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Tom Selleck to narrate Discovery's 'North America' series -- EXCLUSIVE

TOM-SELLECK

Discovery has dubbed Tom Selleck the voice of North America, its next epic seven-part series premiering May 19. “I’ve been a fan of Discovery’s nature programming for years, and I am truly honored to be narrating their next great series. I think people will be captivated by North America,” Selleck said in the announcement. For Discovery’s first independently-produced natural history series, crews traveled the continent for more than three years. The “Making Of” episode chronicling the production team’s challenges will show how they battled Hurricane Irene and other natural disasters. Never-before-seen sequences in the series include grizzly bears diving in more than 20 feet of water to grab salmon in Alaska and the elusive desert jaguar in Mexico.

Read more:
Discovery’s ‘Africa': An ‘Argo’-esque arrest!
Discovery’s ‘Africa': The fun of filming chimps, elephants, and kickboxing frogs in the Congo
Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The making of ‘Frozen Planet’

'Bering Sea Gold' loses one of its own -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

The title of tonight’s episode of Discovery’s Bering Sea Gold is “Gold Stress,” the term those who dredge the bottom of the Bering Sea for treasure use to describe what they feel when they’re coming up empty. As the show’s executive producer David Pritikin describes it, it’s a high stakes world with all alpha characters chasing a wish-fulfillment dream in the seas near Nome, Alaska, where life itself isn’t easy. That’s never been more clear than in this hour, which, as you can see in the clip below, takes a tragic turn when deckhand John Bunce, lovingly remembered here, takes his own life. “Without knowing deep into John’s psyche or the problems that he may have been having, Nome is a depressing place at times for some because it’s cold, it’s harsh, it’s difficult,” Pritikin says. “[Bunce's best friend] Zeke Tenhoff did mention earlier and throughout the series that John lives his life in extremes, which many of the people do in Nome and on the show. One of his demons, Zeke mentioned, was alcohol.”

Cameras were not with Bunce at the time, and in the aftermath, which will be shown next week, the crew — from Deadliest Catch producer Thom Beers’ Original Productions — didn’t film anyone who didn’t want to be filmed and waited for those closest to him, Zeke and Emily Riedel, to be ready to talk. “This is real life, and it took all the wind out of their sails. Their motivation was gone. They were angry at first. It was a very difficult time,” Pritikin says. Watch the exclusive clip below: READ FULL STORY

'Gold Rush' executive producer Christo Doyle on huge changes ahead in Season 4 -- EXCLUSIVE

The third season of Discovery’s smash series Gold Rush, which has been averaging 4.85 million viewers (P2+) and winning the cable race on Fridays, wrapped up tonight with a live two-hour finale that may or may not have set a record for use of the word “smelting.” Discovery has confirmed to EW that the show will definitely be back for a fourth season, so it makes sense that tonight’s finale contained its very own mother lode of bombshells to keep viewers interested while it is away.

Sure, we got the gold totals — the Hoffman/Turin crew took home 803 oz. of gold, worth $1.28 million, while Parker and Fred’s smaller teams found 191 oz. and 163 oz., respectively. Not too shabby! Remember in Season 1 when no one even made it to 20 oz.?!

But the biggest revelations of the night were all about the future. Viewers learned that Todd Hoffman has been prospecting for gold “down South,” and that he may not be returning to the Klondike at all. Plus, we learned that Dakota Fred plans on mining a new, almost-impossible-to-access glacial claim, and that Parker Schnabel has been planning a whole new adventure with Tony Beets. But what do all these developments mean for the future of the show? We talked to Gold Rush executive producer Christo Doyle to get the scoop on what to expect in Season 4.

Here’s what’s happening with the leader of each crew:

TODD HOFFMAN

“Todd has had a rough go of it this year,” claims Doyle. “As a result, he has decided that he is going to look at South America.” That’s right, the show that was once called Gold Rush Alaska is about to get a whole lot more international. “Todd is taking a trip that will be captured in an off-season run of episodes we’re calling Gold Rush: The Off-Season,” explains Doyle. “There will be six episodes there in the summer, and it will be Todd and crew prospecting in three different countries looking for a spot that he thinks holds more gold.”

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Discovery's 'ARGO: Inside Story' shows Scotch saving the day -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

In honor of Argo‘s seven nominations at Sunday’s Oscars, Discovery has updated its 2002 special produced by Craig Piligian on Tony Mendez’s covert mission to help rescue six Americans during the Iranian hostage crisis and will air ARGO: Inside Story, now narrated by Argo star Bryan Cranston, on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET and Sunday at noon ET. Watch an exclusive clip below to see how a bottle of Scotch came in handy when Mendez was forging documents in the office of the Canadian Ambassador. Reenactment!

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'Yukon Men' sets return date (and goes eel hunting) -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

With the blizzard Nemo arriving later today, it’s fitting that Discovery is announcing the return date for Yukon Men. Season 2, which premieres Feb. 22 at 10 p.m. ET, introduces two new residents to the remote Alaskan village of Tanana, which is just 60 miles from the Arctic Circle and home to about 200 people. Dustin is from North Carolina, and answered a newspaper ad for a dog handler. Sam, an Alaskan native, has moved his family there.

As folks in the Northeast fill their cupboards for the weekend storm, watch the clip below to see familiar faces Pat Moore and Thomas Moore teach Sam about stockpiling eels for their harsh winter — which is expected to be even colder than last year’s, which reached -60° F. READ FULL STORY

Bear Grylls returns to Discovery

Bear Grylls, who parted ways with Discovery last March over a contract dispute, has made up with the channel — at least internationally. Discovery Networks International has announced a new six-episode series Bear Grylls: Ultimate Survivors that will air in 217 markets outside North America. The show will use archival footage and interviews with people who’ve survived being stranded in the Amazon, in the European Alps, and in the North African desert, and place the former Man Vs. Wild host in the same terrain to re-live their journeys.

“I am super excited to be working with Discovery again — the channel where the Man Vs. Wild journey began,” said Grylls, in a statement.  “Ultimate Survivors, and any future endeavors, will be intense — but that’s where the fun is! Man Vs. Wild took me to some of the toughest climates and terrains out there, and this new series is an exciting evolution of that. The aim is to follow incredible real-life survival stories and demonstrate dynamic life-saving know-how along the way.”

Read more:
Discovery parts ways with Bear Grylls over contract dispute, Grylls responds

Discovery announces new series 'Weed Country' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Just call it “Weed Wednesday.” On Feb. 20, Discovery premieres two new series: Pot Cops (9 p.m. ET), which is fairly self-explanatory, and Weed Country (10 p.m. ET), which goes deep inside the Emerald Triangle — a remote, fertile green goldmine on the border of Northern California and Oregon — to document the battle between marijuana growers, dealers, and the authorities who want to keep the medicinal product from falling into the wrong hands.

“Heavily armed with weapons and helicopters for aerial surveillance, these hardline law enforcers will stop at nothing to take down the growers’ operations and cut off their supply chains,” Discovery says in its announcement. “As the pressure intensifies, turf wars and battles erupt between neighbors. Will the growers win the fight to change hardline political and social attitudes? Or will the authorities be able to bring them down once and for all?”

Watch an exclusive preview of Weed Country below. READ FULL STORY

'Gold Rush' season 3 preview -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

Discovery’s No. 1 show, Gold Rush, returns Friday (9 p.m. ET), and we’ve got your first look at the premiere’s cold open, which sets up a season of big changes, competition, and straight-faced usage of the phrase “glory hole” (as in, “At Porcupine Creek, the Dakota Boys pick up where they left off…. on the hunt for the millions in gold they are sure sits at the bottom of their glory hole”).  READ FULL STORY

Discovery announces 'Jungle Gold' -- EXCLUSIVE PROMO

“Be nice to this guy, he’s got a shotgun.” That’ll grab your attention. Watch an exclusive promo below of the new Discovery series Jungle Gold, from the team behind the network’s top-rated show Gold Rush. Premiering Oct. 26, Jungle Gold follows two American men who risk their lives to strike it rich in Ghana, Africa’s second largest gold producing country. After losing everything in the real estate crash of 2008, Scott Lomu was planning to move his family into his father’s basement and George Wright was trying to save his home from foreclosure. Naturally, they decided mining for gold in Ghana was their best option to pay off their debts, which exceeded $1 million. “Armed neighbors, miles of broken roads, roadblocks manned by Ghanaian gangs, and shady and ruthless gold buyers are among the daily hurdles they must face and overcome to succeed in their plan to safely escape Ghana with enough gold to secure their families’ futures,” Discovery teases. How will it go? Check out the promo below. READ FULL STORY

Shark Week begins with more 'Air Jaws' and one 'Impossible Shot' -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Tonight marks the start of Shark Week’s 25th Anniversary, and Discovery wastes no time giving viewers what they want — the breaching great whites off South Africa’s Seal Island. The behavior was first shot in 2001, but Shark Week 2012 seeks two new angles: In Air Jaws Apocalypse (9 p.m. ET), filmmaker Jeff Kurr lies on a “seal sled” that tows a decoy seal 15 feet behind him in order to film an attack by 14-foot great white/badass Colossus at surface level. (You might recall in Ultimate Air Jaws, shark expect/photographer Chris Fallows used the sled, but he only shot with a still camera.) In Shark Week’s Impossible Shot, which follows at 10 p.m. ET, a team of cameramen attempt to somehow film the first-ever bird’s-eye view of a great white’s Polaris breach. If they succeed, we’ll be looking down at the shark’s jaws as it launches itself out of the water. Watch an exclusive clip below. Good luck, guys… READ FULL STORY

'The Devils Ride': Discovery's real-life 'Sons of Anarchy' -- EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW

On May 8, Discovery debuts The Devils Ride, a new reality show that follows the San Diego motorcycle club Laffing Devils. The network thinks of the show, exec-produced by The Wonder Years‘ Jason Hervey, as the real-life Sons of Anarchy. Watch our exclusive preview below, and see if you agree. “The local police department follow us because they think that we’re criminals,” says Laffing Devils president Gipsy, who, like half the guys in the club, is ex-military — they miss the brotherhood and adrenaline of the service and find it in the club. Adding some drama: San Diego has roughly 30 to 40 motorcycle clubs, which means you have to know what area you’re riding into, and of course, some members want to raise a little more hell than others…  READ FULL STORY

'Frozen Planet' preview: A seal pup reunites with its mother, Alec Baldwin narrates crazy caribou foreplay -- EXCLUSIVE CLIPS

Have you recovered from the Orca “wave wash” scene in the Frozen Planet premiere? We hope so, because nature’s emotional roller-coaster ride continues in the next installment of the seven-part series from the makers of Planet Earth. In “Summer” (premiering Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on Discovery), you’ll watch an adorable fur seal pup get caught between two 400 lb. bulls fighting for females. Warning: The battle is brutal, but the reunion between the lost pup and its mother is joyous. Watch it below. In our second exclusive clip, you just have to trust that the music and narrator Alec Baldwin wouldn’t sound so upbeat if the scene of a female caribou being chased by a herd of “amorous males” ended the way you’re worried it might… READ FULL STORY

'Frozen Planet' Q&A: Why you'll be happy you have HD this weekend

This Sunday, Discovery debuts the new seven-part series Frozen Planet, from the makers of Planet Earth and Life. During four years of production, the temperatures went as low as -58°F and the winds as high as 148 miles per hour. In total, the crew spent 2,356 days in the field, 840 hours trapped in blizzards, and 134 hours filming under the ice. Among the jaw-dropping footage seen in the first two programs premiering Sunday: the killer whale “wave wash” behavior in which orcas swim in a line to make waves that knock a seal off an ice floe, and a pack of 25 patient wolves working together to separate a bison from its herd. We sat down with series producer Vanessa Berlowitz and director Chadden Hunter. READ FULL STORY

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