Tag Archives: Discovery

Season 4 of Heavy Rescue: 401 returns January 7 to Discovery

From a media release:

Buckle up, Canada! Discovery gets winter-ready with the return of smash-hit, MADE®-in-Canada original series HEAVY RESCUE: 401, airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT beginning Jan. 7. With 14 new episodes featuring compelling extreme winter wrecks and roadside rescues on Ontario’s notorious 400-series highways – extending from Windsor in the west to the Québec border in the east – the series takes viewers on a riveting ride through tense situations in intense environments. A Top 5 series on Discovery across all seasons among the key A25-54 demo, viewers can catch Season 4 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 everywhere Discovery content can be found.

From Great Pacific Media, the makers of Discovery’s fan-favourite series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, HEAVY RESCUE: 401 tells the stories of Ontario heavy recovery operators who fight to clear wrecks, flip trucks, and keep drivers moving. Close to half-a-million vehicles travel these highways every day, requiring government and police forces to depend on the experienced men and women of Canada’s towing industry – ready to work just inches from open lanes and speeding traffic – when disaster strikes. Production on Season 5 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is currently underway.

About Season 4 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401:
The all-new season catches up with new Canadian Sonny Subra (Steve’s Towing) who earned the chance to run a rotator, the pinnacle of heavy recovery machines. Now he and his wife are set to embark on the next phase of their Canadian dream, pushing Sonny to work harder and stretch himself in a whole new way.

Mitch Wright (B&G Towing) starts a small job that turns into one of his biggest challenges. Meanwhile, Kevin Richardson leaves his longtime home at Metro Towing and adjusts to life at new company.

Collin Vandenheuvel (Preferred Towing) faces days of non-stop whiteout attacks on the highways around Sarnia and London pushing him to sharpen his skills with danger lurking around every bend. Nearby, Ross Towing faces its busiest winter in years, and newly promoted Brad Prince is forced to master his new wrecker with no time for training wheels.

In the east, Andrew Vink (Herb’s Towing) has rebuilt his heavy crew, putting his faith and his rotator in the hands of 21-year-old Zach,  but it remains to be seen if Zach’s ability matches his ambition. After working for the same family for years, everything changes for veteran Eric Godard when a new company (County Towing) and a new family, take over.

HEAVY RESCUE: 401 continues to work closely with the Ontario Provincial Police and Sgt. Kerry Schmidt to execute on-the-spot accident reconstructions, managing massive pileups, and overseeing toxic spill sites; and follows the crew at the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s massive control centre.

In the premiere episode, “We’re Jumping In” (Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/ 7 p.m. PT), after three decades on the highway, a major change forces Eric Godard to adapt to a whole new crew on a tough rollover. A vicious pre-winter storm pushes Sonny into urgent on-the-job training; and when a jet fuel spill shuts down the entire 401, it’s up to the Ross crew to get it back open.

Viewers can catch up on Season 3 of HEAVY RESCUE: 401 with a New Year’s Eve marathon, Tuesday, Dec. 31, beginning at 2 p.m ET on Discovery and now on the Discovery GO app.

HEAVY RESCUE: 401 is produced by Great Pacific Media (a Thunderbird Entertainment Group company) in association with Bell Media. Executive Producer is Mark Miller. Series Producer is Todd Serotiuk.

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Thunderbird celebrates Highway Thru Hell’s 100th episode milestone

From a media release:

Discovery’s Canadian original series Highway Thru Hell returns for Season 8 and moves to a new day and time, premiering Monday, October 7th 2019 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. The international hit series, which is Discovery’s top-rated series for audiences of all ages, will also return for an 18-episode ninth season, its largest ever. Season 9 goes into production this fall.

Produced by Thunderbird Entertainment’s Factual Division, in partnership with Discovery Canada, Highway Thru Hell follows the lives of the men and women who fight to keep traffic moving on BC’s mountain highways through vicious winter storms. The program’s broad appeal has made it a Canadian staple, and an international hit.  It is watched in 200 territories, in more than 12 languages.

Highway Thru Hell is a top-rated series on Discovery. It airs globally in more than 12 languages, including Discovery (Canada), The Weather Channel (United States), ABC (Australia), National Geographic (Norway, UK and Ireland), RMC Découverte (France) and IRIB Mostanad (Iran). It also streams worldwide on Netflix.

Season 8 of Highway Thru Hell consists of 17 all-new episodes, documenting the trials of Jamie Davis and his fellow hardworking and heroic heavy recovery operators, as they fight to keep the roads open through British Columbia’s Coquihalla and Cascade mountains. Following the season premiere on October 7 at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery, Thunderbird invites viewers to join a Facebook Live event to celebrate along with its production partners.

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Discovery’s Make It to the Moon tells the Apollo 11 story in fascinating new way

I’ve been a fan of the U.S. space program since I was a kid. In 1981, I watched as the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off on April 12. I was transfixed. I don’t know when I first learned of Apollo 11, Neil Armstrong and the moon landing, but it was likely before Columbia. Regardless, I thought I pretty much knew everything there was to know about Apollo 11—through books, movies and documentaries—until I watched Make It to the Moon.

Debuting Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Discovery, this Canadian production unearthed a treasure trove of information. While 600 million people watched the first astronauts land on the moon on July 20, 1969, four teams contracted by NASA played crucial roles in the historical moment were unknown to most.

“What people know about the Apollo program is the mission control and astronaut story,” says Maria Knight, Make It to the Moon producer and director. “What people don’t realize is how many people were involved to get this off the ground. President Kennedy really did harness the entire technological power of the U.S. in order to pull this off.” Narrated by Golden Globe-nominated Canadian actor Stephan James, the two-part project truly is an international affair, jetting to Australia to interview former employees of the Honeysuckle Creek Tracking Station, most famous for receiving and relaying the television images of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon.

An astronaut looks into the camera.Virtually every piece for the mission was built from scratch, with four organizations embracing the challenge: Honeysuckle Creek; the Grumman Aircraft Corporation designed and built the first-ever lunar lander; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) created groundbreaking navigational software and shrunk a computer the size of a semi-trailer to one-cubic-foot so it could fit onboard the lunar module; and the International Latex Company, best known for its Playtex bras and girdles, stitched a new kind of space suit by hand.

After eOne did the legwork, contacting former workers at the four companies, Knight and her team sat down and interviewed them. Though it’s 50 years later, their eyes light up with excitement recalling the rush to complete the project and ensure the U.S. was the first country to conquer the moon.

“Most of these people got jobs in the Apollo program straight out of college and I think the average age of the program was mid-20s,” Knight says. “Can you imagine graduating from university and, in the case of Don Eyles, [ending up] writing the code for the lunar lander?

“Technology is so fast-moving for us right now and there is sort of a blasé feel about it,” Knight continues. “We want to show how extraordinary this accomplishment was and bring a bit of awe into what these people accomplished.”

Make It to the Moon airs Sunday, July 14, at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT on Discovery.

Images courtesy of Bell Media.

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Canada’s Worst Driver comes to an end

Canada’s Worst Driver has careened into the sunset. After 14 seasons and dozens of terrible drivers behind the wheel, Discovery’s longest-running reality series has come to an end.

Host Andrew Younghusband made the announcement on his Facebook page on Tuesday afternoon.

“It is with equal parts pride and humility, sadness and joy that I am writing to inform you all that Canada’s Worst Driver is officially finished. Done. The great runaway hit has finally crashed and burned,” he wrote. “I had really hoped we would get to do a ‘Goodbye’ season to end the series with a tip of the hat to the faithful audience, but alas, we are simply done without any fanfare.

“Many, many, many thanks to the hundreds (yes hundreds!) of people who have worked on the show over the years,” he continued. “Your creativity and grit, both on set and behind the scenes, are what made CWD the longest-running reality series in Canadian TV history.”

Younghusband, who gamely faced Canadians oblivious to how bad their driving habits were, thanked the Bell Media specialty station and those who got behind the wheel throughout the series’ run. He finished by acknowledging Guy O’Sullivan, the President of Proper Television, Worst Driver‘s production company, who passed away in 2017.

“But the biggest thanks of all, of course, goes to our late, great leader Guy O’Sullivan,” Younghusband wrote. “He started a production company based on the single sale of season one of CWD back in 2005, and that company, Proper Television, still thrives today.”

Will you miss Canada’s Worst Driver? Let me know in the comments below.

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Discovery’s Disasters at Sea explores tales of tragedy on the water

Through series like Deadliest Catch and Wicked Tuna, I’ve learned the world’s oceans are definitely not the safest places to work. Heck, the Great Lakes aren’t either, as the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald details. And yet, they serve as an integral lifeline when it comes to getting products around the world.

Discovery’s latest in-house production—Disasters at Sea, on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT—documents nautical accidents and tragedies and tells the stories, including the safety measures implemented to ensure those things don’t happen again.

“We love looking into real jobs and the expertise and mastery behind them,” executive producer Kelly McKeown says. “With our knowledge of Mighty Ships and Mighty Cruise Ships, understanding the world at sea and the skillset you need for the world at sea—and the vessels are like characters themselves—we found that fascinating and we wanted to dig into that world.”

Each of the six hour-hour episodes tells the tale of a maritime disaster through re-enactments and expert testimony from investigators, witnesses, survivors and family members of those lost. McKeown says the stories selected were recent ones, giving the producers the opportunity to speak to those closest to each case and have their voices heard.

The statistics are sobering: three ships go down around the world every month. McKeown wanted to shine a light on the lesser-known incidents for Disasters at Sea and used documents from such organizations as the National Transportation and Safety Board, Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Coast Guard to ensure everything was factually correct. That includes appearances from experts like Christopher Hearn. The Director of the Centre for Marine Simulation at the Marine Institute at Memorial University in Newfoundland is just one of many who describe what happened to these ships and their crews and, perhaps more importantly, why.

“I help them understand what the content the investigations mean and how ships are operated and what goes on onboard,” Hearn says. “From an experiential point of view, I can help craft the story they’re trying to represent. It’s very important that the stories are done right and from a factual perspective.”

Episode 2, broadcast this Tuesday, delves into the loss of the fishing vessel Alaska Ranger, which sank on the Bering Sea on March 23, 2008.

“Sometimes it’s the littlest thing,” McKeown says of the Alaska Ranger situation. “It’s not one big thing that happens, it’s a chain of errors that occurs. It’s a domino of events that affects the final toll.”

Disasters at Sea airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT on Discovery.

Image courtesy of Bell Media.

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