While some people spend their summers surfing in the shark-populated ocean, others prefer to have any potential shark interactions come strictly from surfing channels. That’s where Discovery Channel‘s Shark Week comes in. Premiering on Sunday, July 22, the schedule for Shark Week 2018 mixes nostalgia with fresh programming for the television event’s 30th anniversary. The 22 shows over the course of the week will give you insight into one of nature’s most fascinating creatures all from the comfort — and safety — of your couch.
Discovery Channel first rolled out Shark Week in the summer of 1988 and even when The Atlantic covered its 25th anniversary five years ago, it was the longest-running cable TV programming event of all time. So Discovery Channel is rolling out the big fins for the close of its third decade. The first night starts off with plenty of celebrities jumping in the water with sharks and it ends on July 29 with a delightfully silly (or scary)Naked And Afraid crossover event.
Along with the following list of shows, there will be the live late-night show Shark After Dark, a special Shark Week edition of Cash Cab, and reruns of past Shark Week programming. And while Shark Week highlights the fearsome nature of these animals, Discovery Channel also always focuses on the importance of shark conservation.So dive into the 30th year of Shark Week with this block of “fintastic” programs. (I’m sorry, I’ll stop.)
‘Alien Sharks: Greatest Hits’ — Sunday, July 22 at 7 p.m. ET
‘Bear Vs. Shark’ — Sunday, July 22 at 8 p.m. ET
U.S. audiences can currently catch Bear Grylls leading celebrities on dangerous trips for Running Wild With Bear Grylls on NBC. But for Shark Week’s 30th anniversary, the Man Vs. Wild adventurer is returning to the channel that made him a star in America. And as the above video shows, Grylls will be up to his usual jaw-dropping (jaws-dropping?) survivor stunts.
‘Shaq Does Shark Week’ — Sunday, July 22 at 9 p.m. ET
The star power continues when Shaquille O’Neal joins Shark Week — or, as he would have preferred it to be, “Shaq Week” — with a little assistance from Rob Riggle.
‘Ronda Rousey Uncaged’ — Sunday, July 22 at 10 p.m. ET
Remember when Michael Phelps “raced” a shark last year? Well, 2018’s stunt has mixed martial artist Ronda Rousey facing off with a mako shark. Just like Phelps didn’t really race a shark, don’t expect Rousey to actually fight a shark. But she will dangerously attempt to swim with sharks outside of a cage.
‘Monster Tag’ — Monday, July 23 at 8 p.m. ET
The celebrities don’t stop after the first night of Shark Week. In Monster Tag, athletes Aaron Rodgers, Lindsey Vonn, and Rob Gronkowski join forces with scientists to discuss the importance of shark conservation.
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos, shark diver Jimi Partington, and wildlife cinematographer Andy Casagrande go into the waters of Guadalupe Island to see if great white sharks are bigger the deeper they go.
The 2015 special, Tiburones: The Sharks Of Cuba, covered how one of the largest sharks ever recorded was the great white El Monstruo, who was found in Cuba in the 1940s. The nation hasn’t allowed international researchers to explore its waters for years, but two teams were given permission and they’ll see if they can find another shark as big as El Monstruo in Cuba‘s Secret Shark Lair.
‘Guy Fieri’s Feeding Frenzy’ — Tuesday, July 24 at 8 p.m. ET
Guy Fieri and his son Hunter trade in eating food for possibly becoming the food when they go diving with sharks.
‘Laws Of Jaws’ — Tuesday, July 24 at 9 p.m. ETlizparkinson1 on Instagram
Liz Parkinson, Mike Dornellas, Nick LeBeouf, and Casagrande look into what humans do that may cause sharks to attack. They also reenact five real-life scenarios to find the best ways to survive, so you can pick up a few tips.
As Australia’s edition of National Geographic reported, multiple great white sharks were found dead on the shores of South Africa in 2017 with their livers (and sometimes hearts) removed. Biologist Alison Towner believes that orcas are to blame for these killings. In order to save the sharks, she joins conservationist Chris Fallows and filmmakers Jeff Kurr and Casagrande to investigate.
Fallows and Kurr created the Shark Week staple Air Jaws, which features great whites in South Africa jumping out of the water as they attack seals. Due to what The Hunted will show with orcas killing great whites, Fallows and Kurr try to find another location for Air Jaws in New Zealand for Back From The Dead.
‘Shark Tank Meets Shark Week’ — Wednesday, July 25 at 9 p.m. ET
In the ultimate TV shark crossover, Shark Tank entrepreneurs Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary are each teamed up with shark conservation non-profits. Then they must pitch other business Sharks, including Robert Herjavec, to convince them that their non-profit deserves a $50,000 donation. So this special will be about shark-invested waters more than shark-infested waters.
‘SharkCam Stakeout’ — Wednesday, July 25 at 10 p.m. ET
‘SharkCam Strikes Back’ — Thursday, July 26 at 8 p.m. ET
‘Sharkwrecked’ — Thursday, July 26 at 9 p.m. ET
For Sharkwrecked, Paul de Gelder (a shark attack survivor) and James Glancy spend two days in shark-infested waters with no water, food, or sleep. Discovery calls it the “most dangerous stunt Shark Week has ever undertaken,” so it’s bound to be intense.
In the waters of the Galapagos Islands, tiger sharks are an invasive species who just appeared in the last decade. Dr. Neil Hammerschlag, cameraman Joe Romeiro, and local expert Alex Hearn document how the tiger sharks are impacting the ecosystem.
‘Bloodline: The Spawn Of Jaws’ — Friday, July 27 at 9 p.m. ET
One of the inspirations for Jaws is said to be the real great whites that existed in the waters off Montauk, as The New York Times outlined in its review of the book In the Slick of the Cricket. So Dr. Craig O’Connell heads to Long Island with a team to see if there are any ancestors of those great whites there.
‘Great White Shark Babies’ — Friday, July 27 at 10 p.m. ET
Dr. Mauricio Hoyos, Dr. Toby Daly, and Michelle Wcisel follow pregnant great white sharks from Guadalupe to Baja to find their birthing ground.
‘Return Of The Mega Shark’ — Saturday, July 28 at 9 p.m. ET