Shark Week Will Now Take Up The Whole Summer, Get The Details

Over at Discovery, you’re a lot more likely to hear people talking about how “bigger is better,” rather than “high-quality programming is better.” The once-educational network is pulling out all the stops this year when it comes to their famed Shark Week, which has now become the “Summer of the Shark,” and it will feature more shark programming than ever. Those who thought last year’s programming was all-encompassing were only standing in the belly of the beast.

To be fair, this will actually be more like “One Shark Week and Change” instead of an entire summer. It will take place earlier than ever before, as the initial chunk of Shark Week will start on Sunday, July 5 and will FIN-ish on Sunday, July 12. Additionally, the network will dedicate a weekend in August for the premiere of even more new Shark Week specials, and there's a good chance they'll be repeating things in the interim weeks. And let’s make it clear right away that Discovery has already stated in the past that they have no intention of duping viewers with a repeat airing of any of their faux documentaries.

So what legit shark programming can we expect this time around? For one, this year will see the first time Shark Week heads out to Cuba, which will be followed up by travels to New Zealand, South Africa, Taiwan, the Arctic, and unlisted U.S. locations. (Just to go to Martha’s Vineyard and bring Richard Dreyfuss, will you?) As well, there will be several sequels to previously seen Shark Week specials, such as Air Jaws and Great White Serial Killer. (They presumably figure out that a shark was actually responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders.)

Ten-year-old shark conservationist Sean Lesniak, who played a big part in getting the possession and sale of shark fins criminalized in Massachusetts, will also get his own show where he goes on an expedition with biologist Greg Skomal, Lesniak’s idol. And while this isn’t quite as specific, the press release states Discovery will be airing some top quality natural history programming that is four years in the making, which will give viewers access to moments that have never been seen before on camera.

Add to all that the usual hype for “never before used shark technology,” whatever that is, and the fact that they’ll be pushing the shit out of all this through Discovery’s social media platforms. For more information, you can head to the Shark Week website, where you’ll find shark cams, a Sharkopedia and shark-more.

I still can’t quite understand why Discovery hasn’t moved into more original programming at this point. It seems like they could easily adapt their fake docs into narrative dramas that would be perfect summer programming to tie into Shark Week. But either way, your summers belong to sharks.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.