Shark Week returns to Discovery for the 34th year starting on July 24, and the first night will deliver a special that explores one man’s one-of-a-kind survival story after an encounter with a great white shark in a format that fans – whether they’re tuning in for the first time or have been watching for three decades now – haven’t experienced before. Shark Week veteran, executive producer, and Air Jaws creator Jeff Kurr spoke with CinemaBlend to open up about the special, called Great White Open Ocean.
Great White Open Ocean is one of the three specials that open the first night of Shark Week this year, and it’s going to be something that viewers won’t want to miss, based on what Jeff Kurr previewed about what’s in store. It will also be a special that has a personal connection for the producer, as it involves an incident with a friend and what happened in the aftermath. Kurr previewed:
Anything that qualifies as “the most spectacular sequence in Shark Week history” has to be must-see, after all that the Discovery event has already aired going back to 1988, including everything from the fan-favorite Air Jaws specials to celebrity appearances (including the Jackass gang last year), famous athlete participation (like Michael Phelps proving if he was faster than a shark), and much more.
Fortunately, Great White Open Ocean is a story about Jimi Partington’s recovery after his “miraculous” survival without a scratch, as well as the initial incident. Jeff Kurr elaborated about how the special will dive into what followed that encounter with the 16-foot great white, saying:
Anybody willing to dive back in with great whites after a terrifying encounter is bound to have a thrilling story; in Jimi Partington’s case, viewers will see him survive another near-death experience before the end of the special, but they’ll have to tune in on Sunday night to see the details of his journey.
If everything that Jeff Kurr shared with CinemaBlend about Great White Open Ocean sounds different from what Shark Week fans might normally expect from Discovery during its most shark-filled week of the year, there’s a good reason for that. He explained a key way that it stands out, and his hopes for how viewers react:
The world premiere of Great White Open Ocean airs on Sunday, July 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Discovery as one of the specials to kick off the very first day of Shark Week 2022. The night starts out with Great White Battleground at 8 p.m. ET and continues with Jackass Shark Week 2.0 (featuring the cast of the Jackass franchise for the second time) at 9 p.m. ET.
Jeff Kurr has three more specials airing as part of the 2022 event on Discovery as well, including the newest installment of Air Jaws with a Top Gun bent on Monday night. It should be a great week for fans of the event… although probably not a great week for seals, as usual! Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more Shark Week coverage, and check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule for some more upcoming viewing options.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).