This Week In…Discovery Buzz

November 21, 2014 | by cshirley

Discovery BuzzWhile it’s getting chilly here on the East Coast, winter programming is heating up! We’re wrapping up a busy week packed with exciting announcements and new programs across several networks. Just this week, several announcements made headlines, including Stacy London’s new TLC series Love, Lust, or Runpremiering January 23, as well as Destination America adding TNA Impact Wrestling to its lineup, also debuting in January. Additionally, Science Channel‘s upcoming All-American Makers was praised by the Obama administration yesterday at the White House where the President awarded the National Medal of Science and the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to several deserving recipients.

In case you missed it, here are some other highlights from this week:

Discovery Channel Ranks #1 in Beta Research Satellite Dish Subscriber Study for 19 Years in a Row

November 19, 2014 | by lstewart

The 2014 Beta Research Satellite Dish Subscriber Evaluation Study results were released today, and once again, Discovery Channel leads in top rankings. For the 19th year in a row, the network ranked #1 in importance to the enjoyment of satellite service among total adults. Discovery Channel also ranked #1 for the second year in a row for importance among adult satellite subscribers who would definitely switch providers if the channel was dropped. Of those adults who reported they would switch providers if the channel was dropped, Discovery Chanel ranked #1 on average perceived value (tie) and as a favorite channel (tie).

Other notable study results for Discovery Communications’ networks include:

  • Among persons viewing TV on a smartphone or tablet, Discovery Channel ranked #1 on importance and #1 as a favorite channel (tie).
  • Discovery Channel ranked #1 on importance among heavy social media users.
  • Discovery Channel ranked #1 on average perceived value among adults age 18-34 (tie) and women (tie).
  • In comparison to all ad-supported cable networks, Investigation Discovery ranked #1 on percent of total viewers very satisfied with the network (tie).
  • Science Channel and American Heroes Channel ranked #1 (tie) among digital basic networks on percent of male viewers very satisfied with the network.

Three Families Go Off The Grid in TLC’s ‘Risking It All’

November 18, 2014 | by lstewart

We’ve all had times when we’ve wished we could unplug from our chaotic worlds, if only for a second, and enjoy a peaceful moment to ourselves before reemerging back into the never-ending hum of buzzes, beeps, tones and chirps. I know I’ve wished for those moments myself, and yet, when I’ve had them for any extended period of time, I’ve worried that I’ve started to become cut off from civilization. (In a 16-day trip to Switzerland a couple years ago, I stressed non-stop for the better part of the first week about not having my iPhone on me. And that was in the beautiful Swiss countryside!)

Imagine what it would be like, then, in a world where technology and personal devices have practically become extensions of ourselves, to cut yourself off completely. That’s the premise for TLC’s Risking it All, premiering tonight at 10pm ET/CT. Three families have chosen to live off the grid – not only giving up their electronics but also electricity itself and running water – in an attempt to reconnect with one another.

Each of the families has a different reason for embarking on the life-changing adventure – from attempting to save their marriage to dealing with family illness to regaining control of their relationships. However vastly different their backgrounds may be, what they take away from the experience, though, is the same: a better understanding of how they can coexist with their family members when all modern day conveniences and amenities are removed, and, ultimately, a better appreciation for one another.

Check out a sneak peek of Risking It All below, and don’t miss the series premiere tonight!

Discovery Education’s STEM Leader Forum Brings Together Boston Leaders and Educators

November 17, 2014 | by lstewart

Today in Boston, Discovery Communications and Discovery Education hosted its STEM Leader Forum, bringing together local leaders and educators from the public and private sectors in a half-day symposium focused on discussing the best ways to provide Boston area students with the skills they need today for the jobs of tomorrow. A hands-on STEM learning experience in the afternoon for over 150 6th grade middle school students complemented the morning’s collaborative forum.

Representatives from Discovery Education, United Way of Massachusetts Bay, the City of Boston, US2020 and Citizen Schools kicked off the event with a series of discussions that revolved around how STEM careers have shaped – and will continue to shape – our modern world. They also collectively emphasized the importance of inspiring today’s youth by providing them with the education programs and experiences necessary to become innovative leaders down the road.

Guest speaker Hakeem Oluseyi, host of Science Channel’s Outrageous Acts of Science, spoke with the group about his own STEM experience and the importance mentors played in helping him get to where he is today.

Hakeem’s commentary segued the morning’s forum into the afternoon’s curiosity workshop. Deepika Kurup, the 2012 3M Discovery Education Young Scientist Challenge winner, offered brief words of encouragement to the 156 middle school students in attendance before they were given the chance to flex their STEM muscles in a hands-on activity, working as teams on catapults and circuits. The event concluded with Hakeem discussing and answering the students’ questions about all things science and the universe.

Also partnering with Discovery for the forum were Boston STEM Network, Boston After School & Beyond and Boston Public Schools.


Rahn Dorsey, Chief of Education for the City of Boston and John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston.

Dr. Cindy Moss, Director of Global STEM Initiatives, Discovery Education.

Hakeem Oluseyi speaks with a group of middle school students. 

Animal Planet, Yao Ming and ‘Saving Africa’s Giants’

November 17, 2014 | by aharris
Yao Ming with an Orphaned Baby Elephant (Kirstian Schmidt/WildAid)

Yao Ming with an Orphaned Baby Elephant (Kirstian Schmidt/WildAid)

I grew up as an animal lover, although in Oklahoma my exposure to wild animals was limited to the field or woods beyond my backyard and my time at the Oklahoma City Zoo as a junior curator. However, a few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel to Africa and experience the most real and impactful animal encounters of my life on safari in the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa.

As an animal lover and someone who has had the awesome experience of being feet from a towering elephant in the wild, Animal Planet‘s Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming is must-see programming (even without working at Discovery Communications). Premiering in the U.S. tomorrow night (Tuesday, November 18) at 10pm ET/PT, Saving Africa’s Giants follows the basketball superstar to Kenya as he gets up close and personal with the impact of poaching (last year an uncomprehensible 25,000 African elephants were murdered by ivory poachers).

The one-hour documentary, narrated by actor Edward Norton (another favorite), also features elephant expert Iain Douglas-Hamilton and an important message for Yao’s countrymen and global citizens about the multibillion-dollar black market that has been built on the backs of 4.5 million elephants who have been killed in the last 60 years.

Watch a preview of the Animal Planet special below, tune in on Tuesday night, join WildAid’s Ivory-Free Pledge and help us spread the word and save these majestic creatures!

This Week In…Discovery Buzz

November 14, 2014 | by lstewart

Discovery Buzz

Happy Friday! This has been a news-filled week! Aside from our announcement about Laura Ling and Sony PlayStation®Vue, we shared the news earlier this week that has spun-off from Discovery Communications. In other big – er, tall – news, Yao Ming will be on Animal Planet next Tuesday in Saving Africa’s Giants with Yao Ming. (And if you haven’t read his AMA on Reddit yet, it’s worth checking out to learn more about his work as a wildlife advocate.)

Yao isn’t the only athlete using his name for good: several Oakland Raiders spent time at the East Bay SPCA this Tuesday to help find homes for local dogs and cats. The initiative is part of Animal Planet’s Road to the Puppy Bowl, where the network works with NFL teams and local animal shelters to encourage pet adoptions.

Here are some other things that happened this week:

  • ‘Think Before You Link’ Promotes Student Cyber Safety (Washington Post)
  • Discovery Reorganizes European Business into Three Clusters (The Hollywood Reporter)
  • Sutton Foster Will “Say Yes to the Dress” in Upcoming Episode (Playbill)