Discovery Makes a Splash with New Slate
Get your survival gear ready because Discovery will be exploring new terrain with several "how will they ever get themselves out of that snowy ravine/swamp/cave with only a toothpick and dental floss?" docudramas and a scripted TV movie.
The network has greenlighted at least seven new projects, including several from top docudrama pros Thom Beers and Craig Piligian, in order to increase its number of original programming hours, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
First is But Wait ... There's More, executive produced by Beers, which follows longform ad salesmen Billy Mays and Anthony "Sully" Sullivan as they check out quirky new products and craft pitches and take to the airwaves to sell their wares. Discovery has ordered 13 episodes and plans to premiere the show this spring.
"They're a pair of great characters who have become multimillionaires doing this business," Discovery Channel president and general manager John Ford said. "Beers is the ultimate entrepreneur himself, so this is a labor of love for him."
Inspired by the great success of the network's show The Deadliest Catch, Beers will also executive produce (along with Karen Wookey and Philip Segal) a two-hour movie based on the short-story collection Working on the Edge. The story revolves around a Bering Sea fishing vessel that sank and left its crew struggling to survive on the open sea.
Piligian's reality series, Out of the Wild, will feature suburbanites who are dropped in the Alaskan wilderness and must find their way back to civilization. This series will contain eight episodes premiering in April during Discovery's "Alaska Week."
Piligian's other shows include the new series Swamp Blogging, about a logger who harvests trees in an extreme environment, and Moments of Terror, which will profile people who have had near-death experiences.
Also in the pipelines: a six-part series from the production unit that shot the miniseries Planet Earth titled Seasons of Survival, eight hours of the occupational docudrama series Lobstermen, and last but not least, Disaster on K2, which will tell the story of 30 climbers who went up the mountain (with only 11 surviving).
What do you think about Discovery's ambitious new programming slate?