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TCA: ‘Naked And Afraid’ Participants Don’t Mind The Nudity But Wish Their Body Parts Were Pixilated To Look Bigger

By | Wednesday July 9, 2014 @ 10:18am PDT

TCA: ‘Naked And Afraid’ Participants Don’t Mind The Nudity But Wish Their Body Parts Were Pixilated To Look BiggerThe worst part of the nakedness on Discovery Channel‘s Naked And Afraid? Bare feet, according to four alums who showed up at TCA Summer TV Press Tour 2014 to plug the show’s new season.

2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 2“Being barefoot was one of the worst parts about being [naked] for me,” said Jeff Zausch. Dani Julien said the most important prep she did for her 21 days without shelter, clothing, food or water was to walk around barefoot in the days leading up to her TV debut.

One critic wondered how the four former show participants on stage would rate the quality of the pixilation of their various body parts. “They could have made my blur spot bigger,” Justin Bullard complained.
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Discovery Channel EVP Andrew Jackson Exits

By | Tuesday June 3, 2014 @ 12:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

jacksonandrewEXCLUSIVE: Andrew Jackson has left Discovery Channel after a two-year stint as EVP Production and Development of Landmark Series and Specials. Jackson, a 30-year TV veteran with extensive background on factual documentary filmmaking, reported directly to Discovery, Science and Velocity Networks group president Eileen O’Neill while remaining based in his native UK. At Discovery, Jackson oversaw projects such as North America, Monster Squid – The Giant is Real, Africa, Curiosity, Winged Planet and the highly rated 2013 Shark Week. I hear he is in conversations with media companies in both the U.S. and Europe. Read More »

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Discovery Snaps Back At Syfy’s ‘Sharknado Week’ With Shark Week Promo: Video

By | Wednesday May 28, 2014 @ 1:58pm PDT

DSC-D-HERO-GLOBE-One day after Syfy took a bite out of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week, announcing its first Sharknado Week,Discovery Channel returned the favor — releasing its first promo for 2014 Shark Week, which pokes run at Syfy’s Sharknado. In the video, a guy climbs out of a gimongous shark that looks suspiciously like the one out of which Sharknado star Ian Zierling climbed, rescuing a damsel who’d been swallowed whole by said beast. But Discovery’s shark-climber-outer trumps Zierling’s performance; he saves a baby seal — maybe the one swallowed by the shark in last year’s Shark week promo. Judge the winner for yourself:

Related: Shark Week Snaps Up Ratings Records for Discovery Channel

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Discovery CEO Says He’s Looking At Global Deals But Doesn’t Need To Buy

DavidZaslavDavid Zaslav didn’t want to directly address reports that he’s considering a run at UK independent TV production power All3Media and weighed a bid for the country’s Channel 5, which Viacom just agreed to buy. But in an earnings call with analysts this morning the Discovery CEO left the door open for a deal, and protected his negotiating leverage by saying that he could easily walk away. “We look at everything but only want to buy assets that will help us strategically,” he says. “We’re in the 4th inning in terms of our growth strategy internationally.” While he says that Discovery can grow organically and doesn’t “need to buy anything,” it also wants to be “opportunistic.”

Related: Discovery Misses Q1 Earnings Estimates

OWN_logo-2__130529151034-200x109__130919234649__140109185239Execs were a little defensive after Discovery reported slightly disappointing results for Q1, which led the stock to open -3%. The company volunteered that Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network has grown so much over the last year that it was able to pay back $16M vs last year when Discovery had to funnel $14M to the channel. And while Discovery Channel was “hit hard by the Olympics,” Zaslav says, its ratings “did rally and we’re up 12% in prime [time] in April.” Read More »

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Discovery Sets Mount Everest Avalanche Documentary Date: Sunday, May 4

EverestDiscovery Channel announced today that it will telecast its documentary about the deadliest incident in Mt. Everest history one week earlier than it was to have aired the Everest live jump special that got scrapped when 13 Sherpa guides were killed in an avalanche.

The 90-minute documentary, Everest Avalanche Tragedy will air on Sunday, May 4, at 9 PM ET/PT  in 224 countries.  It will include unprecedented access and eyewitness accounts from the rescue and recovery efforts that took place after the avalanche struck the Khumbu Icefall, the area just above Mt. Everest base camp, during the morning of Friday, April 18, killing 13 and leaving three missing.  Members of an NBC News team were at base camp as they prepared to produce Discovery’s live special, Everest Jump Live (scheduled for Sunday, May 11) when the avalanche hit.  The special would have featured climber Joby Ogwyn’s attempt to make the first wing suit flight off the summit of the world’s tallest mountain.
 Related: Discovery To Turn Everest Jump Footage Into Documentary
Everest Avalanche Tragedy will document the weeks leading up to the climb through the moment the avalanche struck the Khumba Icefall, one of the most treacherous parts of the mountain, and its aftermath.  Cameras rolled as blocks of ice plummeted down the mountain, making it the deadliest single-day avalanche in history on Mt. Everest.

The documentary will real time footage of mobilization efforts of Sherpas and rescuers as they rushed to search … Read More »

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Discovery Channel To Turn Scuttled Everest Jump Footage Into Documentary About Deadly Avalanche

EXCLUSIVE: Discovery Channel, which decided Sunday to scrap its much ballyhooed Everestlive Mount Everest jump after a weekend avalanche there killed 13, will instead telecast a special documenting the disaster. In much the same way the Naudet brothers happened to be at the World Trade Center towers the morning of September 11, 2001, filming a documentary about members of Lower Manhattan’s Engine 7, Ladder 1 firehouse, and wound up discoverychannel2instead producing the docu 9/11, so too were camera crews for the Discovery Channel jump at Everest at the time of the single deadliest incident in the history of the peak. NBC News’ Peacock Productions crews, which were to have produced the live jum, was at base camp at the time of the avalanche. Crews had been shooting footage in advance of Discovery’s planned five nights of live programs culminating in Joby Ogwyn’s May 11 jump.

The special will document last weekend’s disaster that struck at 7 AM Friday, Nepal time, and will follow the Sherpa community’s reaction, grieving, and ceremonies for the victims. Ogwyn will be interviewed for the special; he and his team were involved in recovering the bodies from the mountain. Read More »

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Discovery Cancels Everest Jump In Wake Of Avalanche Deaths

By | Sunday April 20, 2014 @ 12:44pm PDT

everest“In light of the overwhelming tragedy at Mt Everest and respect for the families of the fallen, Discovery Channel will not be going forward with Everest Jump Live,” the network said in a statement early Sunday afternoon, adding, ” Our thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Sherpa community.” On Friday morning NBC News, whose Peacock Productions is producing Discovery’s Mount Everest live jump, had said  “the future of the production will be assessed at the appropriate time” after an avalanche occurred Thursday night — the deadliest disaster ever recorded at the peak.

Related: Discovery’s Mount Everest Jump Date In Question After Avalanche Kills 13

On Saturday, the project’s star, Joby Ogwyn had tweeted that the project would continue, a charity would be set up “to take care of our fallen Sherpa and those who could fall in the future,” and that his jump had taken on a larger meaning:

But Discovery and other participants decided otherwise and the decision to pull the plug was made this morning. Read More »

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Discovery Channel’s Mount Everest Jump Date In Question After Avalanche Kills 13: Video

EverestNBC News, whose Peacock Productions is producing Discovery’s Mount Everest live jump, said this morning “the future of the production will be assessed at the appropriate time” after the deadliest disaster ever recorded at the peak killed 13 Sherpa guides last night. The guides were carrying equipment and supplies to camps for climbers getting ready for peak trekking season — including those preparing to participate in Discovery Channel‘s Everest Jump Live, produced by the NBC News division.

Related: ‘Everest’ Movie Crew OK After Tragic Avalanche

Discovery, which had just announced Monday the live two-hour event would air May 11, said this morning its star Joby Ogwyn was at base came at the time of the avalanche, which struck a group of about 50 — mostly Nepalese sherpas — at more than 20,000 feet. Four people remain missing, according to Nepal’s Tourism Ministry. Discovery said it has has not had conversations as to how the disaster might impact its plans. ”The avalanche last night on Mt. Everest is a terrible tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with those who are lost and with their families. The immediate priority for Joby and the team is to assist the search and rescue efforts in anyway possible.”

Related: Discovery Channel Preps For Big Leap With Five Nights Of ‘Everest: Live From Base Camp’

NBC News said its crews were on Mt. Everest preparing for Discovery’s special — in which Ogwyn is scheduled to climb Everest and leap from the summit wearing only a winged suit equipped with cameras – when the avalanche struck.

“The biggest tragedy of this is that it’s the very beginning of the [climbing] season and to lose this number of people at the very beginning of the season may be the end of the season here,”  cameraman Ed Wardle told NBC’s Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie.

“I think a lot of people are wondering whether it’s appropriate to go on, given the scale of this tragedy,” Guthrie quickly jumped in when Wardle’s “biggest tragedy” talk took that cold turn.  (Video after the jump)

NBC News issued a statement this morning saying, “We are grateful and relieved that the seven NBC News staffers on site are all accounted for and unharmed. Tragically, 13 Nepalese sherpas from a number of expedition companies who prepare the mountain each year for climbing season lost their lives, and the rescue mission continues. We are working closely with the team on the ground to assist however we can, and our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families.”

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Discovery’s NBC-Produced Mt. Everest Jump Scheduled For May 11

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 7:25am PDT

EverestDiscovery Channel says it scheduled  Everest Jump Live to debut during the short window of opportunity dictated by weather on Everest. Everest Jump Live is set for Sunday, May 11 at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT.   The 2-hour event, chronicling climber Joby Ogwyn‘s attempt to jump from the summit of Mt. Everest wearing a wing suit equipped with cameras, is  produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions. NBC officially unveils its schedule to advertisers Monday morning.

NBC News’ Willie Geist will host the jump, and be joined by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who will serve as chief meteorologist and track Everest’s unpredictable weather conditions. Kyle Martino of NBC Sports and Chris Jacobs of Discovery and Velocity will deliver on-the-ground updates at Everest Base Camp, while Geist and Cantore will be based at a studio in New York City.
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Discovery Channel Preps For Big Leap With 5 Nights Of ‘Everest: Live From Base Camp’

By | Friday April 11, 2014 @ 1:50pm PDT

For those who can’t wait to watch that guy jump from the top of Mount Everest on live TV next month, Discovery has a way to get you even more pumped up. The channel that will air Joby Ogwyn’s wing-suit leap from the world’s highest peak will broadcast five nights of live programs Jobyfrom his base camp in the lead-up to the stunt. Hosted by Kyle Martino and Chris Jacobs, Everest: Live From Base Camp will offer behind-the-scenes looks at what Discovery calls “the most challenging and complicated live broadcast ever attempted.” Starting on May 5 — weather permitting, Discovery notes — Live From Base Camp will look in on Ogwyn as he prepares for his leap, give updates on atmospheric conditions and offer interviews with medics, Sherpas and other climbers. Ex-soccer pro Martino and TV hosting veteran Jacobs will begin their ascent of the mountain next week. “These nightly live programs will give viewers a chance to see what it’s like to actually be at Everest Base Camp – not just for Joby but for all those who contribute to Everest’s unique culture,” said Eileen O’Neill, Group President of Discovery, Science and Velocity Networks. NBC News’ Peacock Productions is producing the shows.

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Discovery Channel Unveils New Slate, Including Motor Mondays

By | Thursday April 3, 2014 @ 9:00am PDT

Discovery_Channel_2000 (1)Discovery Channel touted its 2014-15 season slate to advertisers this morning at its upfront presentation, including Motor Mondays and the previously oredered The West with exec producer Robert Redford. The highlights of Discovery Channel’s 2014-2015 slate, unveiled ahead of its upfront presentation today, includes the following:

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Science Channel & Discovery Channel To Broadcast Live Moon Landing

By | Wednesday April 2, 2014 @ 9:26am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

XPrize Moon LandingThe wave of video-documented big live stunts triggered by Felix Baumgartner’s space jump continues. Science Channel and Discovery Channel are teaming for an “Apollo Moment” for the millennial generation, televising a live moon landing. The networks have announced that they will be TV partners for Google Lunar XPRIZE, a $30 million competition for privately funded teams to land an unmanned craft on the moon by December 31, 2015. The networks will air a miniseries that will follow teams from around the world as they race to fulfill the mission requirements: to land a craft on the surface of the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit live pictures and video back to Earth. That includes testing, lift-off, and live coverage of the winning lunar landing, which is estimated to take place in 2015. “More than half the world’s population has never had the opportunity to experience a live broadcast from the moon,” said Robert K. Weiss, vice chairman and president of XPRIZE. “Partnering with Discovery Channel and Science Channel will allow us to engage the public around this milestone event, creating an ‘Apollo Moment’ for the next generation.” Discovery’s live event specials include Nik Wallenda’s Skywire and the upcoming Everest Jump Live. Meanwhile, there are two reality series in the works that follow mission to colonize Mars.

Related: … Read More »

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Discovery Sued For Cameraman’s Death In Reality Show Chopper Crash

By | Thursday March 27, 2014 @ 8:10pm PDT

DJP LEGAL BADGEDiscovery Communications is facing yet another wrongful death and negligence lawsuit over the fatal helicopter crash on February 10, 2013, during filming of a reality show. Donald Rydstrom, the father of a cameraman killed along with two others while filming a military-themed Discovery Channel show, today filed a complaint in LA Superior Court (read it here) against its parent company seeking “general damages in a sum in excess of the jurisdictional limits Discovery-Communications__121214124042-200x98__130830021611of this Court, which will be stated according to proof.” Darren Rydstrom, cast member Michael Donatelli, and pilot David Gibbs died just after 3:30 AM on that February day last year when the helicopter they were in crashed in an open field at the Polsa Rosa Ranch in Acton, CA. The senior Rydstrom is claiming loss of love, companionship and support as well as “other benefits and assistance of Descendent” and more.

Related: Discovery Reality Show Chopper Crash Due To ‘Cost Cutting Measures”, Says New Lawsuit

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Willie Geist To Host Discovery Channel’s Mount Everest Jump

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 8:50am PDT

Today co-host Willie Geist will host Discovery Channel‘sWillie-Geist__120924195910 Everest Live Jump, the two-hour telecast in which climber Joby Ogwyn will attempt the first wing-suit flight off the summit of Mt. Everest. That’s because the telecast is being produced by NBC News’ Peacock Productions. Interestingly, EverestGeist will also be joined by The Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore, who will serve as chief meteorologist and track Everest’s unpredictable weather conditions, while Chris Jacobs and Kyle Martino give live updates. The Weather Channel’s Sam Champion could use the exposure — the launch of his morning program AMHQ has produced ratings lower than that network’s prior four-week average in the time period. Discovery says the Mt. Everest jump will be telecast live in May. Read More »

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Discovery Signs ‘Shark After Dark’ Host Josh Wolf To Anchor ‘Naked After Dark’: Video

By | Thursday March 6, 2014 @ 1:15pm PST

ht_naked_afraid_dm_130617_wblogEXCLUSIVE: Discovery has had a change of heart about its Naked And Afraid after-show, Discovery After Dark — but it’s not what you think. The cable network isn’t chickening out after announcing the after-show with surprisingly little fanfare last month –  it’s changing the name and the host, to the much better Naked After Dark, and to Josh Wolf, respectively. Wolf, known to some for his panelist appearances on Chelsea Lately, is maybe best known to Discovery viewers as host of its wildly popular Shark Week after-show Shark After Dark. Read More »

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Discovery To Air Leap Off Mount Everest In May

By | Wednesday February 5, 2014 @ 6:26am PST

UnknownDiscovery Channel, looking to top Nik Wallenda‘s made-for-TV tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon, has signed Joby Ogwyn to attempt the first wing suit flight off the summit of Mount Everest, live on Discovery Channel in May. The jump — a descent of more than 10,000 vertical feet at speeds of over 150 mph –  will be telecast live in 224 countries and territories.

Discovery’s had good luck with live daredevil specials. In July, an average of 13 million people watched Wallenda slowly walk a wire across the Colorado River Gorge while conducting a running dialogue with God and Jesus. “Oh, I praise you, Jesus. Lord, help discoverychannel2this cable to calm down — command it,” the 34-year-old aerialist suggested a few yards into his quarter-mile Skywire Live With Nik Wallenda. Wallenda was not wearing a harness but had a microphone and two cameras — including one that looked down on the dry Little Colorado River bed and one that was focused dead ahead. Discovery telecast the ratings grab with a 10-second delay in the U.S. and a couple hundred other countries. The two-hour event delivered 8.5 million total viewers — jumping to 13 million during the actual walk. It became the third-highest-rated telecast of all-time in Discovery Channel history and was the most-watched TV program that night, beating everything on the broadcast nets and cable.
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‘Klondike’ Delivers Discovery’s Biggest Monday Ever With 3.4 Million Viewers

By | Tuesday January 21, 2014 @ 12:54pm PST

KlondikeDiscovery Channel‘s first-ever miniseries Klondike clocked 3.4 million viewers Monday — the network’s largest ever Monday primetime audience. It also delivered the network’s most-watched Monday among men 18+ and the highest-rated Monday in more than a decade in the 25-54 demo. Featuring a cast including Richard Madden, Abbie Cornish, Tim Roth and Sam Shepard, Part 1 of Klondike repeats tonight at 7 PM, followed by the premiere of Part 2 at 9. The third and final installment of the miniseries premieres tomorrow at 9 PM. Read More »

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Ex-Navy SEAL Joel Lambert Challenges Elite Tracking Teams In Discovery’s ‘Lone Target’

By | Wednesday December 18, 2013 @ 9:24am PST
Mike Fleming

JoelLambertManhunt_0Discovery Channel has set a January 1 launch for Lone Target, a rugged adventure contest that pits 10-year Navy SEAL vet Joel Lambert against elite military and law enforcement tracking teams that include the U.S. Army’s Phantom Recon unit, the Straz Graniczna border guard in Poland, South African International Anti-Poaching Foundation, the Philippines Army Scout Rangers, an elite anti-drug force from Panama, and a National Police SWAT unit from South Korea. Lambert will be dropped into unknown treacherous terrain with a basic survival kit and water, and will use diversionary tactics and attempt to evade capture by each one of those elite forces for 48 hours in a series that will air at 10 PM on Discovery. The show will then air in 224 countries on Discovery Channel under the title Manhunt, starting in February. So there is a lot of national pride on the line for these search teams.

International NetworksLambert became a specialist in blending into his environment from his years as a SEAL. I met him at Deadline’s The Contenders event, where I interviewed Peter Berg for Lone Survivor, as stark a depiction of Navy SEAL bravery as I’ve seen as they battle impossible odds when ambushed by Taliban forces on a covert mission. Lambert survived a mission that sounded almost as harrowing, and by comparison this seems like a cakewalk.

Related: … Read More »

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Discovery To Premiere ‘The Making of Mandela’ Minus Credits On Sunday

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 8:16am PST

nelson-mandela-embedDiscovery Channel will premiere The Making Of Mandela, a documentary celebrating the life of South African leader Nelson Mandela, on Sunday — coinciding with its premiere on Discovery Channel South Africa and two days after its premiere on Discovery Channel UK tonight. The Making Of Mandela, which will also roll out across 224 territories beginning tomorrow,
is produced for Discovery Channel by DNI and Darlow Smithson Productions, with Sarah T. Davies serving as executive producer for DNI, and Iain Riddick for Darlow Smithson. But the cable network said the film would premiere without credits “as a mark of respect for Mandela.” Mandela died yesterday at age 95. The film premieres Sunday at 12 PM ET/PT.

Related: Nelson Mandela’s Death: Hollywood Reacts Read More »

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