(EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND, August 26, 2015) – To kick off the 2015 Edinburgh International Television Festival, Discovery Networks International Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer Phil Craig unveiled several high-profile commissions. The new (and one returning) series will air across Discovery’s factual and lifestyle networks in more than 220 countries and territories in 2015 and 2016.
”As Discovery International builds a new and dynamic slate, we are crisscrossing the globe for stories and characters that will resonate with our international audiences,” said Craig. “Popular science that inspires viewers to ask crazy questions, cash-free open-road adventures, the beauty and energy of Sydney Harbour, the world’s most exciting turbo sub-cultures and the everyday miracle of conception – all of these new shows deliver on Discovery’s core promise to satisfy curiosity about the extraordinary world we live in. These series and specials are fresh, groundbreaking and hugely entertaining.”
Discovery Network International’s new content slate, under the development of Craig, includes the following:
FREE RIDE (wt) (Winter 2016)
Can you travel the world relying on just your ingenuity and the kindness of strangers? One man thinks you can. Adventurer, survivalist and green enthusiast Rob Greenfield is about to embark on an epic journey with a truly audacious plan – to trek across South America with no money. Travelling with him will be filmmaker James Levelle, documenting every step of their journey together. From bartering for a bed in a Brazilian Favela to sleeping under the stars in the Amazon, washing plates in a back road diner in exchange for food, and hitching a ride on a big rig – Rob (and James) are determined to do it. When faced with language barriers, extreme culture clashes, violent storms, searing heat and punishing terrains, will Rob be able to convince complete strangers to lend a helping hand in his quest? FREE RIDE is a gritty and powerful journey into the unknown. FREE RIDE, a 6×60’ survival adventure series produced for Discovery Networks International by Raw TV, is commissioned by Elizabeth McIntyre, executive produced by Liz Brach and produced by Marion Haberman. Sam Maynard and Rebecca North are executive producers for Raw TV.
DRIVING WILD (wt) (Spring 2016)
For 10 years, Marc ‘Elvis’ Priestley travelled the world as a Formula 1 mechanic for McLaren Racing. He applied his skill and expertise to the most powerful, expensive and carefully crafted cars on the planet and was number one in the pit crew when the team achieved victory in the 2008 World Championship. Now he plans to embark on an incredibly different type of international challenge. DRIVING WILD is adventure meets engineering as Elvis goes back to basics as he immerses himself in extraordinary car cultures across the world. But he’s not just there to watch. Combining his F1 know-how with their grassroots skill and resourcefulness, Priestley will work with each motoring group in an attempt to pull off a series of ingenious vehicle modifications as they prepare for a high-octane, high-pressure driving challenge. Travelling from remote corners of the planet to bustling, crowded cities, DRIVING WILD sees Elvis getting his hands dirty alongside fellow automotive enthusiasts in their workshops and garages, helping create, build and customize a one-of-a-kind vehicle as they prepare for each unique motoring challenge. DRIVING WILD, a 6×60’ turbo series produced for Discovery Networks International by Dragonfly, is commissioned by Elizabeth McIntyre, executive produced by Liz Brach and produced by Marion Haberman. Clare Mottershead is the executive producer for Dragonfly.
QUESTION EVERYTHING (wt) (Spring 2016)
Get ready to QUESTION EVERYTHING you thought you knew! In science, the answers to simple questions can have profound implications – each answer leading us further down a rabbit hole of fascinating information. In this series, expert physicist Dr. Derek Muller is searching for questions that most people believe cannot be answered. QUESTION EVERYTHING uses explosive experiments, quirky street stunts, compelling field visits, and stunning in-scene infographics that bring visual meaning to numbers – all to create worlds we’ve only ever dreamed of seeing in reality. In answering these “unanswerable” questions, Muller will reveal fast, factual information that’s relevant to our everyday lives – from how the Earth works, to how we make decisions. In the end, we’ll see that even the biggest science questions have answers rooted in ourselves. QUESTION EVERYTHING, a 6×60’ pop-science series produced for Discovery Networks International by Essential Media and Entertainment, is commissioned by Elizabeth McIntyre , executive produced by Liz Brach and produced by Marion Haberman. Alan Erson and Chris Hilton are the executive producers for Essential Media and Entertainment.
SYDNEY HARBOUR UNCOVERED (wt) (Fall 2016)
The world’s largest natural harbour is as iconic as it is epic, and it sits near the top of every traveler’s bucket list. SYDNEY HARBOUR UNCOVERED is an unprecedented, all-access documentary series that takes viewers behind the scenes of the world’s largest natural harbour, interweaving character-driven narratives with cinematic blue-chip filming techniques. Sydney Harbour is a complex web of shipping, tourism, industry, culture and commerce that hosts more than 40 million visitors a year – it’s a mammoth logistical challenge for the people who keep it running. The series showcases the daily tensions and triumphs of our diverse and engaging cast, who call the Harbour their “office,” as they deal with the major international events that bring millions to the dockside or cope with the dramatic weather that threatens to shut the Harbour completely, a power and responsibility that rests solely with one of our key characters, Harbour master Captain Phil Holliday. Revealing one of the world’s most beautiful cities at its most stunning, this is a mix of cinematic visuals and visceral, dynamic character-driven narratives. SYDNEY HARBOUR UNCOVERED, a 6×60’ observational documentary series produced for Discovery Networks International by WTFN, is commissioned by Helen Hawken and executive produced by Tom Gorham. Shaun Gilmartin is the executive producer for WTFN.
EXTRAORDINARY PREGNANCIES 2 (Spring 2016)
Returning hit series EXTRAORDINARY PREGNANCIES follows incredible pregnancies occurring under extreme and unbelievable circumstances. The series spotlights brave mothers-to-be as they juggle the usual excitements and unpredictability of expecting a baby, but also face the obstacles related to personal disabilities, medical conditions or unusual lifestyles. EXTRAORDINARY PREGNANCIES gives the expectant mothers handheld cameras to personally document both the joys and stresses that are the day-to-day realities of a challenging pregnancy – from the beginning of the pregnancy to birth, to the first days with their newborn baby. These fascinating stories offer exclusive and personal insight into the dramatic medical events and everyday preparations for bringing precious new life into the world. The second season of EXTRAORDINARY PREGNANCIES, a 6×60’ series, is produced for Discovery Networks International by Curve Media, is commissioned by Sarah Thornton and executive produced by Charlotte Reid and Mark Procter. Rob Carey is the executive producer and Rachael Barnes is the series producer for Curve Media.
FIRST HEARTBEAT (October 2015)
This documentary special follows a British couple’s heart-breaking struggle to overcome successive miscarriages in order to have a successful pregnancy and healthy baby. In this intimate film, Lisa and David Nand challenge the taboo subject of miscarriages by sharing their very personal and touching story as they bid to overcome the sorrow of five miscarriages and undergo a controversial treatment in an attempt to build their family. The documentary begins with Lisa, a freelance TV producer and presenter, sitting in the hospital cradling her second child, a new-born baby boy. It then winds back the clock to chart the young couple’s journey up until this point – through the pregnancy tests, tears, drug therapy and finally success. FIRST HEARTBEAT, a 1×60’ documentary special produced for Discovery Networks International by October Films, is commissioned by Sarah Thornton and executive produced by Mark Procter. For October Films, Matt Robins, Adam Bullmore and Ruth Pitt are the executive producers. The previously announced FIRST HEARTBEAT was originally a UK commission and is now a full global commission.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s #1 pay-TV programmer reaching nearly 3 billion cumulative subscribers in more than 220 countries and territories. For 30 years Discovery has been dedicated to satisfying curiosity and entertaining viewers with high-quality content through its global television brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Discovery controls Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education, and a digital leader with a diversified online portfolio, including Discovery Digital Networks. For more information, please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.