It’s that time of year when sharks rule not just the waters, but America’s TV screens. Sharks have always been a fan favorite, and two cable TV networks are combining science and research with nonstop thrills and entertainment to teach audiences about these fascinating sea creatures. National Geographic kicked off its ninth annual SHARKFEST programming special earlier this week, which runs for a total of six weeks. Meanwhile, Discovery is in its third decade of Shark Week, with its 33rd annual production launching July 11 and running for seven days.
National Geographic’s programming includes documentaries and shows featuring scientists, marine biologists, shark conservationists, shark attack survivors, and oceanic experts who can speak to the awe-inspiring discoveries made about sharks in recent years from their own personal experiences and research studying sharks. Movie actor Chris Hemsworth also stars in “Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth” as he goes for a dive with a conservationist to observe and explore nurse sharks in their natural habitat. SHARKFEST content is available across National Geographic, Nat Geo WILD, and Nat Geo MUNDO, and select specials and series are streaming on Disney + and Disney XD.
“The mysteries of the ocean’s most iconic predators are so vast, even with eight years of shark-focused content under our belt, there still remains more to be discovered,” said Janet Vissering, senior vice president of Development and Production at National Geographic Partners. “Like every year, shark scientists and oceanic experts have pulled out all the stops for this year’s SHARKFEST, revealing new discoveries, shocking revelations and bizarre shark behavior never seen before.”
And this week, shark enthusiasts can look forward to Discovery’s biggest programming year yet for SHARK WEEK, as the network is releasing 45 hours of content on both Discovery and Discovery+. Discovery is known for taking its viewers on shark journeys all over the world, from Mexico to South Africa to New Zealand, and for featuring a mix of celebrity shark advocates to draw attention to important environmental issues affecting biodiversity and sharks. This year the lineup includes William Shatner, Tiffany Haddish, Brad Paisley, the cast of Jackass, and many more. Discovery also debuts the network’s first-ever competitive docu-series, “SHARK ACADEMY,” in which men and women compete to secure a crew spot on a shark diving expedition.
July is turning out to be a huge party for shark fans galore, and the best part is that viewers can learn about and explore these magnificent creatures in some of the most exotic places in the world without having to leave the comfort of their very own homes.