been filmed from every possible angle so that experts can
analyze the results. In this six-part series, see how these crash tests are
conducted, analyzed and improved upon to make the items we use everyday safer,
stronger and more efficient.
    Discovery Channel has consistently enlightened viewers about the science
of their surroundings - and there is no more relevant a surrounding than the
planet we humans call home. Coming in 2008, "Ten Ways To Save The Planet" is
an enlightening series that aims to find innovative solutions to the planet's
most serious environmental threats by working with the globe's leading
eco-scientists to test innovative and ground-breaking ideas, including
wrapping glaciers in thermal blankets to stop their melting, dropping
thousands of saplings from planes in a mass reforestation effort, and painting
entire towns white to reflect the sun.
    Also coming in the New Year, world-renowned filmmaker Werner Herzog
('Grizzly Man') travels to Antarctica to capture the continent's forbidding
environment in "Antarctica: The Inner Landscape." Working at Fang Camp, Mt.
Erebus, and New Harbor Field Camp, Herzog interviews scientists and captures
footage resulting in a poetic, feature-length film documentary on Antarctica,
based on the idea that the continent's volcanic activity, geological history,
evolution and survival of life, represents the inner landscape of our planet.
In addition, Herzog's film explores the lesser-documented 'strange life forms'
and the scientists who study them. And from one Pole to the other, Discovery
Channel heads to the frozen North. When it's -37 Celsius outside and the wind
is howling, most people would do anything to avoid leaving their cosy homes
and going to work. "Out in the Cold" profiles a handful of individuals living
in the extremes of the Arctic, where going out in those mind-numbingly cold
conditions is their work. Through the series, experience an unknown frontier
and be fascinated at the resourcefulness of humanity and the outer limits of
human endurance. And in addition to these new properties, watch for "green"
themes in returning series, including "Daily Planet" and on Discovery
Broadband.
    In a taste of what's to come in Winter 2008, watch for "Jetstream" and
"In the Shadow of the Moon," programming that celebrates the science of speed
and space. With exclusive and unprecedented access to one of the world's most
elite jet fighter training schools in Cold Lake, Alberta, "Jetstream"
chronicles the sheer grit, determination and skill it takes to survive Top Gun
training - from the first day of classes to graduation. In this eight-part
series, explore the state-of-the art technology reserved for only the world's
best pilots and see how this complex technology works from inside the cockpit.
And, as we contemplate a mission to Mars, look back at the earlier days of the
Space Race when Discovery Channel presents "In the Shadow of the Moon," winner
of the World Cinema Audience Award at Sundance and screened at the 2007 Hot
Docs festival in Toronto. Of the seven billion humans on Earth, only nine of
them have walked on another world and this documentary is the story of these
men who have journeyed to and walked on the moon - in their own words.
    Also premiering in Winter 2008, "The Science of Interrogation" reveals
the finely tuned, meticulous tricks of psychology, technique and cutting edge
technology in the interrogator's arsenal, all designed to extract the truth
that a prime suspect does not want uncovered. Experts with years of experience
cracking the toughest of crimes; the human lie detectors who pinpoint the
subtle 'tells' that give liars away; see footage of real criminal
interrogations and meet the police officers who conducted them; and learn
about the arsenal of cutting-edge technology now available to the modern
interrogator.
    And for viewers who enjoy the tried and true, Discovery Channel is
pleased to announce the return of the marquee series that have helped build
and define the channel. Continuing the quest to make Canada's roadways safer,
"Canada's Worst Driver" returns! Hosted by Andrew Younghusband, this hit (and
run) series is back for a third season this Fall as more dangerous drivers
head to rehab. Watch as handpicked motor-challenged participants - each
nominated by a friend, family member or colleague - are put through their
paces in a controlled driving environment and evaluated by a panel of driving
experts. Week by week, watch to see who earns their keys back and the right to
merge back onto the open road... But if the purr of an engine is your siren
song, hit the open road with the "American Chopper." The Teutuls return for
another season at their Orange County Choppers garage where the arguments fly
right along with the sparks in this celebration of man and machine. When "Mean
Machines" returns for a third season in 2008, there's a big twist - and it's a
'green' one! "Mean Green Machines" tracks down the toughest and meanest
machines moving today, examines the construction, strength and speed of these
incredible machines - then pits one against another in a battle of the best.
New for season three, gear up for contests between original versions of super
vehicles and their new, 'green' equivalents. The toughest sports cars, taxi
cabs, buses, pickups, scooters, tractors, mini-cars and motorbikes will go
head to head in a series of challenges that will determine which of them
deserves to be crowned champion.
    With tinkering that leans more towards the lab than the garage, Adam
Savage and Jamie Hyneman are back with a new season of their runaway hit
series "MythBusters," a quirky scientific detective series that tests and
validates - or debunks - urban myths. And returning in the Winter, Ryan Stock
- magician, alternative circus performer and professional daredevil - is back
for a second season of "Guinea Pig," a fascinating series that sees Stock
become a guinea pig in the name of science to explore the effects of various
tests on the human body.
    Also back this Fall, Discovery reels in a new season of "Deadliest
Catch," capturing the rugged and wild life of the Alaska King Crab fishermen
during a critically short season fraught with danger and risk. And if crab
fishing isn't for you, check out the new season of "Dirty Jobs" as intrepid
host and odd-job apprentice Mike Rowe meets hardworking men and women who
overcome fear, danger - and often stench - to accomplish their daily tasks.
    For a decidedly less dirty or deadly science fix, "Daily Planet,"
Discovery Channel's flagship science magazine, returns for a brand new season
exploring the surprising, unusual and accessible science of everyday life.
Host Jay Ingram and contributing columnists examine the very latest science
behind the headlines and reveals the science that is everywhere. Throughout
the season, "Daily Planet" will present several innovative new theme weeks,
including a look at the mechanical world of robots; new technologies and
developments that are helping to reduce climate change and other environmental
threats; the wild inventions of out-of-the-box thinkers; and the science
behind the things that fuel our need for speed. In the tradition of "Daily
Planet Goes to Japan," "Daily Planet Goes to China" and "Daily Planet Goes to
India," "Daily Planet" travels the globe to explore the latest advances in
world science - and this time the crew is headed Down Under! "Daily Planet
Goes to Australia" will look at the work being done with crocodiles through
the Steve Irwin World Wildlife Warriors Foundation; the plight of Perth, a
city threatened by a lack of water; the invasive cane toad population
explosion; and Australia's booming energy industry.
    In more science specials with a world view, "MegaWorld" circles the globe
to explore and highlight truly cutting edge innovations in science and
technology and how these developments are changing the world and how we live
in it. Destinations in development for the coming season include the Middle
East to examine two powerhouse cities in the United Arab Emirates: Dubai and
Abu Dhabi. Then, it's Europe in the spotlight to examine the stunning
engineering and technology achievements in Spain and Switzerland. And next
it's Australia, followed by Canada and the Western U.S.
    And if you've ever looked at an ordinary object and wondered how it got
here, "How It's Made" returns with a new season that goes inside the process
of making these familiar objects. Returning in the Winter, "What's That
About?" explores the drama, the science and the technology of seemingly
familiar places, but with a view we rarely get to see. In new episodes, go
behind the scenes and meet the real CSI investigators at a forensics lab; plug
into the inside story of a power plant; and strap in for a hair-raising ride
at a crash test facility. More interested in building it than deconstructing
it? "MegaBuilders," also returns in 2008, capturing the biggest, most complex,
most stressful and most dangerous history-making builds and engineering
projects around the world.
    On your last commercial air flight, did you pay close attention to the
cabin crew as they reviewed the plane's safety features and emergency
protocols? Never take a safe landing for granted! Returning with new episodes
in the Winter, "Mayday" investigates high-profile international air disasters
to reveal how and why these accidents happened. And in another forensic
investigative series - but with a decidedly spooky spin - "A Haunting"
chronicles the terrifying true stories of the paranormal told by those who
experienced true horror tales. Returning for a fourth season this Fall, this
chilling series dramatizes some of the scariest real-life ghost stories and
uses the latest forensic tools to reveal a world in which tragedy, suicide and
murder have left psychic impressions so powerful that they still resonate
decades later.
    They might not be helpful against ghosts, but host and ex-Navy SEAL
Richard Machowicz "Mack" reveals the secret world of weapons development in
"Future Weapons." The third season of this series explores the science and
technology that goes into making the latest weapons - and the bizarre
characters that spend their lives inventing new ways to obliterate the enemy.
Mack gets "hands on" with the weapons and tries them out, firing everything
from smart missiles to futuristic lasers.
    Looking for an even deeper, richer Discovery Channel experience this
Fall? Located at DiscoveryChannel.ca, Discovery Broadband is a free, premium
video service that offers online viewers full-length Discovery Channel
programs and exclusive bonus footage, presented on-demand and in enhanced
resolution. Discovery Broadband continues to develop a series of "Big Live
Events" - programming developed and produced exclusively for broadband
viewers. "Big Live Events" planned for the Fall include:
    
    -   Canadian in Space: Live shuttle launch from the Kennedy Space Center
        to the International Space Station with Canadian astronaut Dave
        Williams onboard.
    -   Spot the Space Station: It's not a bird or a plane - it's the
        International Space Station! Spot the Space Station from Earth (this
        event will potentially include a live chat with astronauts)
    -   Track Mars Live: This Fall, Mars will make its closest pass by Earth
        for several years - catch it live on Discovery Broadband!
    

    With new episodes and exclusive broadband-only content and bonus footage
being added each week, check DiscoveryChannel.ca regularly to delve deeper
into favourite series. Coming this Fall, watch for special features and new
content for "Daily Planet Mars Week," "Phoenix Odyssey," "Jetstream,"
"Canada's Worst Driver 3," "MegaWorld" and "Guinea Pig 2."

    Discovery Channel
    -----------------
    Bold and leading edge, while informing and entertaining, Discovery
Channel is Canada's leading source for factual programming, as it puts a new
spin on exploring adventure, science and technology. This award-winning
channel covers the scientific beat, from animals to the animalistic side of
humanity, from the sea to space, and the latest in innovation. TV Trends and
Quality (TVQ) Survey consistently ranks Discovery Channel Canada first among
all English-language Canadian specialty networks for overall quality of
programming. Discovery Channel is one of the first Canadian specialty channels
to offer programs in HDTV and its production house, Exploration Production
Inc. (EPI), continues to be internationally recognized as a producer of
cutting-edge programming. The channel's Web site may be found at
DiscoveryChannel.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Jodi Cook - Manager, Communications - (416)
332-4426, or jcook@discovery.ca; Alexis Hood - Publicist, Communications -
(416) 332-5076, or ahood@discovery.ca


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