Shark Week Lineup Is More Glory Than Gory

Discovery Channel
Discovery Channel
A great white shark on Guadalupe Island.

Open wide! Shark Week, Discovery’s annual salute to the ocean’s toothiest predators, is now in its 28th year, and this time, after a few seasons of hyped-up, fictionalized scare tactics, the hook is more glory than gory. “Shark attacks do happen; it is a reality,” says Howard Swartz, vice president of documentaries and specials at Discovery. “Our focus, though, is shining a light on how magnificent these creatures are.” And they get their due in 19 hours of original programming, such as:

Shark Trek (Sunday, 8/7c) “Great whites have been migrating down the Eastern seaboard, [and] they’re closer to shore now,” Swartz says of this dive into new behaviors and locales.

Island of the Mega Shark (Sunday, 9/8c) A trio of experts travels to what Swartz calls “the Holy Grail” of shark habitats near Guadalupe to observe the massive locals in a clear “ghost cage.”

Alien Sharks: Close Encounters (Monday, July 6, 10/9c) Ever wonder what a 20-foot mega-mouth shark looks like? This jaw-dropping special about the sea’s funkiest finned denizens has that answer.

Bride of Jaws (Tuesday, July 7, 9/8c) Track the largest female great white ever tagged, the perfectly named Joan of Shark. And then try to enjoy that vacation at the beach this summer.

Tiburones: The Sharks of Cuba (Tuesday, July 7, 10/9c) “This was a huge opportunity for researchers to access one of the great untapped, unexplored shark hangouts left in the Caribbean,” Swartz says.

Shark Island (Sunday, July 12, 8/7c) A look at the recent attacks near an Indian Ocean hot spot that have residents torn between addressing and eradicating the problem. “They aren’t hunting people,” defends Swartz. “People just are where they hunt.”

Shark Week 2015 Begins Sunday, July 5, 8/7c, Discovery