By Jethro Nededog
LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Discovery's annual "Shark Week" begins Sunday, August 4 and boasts its most new premiere hours this summer over its 26 year run.
This year, the cable network adds a late night show to the mix: "Shark After Dark." The show will air each evening of "Shark Week" with highlights from the days' programming and guests, including shark experts and shark attack survivors.
A highly watched event for Discovery, last year brought in 21.4 million viewers for the week and made it the No. 1 non-scripted cable network among the advertiser-coveted Adults 18-49 demographic.
Here's a rundown of this summer's new "Shark Week" episodes:
"Sharkpocalypse": Following a year of shark encounters closely followed by the media, the program examines the trend of sharks moving in closer to shorelines, and debates whether there is a connection between declining shark populations and the increase in shark attacks.
"Return of Jaws": Shark Cam is a robot submarine that is used to track sharks in a new and exciting way. Return of Jaws includes spectacular footage of Shark Cam following Great White Sharks living and hunting off the shores of Cape Cod. Footage of a 17-foot Great White is seen at close range over a five hour period as the shark hunts seal colonies, comes close to shore in less than four feet of water, and takes a chilling interest in one specific area.
"In Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives (WT)": Discovery brings SHARK WEEK viewers on a search for a massive killer great white shark responsible for a rash of fatalities off the coast of South Africa. One controversial scientist believes that the shark responsible could be Megalodon, a 60-foot relative of the great white that is one of the largest and most powerful predators in history. Our oceans remain 95% unexplored, and this massive prehistoric predator has always been shrouded in secrecy, but after a rash of newly discovered evidence, authorities are forced to investigate whether this predator, long thought to be extinct, could still be lurking in our deepest oceans.
"I Escaped Jaws": Program features yet another SHARK WEEK first as we utilize for the first time real shark attack footage captured by eyewitnesses. Viewers experience harrowing first-hand accounts from everyday people who stared into the jaws of a shark and survived. Some used their wits; some relied on experience, and all lived to share their chilling stories.
"Voodoo Sharks": A lesser-known shark "hot spot" is explored in Voodoo Sharks, where Bull Shark populations have moved beyond oceans and U.S. coasts to the bayous of Louisiana. Nicknamed ‘Voodoo Sharks' by local shrimp fishermen, these Bull Sharks have the extraordinary ability to live in both salt and fresh water environments. They show up by the hundreds in the bayous of Louisiana and create more than just confusion for those who encounter them for the first time.
"Great White Serial Killer": Natural history producer Jeff Kurr returns to SHARK WEEK after 2011's Emmy®-nominated Ultimate Air Jaws and 2012's Air Jaws Apocalypse. In Great White Serial Killer, Kurr sets out to examine two fatal shark attacks near Vandenberg Air force base in California, using evidence found at both sites to try to determine if one shark was responsible for both attacks.
"Air Jaws: Beyond the Breach": Air Jaws programming has pushed and expanded our understanding of Great Whites sharks, becoming one of the iconic SHARK WEEK programs. In Air Jaws: Beyond the Breach, a documentary crew goes behind the scenes to see how Air Jaws has changed what we know about these incredible creatures, and gives viewers a sneak peek into the next Air Jaws special, Finding Colossus, which will air during SHARK WEEK 2014.
"Spawn of Jaws": Program follows a scientist on the brink of a breakthrough as he reveals the life cycle of the Great White Shark for the first time, including mating and pupping.
"The Great White Gauntlet (WT)": Program explores the dangers of abalone diving, which can be both lucrative and dangerous as it happens in one of the deadliest shark feeding grounds in the world - one that is regularly frequented by Great White Sharks.
"Sharks Behaving Badly (WT)": Program is a humorous look at fishermen, surfers, and bathers who have encountered sharks and lived to laugh about it. We'll take a close look at the multiple shark encounter videos on YouTube, using forensic analysis and other elements to demonstrate the best behaviors when encountering a shark.
"Top 10 Sharkdown": Program updates the international shark attack files for the 21st century, taking a closer look at the sharks you don't want to meet this summer -- and the ones you're most likely to encounter.
"Alien Monster Sharks": Program follows American and Japanese scientists as they descend into the deepest and darkest unexplored oceans on earth in search of some of the more incredible and bizarre sharks on the planet, from the Goblin shark to the elusive, giant Megamouth shark.