Shark Week is officially upon us. The popular Discovery Channel program — and the longest running cable programming event on television — kicked off its 25th anniversary on Sunday, August 12 at 9 p.m.

Shark Week opened with Air Jaws Apocalypse, in which photographer / author / expert Chris Fallows and natural history producer Jeff Kurr guided viewers along the waters of Seal Island, South Africa to examine the area’s great white shark population and its most notorious resident, Colossus, a giant 14-foot great white. Once found, Colossus gave Fallows and Kurr a warm welcome. “It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to have a 14-foot great white fly over the top of you,” Kurr told the NY Daily News.

With 143 specials spanning 25 years heading into Sunday’s premiere, viewers may be wondering what Shark Week has left to offer. According to Brooke Runnette, executive producer of Shark Week, this week's programming promises a visually impressive experience.

“One of the things that has changed in the time that I’ve been doing it is that the cameras have gotten so much better,” Runnette told the NY Daily News. “You can now see sharks like a giant submarine that goes past you and you can see every pore and all the parasites that live on it and all the scars.”

This year’s Shark Week also offers a more interactive experience for viewers, with a Shark Week app available on the iPad and a game of Shark Week Bingo on the website.

"This is just the latest iteration of something we've been doing for a while, integrating viewers more tightly into our programming, recognizing that fans are emotionally invested and giving them a way to participate," Miguel Monteverde, VP of digital media for Discovery Channel, told Variety.

Fans will have the opportunity to test out these new features over the next four nights when Shark Week will serve up a smorgasbord of programming, placing particular emphasis on shark conservation efforts and human-shark relations. Monday features two specials in Sharkzilla, which first examines the Megalodon, a prehistoric predator and the largest known shark to swim the globe at 60 feet long and a weight of 100,000 pounds, followed by Mythbusters "Jawsome Shark Special,” in which Mythbusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman take on the Top 25 shark myths of all time.

On Tuesday, How Jaws Changed the World will explore how the 1975 film Jaws impacted sharks, public interest in sharks, and conservation efforts over the years. This will be followed by Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks, the story of two men who survived 47 days in shark-infested waters. Wednesday’s double-header features Shark Fight, a look at shark attack survivors and their current attitudes toward sharks, and Great White Highway, an examination of the masses of great white sharks tagged and tracked in the Bay Area. Shark Week concludes with Shark Week’s 25 Best Bites, highlighting the most exhilarating encounters with sharks over time.


  • jpinkerton81
    jpinkerton81 on

    I can’t believe it’s already the 25th anniversary of Shark Week; the excitement level continues to build every year. I set a recording of “How Jaws Changed the World” on my Dish Hopper since I wasn’t home to watch it Tuesday night. I’ve been recording all the Shark Week fun and regular shows with more than enough space on my DVR. My Dish coworkers love to talk about their favorite Shark Week episodes so I can’t wait to see “The Top 25 Moments of Shark Week” tonight!

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