2.1m viewers make Shark Week kick-off Sunday night on Discovery Channel the most-watched ever

More than two million swimmers stayed out of the water… and close to their TV sets on Sunday night to catch some or all of the season opener of Discovery Channel’s 16th annual Shark Week.

The perennial summer programming event launched Sunday night with back-to-back specials, GREAT WHITE INVASION and JAWS COMES HOME, with the latter becoming the most-watched Shark Week special ever.

These two new specials (at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT), respectively won their back-to-back time periods, claiming the top spots between 9 -11 p.m. ET across all Canadian English Specialty Television.

The 10 p.m. special, JAWS COMES HOME, brought in the highest Shark Week audience ever for three key demos: P2+ (467,000), A25-54 (258,000), and A18-49 (245,000).  

These reflect dramatic double-digit increases over previous Shark Week audience highs: 20% for P2+ (vs. SHARK BITE BEACH in 2010); 36% for A25-54 (vs. JAWS in 2005); and 28% for A18-49 (vs. DIRTY JOBS in 2005).

The predators continue to dominate Discovery Channel’s schedule with all-new Shark Week specials continuing through Friday:



Tues., Aug. 2 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

In the summer of 2009, a wave of fear swept across Australia: one man disappeared in the ocean with barely a trace and a search recovered only tattered pieces of his wetsuit. A Navy man lost a leg and a hand. Many surfers and swimmers were badly wounded, shark sirens were activated every day and beaches were evacuated. Shark attacks and sightings were on the rise all over the country – sending Australian shark experts and fishery managers into overdrive to understand what was happening. What could possibly trigger this many attacks in so many different parts of the country? And was that summer a prelude of things to come?



Wed., Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

This scripted special revisits the coastal beaches of South Africa in December 1957. 

It was the height of tourist season and merry vacationers from around the globe descended on an idyllic resort town on the sunny coast in hopes of enjoying the African summer. Then began a rash of unspeakable ocean murders. The white sands clogged with dead bodies, and the sapphire waters ran red with blood. The culprit? The authorities suspected one massive rogue shark with a taste for human flesh…



Thurs., Aug. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT

It was the central premise of the hit movie Jaws that still haunts people today: certain sharks may “go rogue” and target humans. But what does science show? ROGUE SHARKS looks at some of the most notorious shark attacks in history and attempts to answer the question “Did the sharks intentionally target humans?”



Thurs., Aug. 4 at 9 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT

As Discovery Channel’s Chief Shark Officer, comedian Andy Samberg puts his own unique spin on the one-hour special SHARK CITY. Samberg travels to the Bahamas and takes the plunge – literally jumping into the shark-filled waters to introduce viewers to a specific group of sharks that live off the shores of Nassau. They each have their own distinct personalities, quirks and feeding patterns. Learn how they size each other up, what they like to eat and what scares THEM.



Fri., Aug. 5 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

No two shark species attack in the exact same manner. Through a series of groundbreaking tests and the use of innovative high-tech cameras, survival experts Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin examine sharks’ unique ferocity and the specialized methods of killing that make these animals the perfect predators.

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