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Sure, fireworks and BBQs will command American attention this week, but, next month, the American tradition of open water paranoia will be celebrated when the annual Shark Week arrives on Discovery Channel. And, this time, it's bigger than ever.
Now in its 26th year, this year's Shark Week starts its most aggressive programming yet this August, with over 11 new Shark Week programs (up 3 from last year). Anchoring the new programming is Shark After Dark, Discovery’s new late-night talk show that will air each evening. A yet-unnamed host will recap the highlights from Shark Week while speaking with shark experts, shark attack survivors and unexpected guests during the hour-long show. Too bad Chris Hardwick is already committed to Talking Dead and his upcoming Comedy Central talk show.
Besides Shark After Dark, the most prominent addition to Shark Week is Return of Jaws, which will take advantage of the Shark Cam, a robotic submarine which is used to track Great White Sharks living and hunting seal colonies off the shores of Cape Cod. If seal hunting isn't enough for you, the fact that a 17-foot Great White is shown swimming near shore in less than four feet of water is sure to put a damper on a few summer beach plans. The trend of sharks moving closer to shorelines is also discussed in Sharkpocalypse, which follows a year of media-covered shark attacks.
Other new programming includes Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, which follows the search for the prehistoric relative of the Great White off the shores of South Africa; I Escaped Jaws, which utilizes eye-witness shark attack footage to accentuate the accounts of shark attack survivors; Voodoo Sharks, which follows populations of Bull sharks — nick-named "voodoo sharks" because of their ability to live in salt and fresh water — and their activities in Louisiana bayous; Great White Serial Killer, which investigates whether two fatal California shark attacks were caused by the same shark; Air Jaws: Beyond the Breach, the latest in the Air Jaws series; Spawn of Jaws, which explores the life cycle of a Great White shark; The Great White Gauntlet, which describes the dangers of abalone diving in shark-infested waters; Top 10 Sharkdown and Alien Monster Sharks, which detail the various shark species, from the most elusive to the most common.
Discovery has already been promoting Shark Week since last month, when it unveiled a controversial ad depicting a fictional newscast about a seal being returned to the ocean.
Shark Week starts Sunday, August 4 on Discovery.