Cable’s longest-running ritual, Discovery’s Shark Week, will celebrate its 25th anniversary beginning Aug. 12. A host has not yet been announced, but EW has the first look at this year’s eight new specials. And they are…
Air Jaws Apocalypse, premiering Aug. 12 at 9 p.m. ET: First of all, love the title. How else do you top Ultimate Air Jaws? Shark expert Chris Fallows and natural history producer Jeff Kurr return to Seal Island, South Africa and the 14-foot great white named Colossus. “And what they discover in this yearlong filming expedition,” according to the synopsis, “is a true scientific breakthrough: dozens of great whites clustered in shallow water, feeding on smaller sharks and rays — with Colossus dominating the grounds and nearly eating the camera.” (Note: That is a decoy seal in the photo. We asked. Feel better?)
Shark Week’s 25 Best Bites, Aug. 12 at 10 p.m. ET: Fingers crossed, the countdown ends with the one shot that has eluded the network for 24 years: the bird’s eye view of a breaching great white.
MythBusters’ Jawsome Shark Special, Aug. 13 at 9 p.m. ET: Another countdown, this one has Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman naming their top 25 shark myths of all time. They’ll take on new myths, show never-seen-before footage of their past mythbusting, and “reveal the #1 shark myth that will quite literally blow people away.”
Sharkzilla, Aug. 13 at 10 p.m. ET: MythBusters‘ Kari Byron, Grant Imahara, and Tori Belleci also get in on the fun, helping to resurrect the largest shark to ever stalk the oceans: the 52-foot megalodon, complete with its six-feet wide jaws that “will snap shut with enough force to bite through a car.”
How Jaws Changed the World, Aug. 14 at 9 p.m. ET: “From the importance of music scores to special effects, from natural history to human behavior — careers were made and lives were altered with the feature film. Meet the people impacted by a single shark that changed the world.” Bets on whether there’s a montage of people saying they wouldn’t swim in the ocean (or, cough, their own swimming pool) for a year?
Shark Fight, Aug. 14 at 10 p.m. ET: Not what you think! This special actually focuses on shark-attack survivors who’ve become shark advocates and fight to save them.
Great White Highway, Aug. 15 at 9 p.m. ET: In partnership with Discovery, Dr. Barbara Block, professor of marine sciences at Stanford University, has developed new tagging technology that allows her to track great whites in real-time. “They can track where the sharks are migrating, where they are meeting and possibly mating, and maybe eventually where they go to give birth — something that continues to elude scientists.”
Adrift: 47 Days With Sharks, Aug. 16 at 9 p.m. ET: This docudrama tells the story of two American war heroes who survived 47 days in shark-infested waters after their plane crashed into the Pacific. “But when they finally did reach land, it was only the beginning of their troubles,” Discovery promises. “What happened to these men is one of the greatest tests of faith, will, and endurance of our time.”
Shark Week 2011: Inside ‘Great White Invasion’ — and the most nerve-wracking two minutes in 24 years?
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Ken Tucker reviews Shark Week 2011