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Discovery announces 2017/18 original programming slate; Canadian hits headline network’s 2017 fall lineup

From a media release:

Discovery, primetime’s most-watched entertainment specialty network in Canada among total viewers and key adult demos, announced its 2017 fall lineup today, headlined by an unrivaled 2017/18 original Canadian programming slate. Discovery’s primetime schedule continues to be underpinned by an unprecedented array of wildly popular homegrown programs for fall and winter, produced both in-house and in partnership with some of the country’s most successful independent production companies. In all, Discovery features six brand new programs joining 13 returning original series to headline its schedule for the 2017/18 broadcast year.

New to Discovery’s production slate are character-driven series LAST STOP GARAGE, airing Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23; ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Winter 2018); and HELLFIRE HEROES (Spring 2018). These series are complemented by one-of-a-kind original specials, including the Exploration Production Inc. (EPI)-produced SATURN: INSIDE THE RINGS (Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT), featuring DAILY PLANET’s Dan Riskin, as well as the cutting-edge mystery solver from Discovery’s popular “DRAIN” series, DRAIN ALCATRAZ, coming this November.

Following the network’s first foray into original scripted drama last fall, Discovery features the exclusive and thrilling world debut of FRONTIER’s second season, airing Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 18. Featuring international film star and Canadian Screen Award nominee Jason Momoa (Justice League), the new season sees new alliances threatening to topple the established power dynamic, as loyalties shift and old wounds fester.

But first, the Fall 2017 schedule kicks off with Season 23 of Discovery’s flagship series DAILY PLANET currently enjoying its most-watched year in series history continuing to go where no one else dares. Kicking off a new season with “Boldly Go Week”, airing Monday, Aug. 28 through Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, the original series currently reaches more than 1.4 million viewers each week, and continues to win its 7 p.m. ET timeslot versus other Canadian entertainment specialty channels among key adult demos.

The 2017 fall season follows a highly successful broadcast year for Discovery’s original Canadian programs, which featured the debut of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 in January as the #1 original Canadian series launch of the season on entertainment specialty television, followed by last fall’s world debut of the network’s new scripted series FRONTIER. In 2016/17, Discovery was also home to the most-watched unscripted specialty series in Canada among A18-34 and A18-49, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER.

Winning three of seven nights per week in primetime among A25-54 viewers – more than any other entertainment specialty network – Discovery also claims four of the Top 10 series on entertainment specialty television in the current broadcast year withCANADA’S WORST DRIVER, HEAVY RESCUE: 401, GOLD RUSH, and HIGHWAY THRU HELL.

Looking forward to Discovery’s 2017/18 original programming slate, below are key programming highlights in chronological order:

Fall 2017 Original Programming Highlights

  • Internationally recognized winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best News or Information Series, DAILY PLANET returns for its 23rd season – Monday-Friday at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Aug. 28.
  • Top 10 Entertainment Specialty program HIGHWAY THRU HELL returns for Season 6 – Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 5.
  • Investigating the stories and science behind major aviation crashes, Season 17 of MAYDAYFridays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 8.
  • Exploring the genius of flight technology with the aid of high-end CGI is Season 4 of MIGHTY PLANES Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 10.
  • Long-time international favourite, HOW IT’S MADE returns for Season 30 –Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 11.
  • Traveling the world to explore how everyday objects can be deconstructed and reimagined in incredible ways, MADE BY DESTRUCTION returns for Season 2 – Mondays at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT beginning Sept. 11.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** As its final act, Cassini – the largest interplanetary spacecraft NASA has ever built – will dive into Saturn’s atmosphere, collecting unprecedented science to end its 13-year mission orbiting the ringed jewel of the solar system. The one-hour special SATURN: INSIDE THE RINGS(Friday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) unveils the engineering of the mammoth spacecraft, while shining a light on the team that responsible for a range of incredible discoveries.
  • As new alliances threaten to topple the established power dynamic, loyalities shift and old wounds fester in the thrilling second season of FRONTIER (Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 18), headlining Discovery’s fall schedule with a six-episode broadcast event.
  • **NEW SERIES** LAST STOP GARAGE (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) follows the often hilarious antics of CRB Automotive, the sole auto repair shop at the end of the only road left before hitting the most remote North American wilderness.
  • Discovery’s most-watched original series among key adult demos, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) enters its 13th season.
  • Season 2 of TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS (Mondays at 11 p.m. ET and 11:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. PT beginning Oct. 23) stars CANADA’S WORST DRIVER’s Andrew Younghusband in search of wildly different experiences in each episode.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** The world’s most infamous prison was also its most inescapable. But why? Many have tried to solve this mystery, but none have searched beneath the waves…until now. DRAIN ALCATRAZ (November 2017) uses cutting-edge CGI and sophisticated technology to “drain” the seas and scrub the sediments, revealing once and for all why Alcatraz was so difficult to escape.
  • **NEW SPECIAL** Inspired by the best-selling book from author and DAILY PLANET co-host Dan Riskin, MOTHER NATURE IS TRYING TO KILL YOU (Fall 2017) takes viewers on a lively romp through the underbelly of the natural world. With a unique combination of animation and live action footage, Mother Nature has never looked so twisted. The one-hour special brings to life the sordid tales of insects, animals, and creatures behaving in such shocking fashion that viewers will surely never think of nature in the same beautiful, pleasant way again.
  • Long-running international hit MIGHTY SHIPS (December 2017) sets sail on a new high-stakes voyage for Season 10, taking viewers on the journey and below the surface to explore places and technologies that are usually off-limits to land lovers.

Additional NEW Original Series Coming in 2017/18

  • ROCKY MOUNTAIN RAILROAD (Winter 2018) takes viewers on an action-packed journey to discover an extraordinary Canadian way of life, meeting everyone from off-gridders whose sole source of resupply is the rail to the hardy crews who do whatever it takes to keep these extreme railroads running.
  • Character-driven docuseries HELLFIRE HEROES (Spring 2018) gets up-close-and-personal with firefighters who’ll do just about anything to keep their community safe in the bullseye of the forest fire danger zone, Alberta’s remote Slave Lake.

Additional Returning Original Canadian Series Coming in 2017/18

  • Last season’s most-watched Canadian program debut, HEAVY RESCUE: 401(Winter 2018) returns for a second season to follow Heavy Rescue operators as they keep some of North America’s busiest highways moving.
  • Following the adventures of the jade-mining Bunce Family in northern B.C. is Season 4 of JADE FEVER (Winter 2018).
  • Season 31 of HOW IT’S MADE (Winter 2018) returns for a second helping this broadcast year, continuing to look behind the scenes at how everyday things are manufactured during Season 31.
  • Returning to investigate more major aviation disasters is Season 18 of MAYDAY (Winter 2018).
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Ontario’s highways thru hell star in Discovery’s Heavy Rescue: 401

Anyone who relies on Ontario’s 400-series highways knows that, at the best of times, you’ll fly along to your destination. But throw in some weather or boneheaded move by a fellow driver and chaos ensues. That’s what’s captured in Heavy Rescue: 401.

Debuting Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada—and from the same folks behind Highway Thru Hell, Heavy Rescue: 401 tracks the tow truck drivers, provincial police and emergency personnel who work long hours in dangerous conditions to keep cars and trucks full of precious cargo—human, animal and product—safe and on to their destinations. Yes, the west coast’s Coquihalla highway has snow and high peaks, but Ontario’s roads have their own challenges.

“I would fly into Toronto for meetings at Discovery and would drive from the airport and see guys smashing into each other in front of me,” executive producer Mark Miller says. “I’d get to Discovery and tell everyone about the hell I had just been through and they’d say, ‘Yeah, we go through that every day.’ We spoke to tow truck drivers that work the roads and quickly realized there was something there. It was different enough that it makes for a really cool series.” Miller likens the 401 to a spine with manufacturing plants and factories attached to it; the sheer number of tractor trailers needed to transport supplies along that route means jam-packed lanes and accidents waiting to happen.

“It’s all about time,” says longtime Abrams Towing driver John Allen (pictured above), one of several drivers featured in Heavy Rescue: 401. “You have auto parts going to Oshawa, auto parts going out to Windsor. If they get tied up, it’s costing GM or Chrysler or whoever is doing the manufacturing millions of dollars because they don’t have the storage capacity. Their storage is the trucks coming in.” Tuesday’s debut episode wastes no time showing what happens when snowy conditions and several lanes of traffic mix: a multi-vehicle accident has shut down part of the 401 and Allen is among the drivers rushing to the scene. Other companies followed in Season 1’s episodes include Herb’s Towing, Preferred Towing, Ross Services, Steve’s Towing, Classic Heavy Towing and Metro Towing.

Allen, with over 25 years in the towing business, has seen it all on Ontario’s roads and isn’t fazed by the fact he’s about to become a TV star. Instead, he’s more interested in educating viewers about the dangers involved in his profession.

“Part of what I want to get out of this show is for drivers to slow down, move over and give us a little space,” Allen says. “One tow truck driver is killed every six days in North America. That’s more than police officers, firefighters and ambulance drivers put together.” Injuries and death, he says, occur when a tow truck operator is crushed between vehicles or in what he refers to as “the 30 feet of kill zone” between his door and the back of the truck working in an active traffic lane and totally unprotected.

“Not even one in 10 drivers will move over and give me room,” Allen says. “I was watching the episode back and was getting scared! Give me some space in my workplace … that’s all I ask.”

Heavy Rescue: 401 airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery Canada.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Highway Thru Hell returns for Season 5

Just like the kids going back to school, September has become the month Highway Thru Hell returns for a new season on Discovery. Still one of the highest-rated series on the specialty channel, Jamie Davis and his crew—and some competitors—hit the icy roads for Season 5.

Returning on Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET, you know what you’re going to get with 13 episodes of Highway Thru Hell: cars and tractor trailers sliding around asphalt and colourful tow truck drivers pulling them out and cleaning up the mess. It takes all of two seconds after the opening credits for Highway Thru Hell to get down to business as truckers are stranded on the Smasher on The Coquihalla highway and request help.

It’s the first storm of the season, and as Al Quiring and Gord Boyd of Quiring Towing explain, it takes that initial dumping to remind everyone how treacherous the highway is in the winter. It doesn’t take long for Al and Gord to turn grumpy, the former over “snow socks” and the latter because of a rookie driver who can’t seem steer straight.

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Images courtesy of Bell Media.

For Jamie Davis, this season is all about changes. In a bid to downsize because of the changing economy, Davis sold the most prized truck in the fleet and aims to spend more time on the road rather than managing people. But will business suffer even more with him away from the office? His first call in Episode 1 is to a truck fire that’s still burning when he arrives and Jamie makes a bold decision to clean up the mess … with help from a familiar face.

Meanwhile, on the other side of Hope, B.C., Jordie Duperon of Mission Towing is called to the scene of a van half-submerged in a river. Along with his brother, Nik, the fourth-generation tow truck drivers want to prove they’ve got the stuff to make their grandfather proud.

Visually, Great Pacific TV’s Highway Thru Hell remains stunning, especially in HD. Davis’ trucks pop against the swirling, snowy backdrop and cameras mounted on drones offer a whole new dimension to filming as they swoop over collision scenes.

Also this season? Viewers get a sneak peek at the Highway Thru Hell spinoff, Heavy Rescue: 401, which focuses on the challenges faced by those tasked with keeping Ontario’s 400 series highways safe.

Highway Thru Hell airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery.

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Discovery breaks new ground for fall with new series, specials and first-ever scripted series

From a media release:

– Jason Momoa stars in world debut of hotly aniticipated original Canadian series and Discovery’s first foray into scripted series, FRONTIER –
– Discovery star Andrew Younghusband introduces new series TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? –
– Discovery’s fall lineup features five new series including scripted project HARLEY AND THE DAVIDSONS, a three-part miniseries based on a true story about the history of the iconic motorcycle brand –
– New seasons of Top 10 returning series, headlined by Canadian hits HIGHWAY THRU HELL and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER –
– Schedule features debuts of brand-new EPI special DEATH ON A COMET and series MIGHTY TRAINS, plus premiere of original Canadian special BUILDING STAR TREK –

Discovery, Canada’s most-watched entertainment specialty channel, sets course on another #1 season, announcing today its 2016 Fall  lineup*. Discovery breaks new ground this year with its most robust lineup ever, featuring five new series, including the world debut of the network’s first original Canadian scripted drama series FRONTIER (Sunday, Nov. 6 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT).

But first, the fall schedule kicks off with the all-new “Boldly Go” theme week on DAILY PLANET (begins Monday, Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT), going behind the scenes to uncover new scientific revelations and technologies in celebration of the Season 22 premiere of the flagship daily science program.

Subscribers can access live streaming of the fall schedule through the Discovery GOapp, and catch up on full seasons of Discovery’s returning series on demand on the Discovery GO app and at Discovery.ca. Discovery GO features the largest Canadian specialty on demand library in Canada.

Starring Jason Momoa, FRONTIER debuts Nov. 6. Beginning Monday, Oct. 24 at 11 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT is new series TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? starring Andrew Younghusband, following the Season 12 of Discovery’s most-watched series last season among A25-54 and A18-49, CANADA’S WORST DRIVER at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. Canada’s most-watched series on entertainment specialty television last season among total viewers (P2+), GOLD RUSH premieres later this fall (date to be announced).

Final data for the 2015/16 broadcast year to-date confirms that Discovery is the most-watched entertainment specialty channel among adult viewers in the key A25-54 and A18-49 demos. Winning three of seven nights per week in primetime among A25-54 viewers, and with more than any other entertainment specialty network, Discovery also claims half of the Top 10 series on entertainment specialty television with CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, GOLD RUSH, HIGHWAY THRU HELL, DEADLIEST CATCH, and ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE.

Among the highlights from Discovery’s Fall 2016 lineup:

Bold New Series (in chronological order)

MIGHTY TRAINS (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, beginning Oct. 16
Hosted by intrepid traveller and Space’s INNERSPACE co-host Teddy Wilson, MIGHTY TRAINS joins the lineup of Discovery’s MIGHTY series, riding the rails around the world to follow engineers and conductors as they navigate their way through busy rail yards, vie for priority departures, and deal with the unexpected. Train managers, load-masters, head chefs, track inspectors, rail traffic control officers, and passengers move the audience through an in-depth journey through the fascinating world of rail travel.

TOUGHER THAN IT LOOKS? (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Mondays at 11 p.m. PT/8 p.m. PT, beginning Oct. 24
From the makers of CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, host Andrew Younghusband delves into the world of terrifying heights, extreme sports, tough trades, small spaces, and strange hobbies. Younghusband’s wild quest takes him into the dangerous, weird, and just plain tough, as he meets people driven by passion, doing jobs and partaking in past-times that often look impossible. In each episode, Younghusband struggles to keep up with the pros and experts as they show him the ropes. With minimal training, Younghusband attempts working as a window cleaner on a dauntingly high skyscraper, wing walking on a bi-plane in mid-air, barefoot water skiing, and racing lawnmowers. Nothing is too scary or obscure for Younghusband to try…at least once.

FRONTIER
Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, beginning Nov. 6 (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Commissioned by Discovery Canada as its first-ever scripted series, the action-packed and authentic fiction series follows the chaotic and violent struggle to control wealth and power in the North American fur trade of the late 18th century. Rooted in Canadian history and told from multiple perspectives, FRONTIER takes place in a world where business negotiations might be resolved with close-quarter hatchet fights, and where delicate relations between Aboriginal tribes and Europeans can spark bloody conflicts. Starring Jason Momoa (GAME OF THRONES, Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice) along with Alun Armstrong (NEW TRICKS, Braveheart), Landon Liboiron (HEMLOCK GROVE, DEGRASSI), Zoe Boyle (DOWNTON ABBEY, SONS OF ANARCHY), and Allan Hawco (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE) who round out the international cast. The series also introduces Canadian newcomer, Jessica Matten.

Adventurous New Specials (in chronological order)

BUILDING STAR TREK (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Sunday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
Marking the 50th anniversary of the iconic series, and following the announcement of Bell Media’s licensing agreement for rights to STAR TREK: EXPLORER and the STAR TREK library in Canada, BUILDING STAR TREK tracks the restoration of the original Starship Enterprise and the unprecedented search for every remaining original part of the original 1966 TV show. The goal of the special: to reassemble the original series bridge around authentic artifacts. Meanwhile, every precious and slightly battered relic discovered in the film becomes a jump off point to tell the incredible stories behind a series that sent popular culture into warp drive. The hour-long BUILDING STAR TREK made its public debut last week during a panel presentation at San Diego Comic-Con.

highway

HIGHWAY THRU HELL Recap Special (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Tuesday, Sept. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Jamie Davis reflects on the rocky road that brought him to the fourth season’s dramatic crossroads as viewers get a sneak peek at the twists and turns ahead. In Season 5, the risks for Jamie have never been greater and the wrecks never more extreme. Jamie Davis Towing and his competitor Quiring Towing face epic challenges of their own. Plus, viewers get an update on their favourite drivers and a look behind the cameras at how HIGHWAY THRU HELL is made.

DEATH ON A COMET (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Friday, Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
On the heels of Discovery’s most-watched special to date, JUPITER: CLOSE ENCOUNTER, and following the November 2014 special LANDING ON A COMET: ROSETTA MISSION, Discovery brings viewers its latest real-time space odyssey, anchored by DAILY PLANET’s Dan Riskin. Rosetta, the European Space Agency (ESA)-built spacecraft that took years to conceive and another decade to journey through space, has been travelling alongside its assigned comet for the last two years. Now the mission is coming to an end and the team that poured years into this project must say goodbye. DEATH ON A COMET takes viewers inside the control room as Rosetta ends its six billion-kilometre journey, transmitting one final postcard.

RETURN TO ATLANTIS (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
(Date to be announced)
From Executive Producer James Cameron comes a unique documentary featuring an exploration team assembled to investigate several new theories about the real Atlantis, from its location to its people, and the terrible disaster that wiped it from the planet more than three millennia ago.

DAILY PLANET YEAR IN SCI TECH (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Friday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT
DAILY PLANET closes out 2016 with DAILY PLANET YEAR IN SCI TECH as co-hosts Ziya Tong and Dan Riskin recap the greatest technological feats and scientific breakthroughs of the year. Viewers are invited inside the control room as NASA heads to Jupiter and as ESA’s Rosetta ends a decade-long mission to a comet. From the Hyperloop test track in California to the artificial intelligence labs of Asia and beyond, viewers get an in-depth look at the people, places, and things shaping the future.

Bell Media

Returning Hit Series (in chronological order)

DAILY PLANET (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Weekdays at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT, beginning Monday, Aug. 29
DAILY PLANET’s 22nd season kicks off with its all-new theme week, “Boldly Go”.  Viewers get a front-row seat at the world’s first concert inside a volcano, go deep in Silfra, Iceland – the only place in the world where divers can swim between two continental plates, and watch a rocket launch from a sailing platform in the Baltic Sea. DAILY PLANET also celebrates STAR TREK’s 50th anniversary during “Boldly Go Week” with interviews of the team who dreamed big 50 years ago and brought the series to life.

HOW IT’S MADE (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Mondays at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, beginning Sept. 12
Season 28 explores the manufacturing from handcrafted to factory-made products including everything from cereal, gas tanks, and work boots.

HIGHWAY THRU HELL (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, beginning Sept. 13
Returning for a milestone fifth season on Discovery, HIGHWAY THRU HELL is back and better than ever as it follows the men of Jamie Davis Heavy Rescue as they fight to keep open some of the most economically important, most-travelled – and most-inhospitable – trucking routes in North America. Big changes have blown into Hope, B.C., altering the course of legendary Heavy Rescue Operator Jamie Davis. After expanding his tow business into Alberta’s frozen north two seasons ago, a new reality has set in as Jamie has been forced to simplify his operation and shift his attention back to his mountain base in B.C. where it all began.

CANADA’S WORST DRIVER (Discovery Original Canadian Series)
Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Oct. 24
Season 12 of perennial favourite CANADA’S WORST DRIVER follows a new group of eight drivers. Each nominated by a friend or family member, these truly terrible drivers are put through their paces in a controlled environment and evaluated by a panel of driving experts. Hosted by Andrew Younghusband, each episode features tried-and-tested challenges designed to push the drivers to their limits. They must master basic training and more advanced techniques before graduating or they will be named Canada’s Worst Driver.

 

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Production Underway on Discovery’s New Series Heavy Rescue: 401 from Highway Thru Hell producers

From a media release:

Discovery announced today that production is underway on HEAVY RESCUE: 401, a new original Canadian series set to debut in 2017 based on the network’s hit series HIGHWAY THRU HELL. With the support of the OPP, Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, York Regional police, maintenance contractors, and several other organizations, the new documentary series follows the men and women who keep Ontario’s 400-series highways operating at any cost.

Spanning the Greater Toronto Area and southern Ontario, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 follows multiple major tow operators, rescue, and maintenance crews day and night along North America’s most intense stretch of highway. From Sarnia eastbound to Toronto and north to Barrie, the cast of heroes work diligently to keep Canada’s most important and busiest series of highways open through any weather condition. From monster snow storms creating kilometers of mayhem to trucks spilling their loads, these efforts safeguard the country’s most important trade route with the U.S. from grinding to a crippling halt through the worst of the winter driving season.

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