(New York, N.Y.) Leveraging a global content investment of $1 billion dollars across Discovery Communications’ 13 top networks, Discovery US Hispanic today unveiled its new programming lineup and announced that it will also double its production of original current affairs documentaries and series. The result is a powerful content slate for Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia that will give viewers more of what they want: monthly stunts, epic mega productions, 50 new series and 30 new seasons of top rated shows.
This upfront season will be filled with majestic series like FROZEN PLANET, the ultimate portrait of the earth’s Polar regions, DESTINATION 2111, which offers a futuristic picture of what life will be like in Latin America in 2111 and OUT OF THE WILD: VENEZUELA, an eight-part riveting depiction of humankind’s struggle against all that Mother Nature has to throw at them.
Discovery en Español continues to lead with top-notch programs that focus on exceptional storytelling and give viewers a peek into the lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. The network is a trailblazer with a longstanding commitment to the Hispanic market. Now, after five years of double-digit ratings growth, Discovery en Español is demonstrating its commitment to go “Beyond” for advertisers once again, by being among the first Hispanic pay TV networks to be measured with C3 NTI ratings starting this October.
A pioneer in its own right, Discovery Familia, the only network to deliver a coveted audience of highly-engaged Hispanic moms and their preschool children, is expected to reach 4 million Hispanic TV homes this year. To demonstrate its confidence in its offering, the network will be fully reportable by July 2011. Discovery Familia will also be introducing a number of new programs and series that speak specifically to the needs of Hispanic moms and fit into the network’s key genres of My Kids, My Home, My Time, as well as the Discovery Kids daytime programming block. Among those are new and exciting series including EARLY INTERVENTION, which will document parents as they work with experts to correct their child’s behavioral problems and EXTREME COUPONING, which follows along as savvy shoppers plan and plot their way to unbelievable savings.
What follows are some of the programs, specials and series presented at this year’s upfront event in New York City.
Discovery en Español
Produced by the Emmy award-winning team behind PLANET EARTH, LIFE and HUMAN PLANET, FROZEN PLANET is a landmark documentary of epic proportions. Four years in the making and shot completely in high definition, this cutting edge series will show life above and below the ice. Viewers will be able to witness the eco-systems and animals of the Arctic and Antarctic, two regions on the front lines of climate change research. The sheer power of the elements combined with the amazing resiliency of the animals that reside there, result in an awe-inspiring natural drama. Until recently, the Russian Arctic has been closed for filming and most of Antarctica has never been recorded, which makes this a groundbreaking effort and an epic series everyone will be keeping their eyes on.
In the early 1990s, the United States Navy began a series of covert sonar tests that were linked to mass die-offs of whales washing up on beaches around the world. These beachings were well-publicized, but startling amateur video and photographic evidence – much of it never released until now – suggests that whales were not the only creatures affected by the Navy’s sonar. In 1997, scientists monitoring underwater microphones recorded a mysterious sound deep in the Pacific Ocean. What made that sound, dubbed “The Bloop,” has remained one of the greatest mysteries of the oceans, until now… as Discovery en Español presents the CGI, two-hour special, MERMAIDS.
LIVING UNDER THE RADAR — Original Production
A year after Arizona signed its controversial state immigration bill, ordering immigrants to carry their alien registration documents or face immediate detention, the debate rages on. Opponents call it an open invitation to harassment against Hispanics, regardless of their citizenship status. In July, the Obama administration sued Arizona over the law stating it was unconstitutional. However, now other states are following suit. LIVING UNDER THE RADAR provides viewers with a 360-degree look at a debate that has torn US Citizens apart from those who argue for compassion to those who prefer stricter enforcement. This impactful special will focus on the lives of all those that are caught in the crosshairs, from the very real drama being lived by illegal immigrants and their families, to law enforcement agents, to everyday American citizens who are living in fear on the border.
DESTINATION 2111 — Original Production
What will Latin America be like in the future? This will be the question posed in DESTINATION 2111. Over the span of six hour long episodes, the series will journey through the major metropolitan cities of the continent to offer a vision of what life will be like in 2111. Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Bogota – all these key player cities will come under the microscope as we reveal the until now, unseen future visions of how life will be. In DESTINATION 2111, viewers embark on a fascinating journey towards a possible future that is near and far, believable and incredible.
OUT OF THE WILD: VENEZUELA
Nine ordinary Americans volunteer to participate in one of the world’s most intense tests of will in the hit series OUT OF THE WILD: VENEZUELA, an eight-part riveting depiction of humankind’s struggle against all that Mother Nature has to throw at them. The strangers were flown in, dropped off and abandoned in a remote corner of Venezuela’s southern frontier – a lost world that once lured explorers in search of El Dorado, the legendary City of Gold. They had only the clothes on their backs and a few basic supplies. Their goal? Find their way back to civilization.
PROPHETS OF SCIENCE FICTION
Ridley Scott, the visionary mind behind iconic works of science fiction including “Blade Runner” and the “Alien” franchise, and epic adventures such as “Gladiator”, brings his unique expertise to PROPHETS OF SCIENCE FICTION, a series that explores legendary figures, including Isaac Asimov, Gene Roddenberry and George Lucas, and examines how their work often inspired future discoveries decades before they took place.
SHARK WEEK 25 YEARS
Every summer they return, slashing through a sea of competition to rack up new ratings successes. Grab your scuba gear and climb into the cage, because it’s time for SHARK WEEK! Great whites. Hammerheads. Whale sharks. This consistent audience pleaser never fails to reveal remarkable new insights into these magnificent and elusive creatures. SHARK WEEK is television’s longest running programming event and the official mark of summer.
REEL STORY uncovers the truth behind popular crime-and-justice movies that have become part of the fabric of pop culture. The first episode introduces show host and real-life legal crusader Erin Brockovich, who tells the story of the groundbreaking courtroom battle she won against West Coast energy corporation Pacific Gas & Electric. Using scene reconstruction, interviews with the real people the characters were based on, subsequent episodes reveal what really inspired movies including Monster.
HOMECOMING presents a series of surprise military homecomings. Hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, viewers will watch as soldiers return home to the delight of their loved ones, paying off each personal story with “the” moment so sweet and raw that it cuts through, connecting us as fathers, mothers, husbands and wives.
My Kids Programming Block:
Each half-hour program of EARLY INTERVENTION will follow one family with a child who is exhibiting problem behaviors. Filmed in observational vérité style, we’ll hear first-person accounts from the parents, the child, and other members of the family directly affected by the problem. These first- person accounts will be punctuated with insight from therapists and top experts in related fields.
My Home Programming Block:
EXTREME COUPONING follows along as savvy shoppers plan and plot their way to unbelievable savings. Each of the series’ 12 half-hour episodes introduces viewers to America’s most extreme “super couponers,” sharing why they are so driven by the deals.
From seeing their shocking stockpiles of merchandise they rack up, to demonstrating their dramatic shopping skills, to witnessing how some use their amazing couponing skills to benefit local communities, EXTREME COUPONING shares the world of everyday people in pursuit of extraordinary deals.
Financially stressed couples, families and singles get “tell-it-like-it-is” advice from Alison Griffiths, financial expert. Alison investigates their lives through their bank and credit card statements, analyzes how, where and what they spend money on and calculates the shocking grand total of their debts. Alison explains the practical steps they need to take to kick their bad spending habits for good. Alison develops plans for the participants to follow so they can pay their debts back faster and work towards a brighter financial future.
My Time Programming Block:
LOOK FOR LESS
Because money needs to be spent on your rent, bargain hunting is always in fashion. The host of LOOK FOR LESS shows you how to find today’s most popular looks for a fraction of the cost.
Discovery Kids Programming Block
Looking for adventure? Well, you are JUSTIN TIME! Watch Justin and his pals Olive and Squidgy become stars in the biggest stories of all time, told from every corner of the world. Preschoolers will be surprised how Justin’s imaginative adventures reflect their everyday life. Every time our little explorers set out on a new adventure, children will discover that fun has no expiration date, and that life lessons, good values, and true friendships are timeless!
ROB THE ROBOT
ROB THE ROBOT Join Rob, the galaxy’s most curious and adventurous robot as he explores the wondrous planets with his friends Ema, the alien linguist, TK the walking toolkit, and Orbit the quirky artist, in this 3D animated preschool series full of fun and laughter.
About Discovery US Hispanic
Discovery US Hispanic includes the Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia networks. Discovery en Español, providing Hispanic audiences with the best content from the portfolio of top networks from Discovery Communications, launched in 1998 as one of the first US Hispanic pay TV networks in response to the growing demand for Spanish-language programming in the United States. Today, Discovery en Español is the 2nd highest rated Hispanic pay -TV channel in prime time, distributed on 100 % of US. Hispanic digital tiers nationwide. Discovery Familia is the first US. network developed to attract the coveted audience of highly-engaged Hispanic moms and their preschool age children. Discovery Familia is expected to reach 4 million Hispanic TV homes in 2011.