While it may not be safe to go in the water — or anywhere at the current moment — Discovery Channel’s Shark Week continues to provide a reliable late-summer break from life as we know it.
Television’s go-to source for shark entertainment is kicking off August 9th, and will dive deep into a number of exciting specials before wrapping up seven short days later. While Shark Week includes hours upon hours of special content both new and old, this year’s event will find the stars of Workoholics, Will Smith, and former host Shaquille O’Neal joining in on the fun.
First broadcast in 1988, Shark Week has become the linchpin of Discovery Channel’s programming. In 2010, it became the longest running cable programming event in history, and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2018, launching noteworthy docu-specials, video games, and controversial mockumentaries along the way. While no host has been revealed for the 2020 year, former hosts have included SNL alum Andy Samberg, JAWS author Peter Benchley, YouTuber Philip DeFranco, and horror director Eli Roth.
The full Shark Week 2020 line-up (taken straight from the Discovery Channel website) can be found below:
Sunday, August 9th
Air Jaws: Ultimate Breach Off – Airing Sunday, August 9th at 8 p.m. ET
- Three teams of researchers return to one of the last hunting grounds for Air Jaws. They will use decoys, drones, and underwater cameras to count the number of breaches and collect data on hunting techniques to see if the shark population is rebounding.
Tyson vs. Jaws: Rumble on the Reef – Airing Sunday, August 9th at 9 p.m. ET
- Legendary boxer and entrepreneur Mike Tyson is taking on a new challenge…and he picked the most unlikely training partner. Iron Mike will go head to head with some of the ocean’s top apex predators including the black tip reef shark in Tyson vs. Jaws: Rumble on the Reef. With famed ring announcer Michael Buffer calling the shots, these two heavyweights will square off underwater, where Mike Tyson will try to score a TKO over the massive shark… all in the name of research. And don’t worry, no sharks were harmed (or bitten) in the making of this episode.
Shark Lockdown – Airing Sunday, August 9th at 10 p.m. ET
- In the waters off New Zealand, the largest female great whites are measuring over 20ft long, earning the nickname “the 747s.” With no human interaction during COVID-19, researchers built a self-propelled cage to see how hunting patterns have changed.
Monday, August 10th
Great White Double Trouble – Airing Monday, August 10th at 8 p.m. ET
- Australia is in the midst of a rising wave of shark attacks, with great whites leading the way. And scientists have just discovered that Aussies are facing not one population of great whites, but two and researchers want to know who rules the waters.
ShaqAttack – Airing Monday, August 10th at 9 p.m. ET
- After surviving a shark encounter in Shaq Does Shark Week, Shaquille O’Neal is back…and now he’s on a mission to determine what shark has the perfect predatory attack. But he can’t do it alone. Shaq is deploying YouTube stars Dude Perfect and Mark Rober to put various species to the test and uncover the most mind-blowing hunting techniques of this ultimate predator.
Jaws Awakens – Airing Monday, August 10th at 10 p.m. ET
- Shark expert Chris Fallows joins Jeff Kurr and Dickie Chivell to search for the largest male great white shark in the world. Together, Chris, Jeff and Dickie explore the waters of New Zealand trying to find a nearly 20-foot long, two-ton shark named Fred.
Tuesday, August 11th
Extinct or Alive: Land of the Lost Sharks – Airing Tuesday, August 11th at 8 p.m. ET
- Wildlife biologist and conservationist Forrest Galante dives into some of the most treacherous, shark-infested waters in the southern hemisphere all in an attempt to rediscover three unique sharks lost to science for as long as 100 years.
Will Smith: Off The Deep End – Airing Tuesday, August 11th at 9 p.m. ET
- Will Smith is diving headfirst into action, excitement, and shark infested waters, as he confronts his fear of the open seas and the open jaws of nature’s fiercest predators.
Great White Serial Killer Extinction – Airing Tuesday, August 11th at 10 p.m. ET
- The Great White Serial Killer returns and it’s on a killing spree that may push the California Sea Otter to extinction. Investigators deploy an otter dummy to get a closer look and witness one of the most spectacular attacks in Shark Week history.
Wednesday, August 12th
Monster Under the Bridge – Airing Wednesday, August 12th at 8 p.m. ET
- Scientists believe that monster sharks make their home under the Old Seven Mile Bridge. Fishermen claim that one of the sharks is a 15-foot-long, half-ton great hammerhead named Big Moe. If this is true, he will be the largest hammerhead on the planet.
Jaws in America – Airing Wednesday, August 12th at 9 p.m. ET
- Snoop Dogg takes a look at why Great White Sharks are taking up residence along America’s shores. Will this be the “sharkiest” summer in US history? In this special, Snoop will breakdown the craziest shark encounters caught on tape, marvel at the wild and unpredictable reactions, and meet with the leading experts who are trying to unlock the secrets behind this great white shark invasion.
Mega Predators of Oz – Airing Wednesday, August 12th at 10 p.m. ET
- In South Australia, a fisherman found a half-eaten mako, and shark experts say only one species is responsible. Using underwater ultrasound imagery, tissue sampling, and collecting DNA, they will prove that the great white is the ultimate MEGA PREDATOR.
Thursday, August 13th
Air Jaws 2020 – Airing Thursday, August 13th at 8 p.m. ET
- Shark Week celebrates 20 years of flying sharks with Jeff Kurr, Chris Fallows, Dickie Chivell and many more as they revisit the most popular and iconic “Air Jaws” moments.
Adam Devine’s Secret Shark Lair – Airing Thursday, August 13th at 9 p.m. ET
- Last year, Adam Devine and a team of marine biologists deployed a CATS camera tag on a massive tiger shark that yielded a surprising scientiﬁc discovery; a SECRET TIGER SHARK LAIR. Scientists believe this may be the largest congregation of tiger sharks on the planet or in Adam’s mind, the ultimate shark party! Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson find out what makes this tiger shark party so epic. Are they mating? Are they pupping? Are they feeding? What makes this such a great shark party?
Sharks of Neptune – Airing Thursday, August 13th at 10 p.m. ET
- COVID-19 has changed the world’s behavior and that has presented shark researchers with a once in a lifetime opportunity to study the massive great whites at Australia’s Neptune Islands. With no human interaction for the first time in decades, some of the biggest great white sharks on earth are returning to their natural behaviors…allowing scientists to study them up close and personal in ways that were nearly impossible before.
Friday, August 14th
I – Airing Friday, August 14th at 8 p.m. ET
- Mysterious & bizarre alien sharks lurk far beneath the waves in remarkably deep waters where researchers are on a quest to make first contact. Pursuing the elusive frilled shark, sleeper shark and cookie cutter shark bring even more unexpected encounters.
Lair of the Great White – Airing Friday, August 14th at 9 p.m. ET
- A team of experts attempt to find out why a population of great whites off the coast of Western Australia is so much more aggressive than others. The team must brave the elements and venture into treacherous underwater caves to find out for themselves.
Tiger Shark King – Airing Friday, August 14th at 10 p.m. ET
- In the Caribbean, a deepsea camera captured footage of a 14-foot tiger shark suffering an assault by a large, unseen beast. It could be an unknown species of mega-shark or even a cannibalistic tiger shark. Dr. Austin Gallagher wants to find out.
I Was Prey Shark Week 2 – Airing Friday, August 14th at 11 p.m. ET
- Two adventure seekers recount their horrifying shark attack experiences. Off the coast of Australia, a spearfishing expedition turns into a nightmare featuring a ferocious bull shark and a great white attacks a paddle boarder on Ascension Island.
Saturday, August 15th and Sunday, August 16th
Sharks of Ghost Island – Airing Saturday, August 15th at 8 p.m. ET
- On the edge of the Bermuda Triangle lies Ghost Island, a place locals have abandoned after multiple shipwrecks and shark attacks. Dr. Craig O’Connell has been here before to study the potential shark hot spot, but his first trip ended abruptly when his boat nearly sank. Now Craig is back with a team of experts and they are determined to find why this island attracts so many sharks, even the great white. Produced by Off the Fence Production Limited.
Wicked Sharks – Airing Saturday, August 15th at 9 p.m. ET
- As the number of great white shark encounters on Cape Cod spikes, shark expert Dr. Greg Skomal breaks out cutting-edge tech to capture the white shark’s point-of-view – revealing exactly how and where they hunt in the summer to better protect the public. Produced by Big Wave Productions.
Sharks Gone Wild 3 – Airing Saturday, August 15th at 10 p.m. ET
- Everything you always wanted to know about viral shark videos but were afraid to ask! Sharks Gone Wild 3 reviews everything from viral videos and the biggest news stories to the latest in cutting-edge shark science. Produced by All3Media America and Main Event Media.
I Was Prey: Terrors from the Deep – Airing Saturday, August 15th at 11 p.m. ET
- A California surfer, a Canadian thrill-seeker, an Alabama football coach and a mother from North Carolina reveal how they each came face-to-face with the ocean’s top predator and lived to tell their stories. Produced by Hit + Run.
Naked & Afraid of Sharks 2 – Airing Sunday, August 16th at 8 p.m. ET
- On the edge of the Bermuda Triangle, five Naked and Afraid veterans — Matt Wright, Jeff Zausch, Serena and Amber Shine, and Alex Maynard – attempt to survive on a remote strip of islands whose waters are so teeming with predators, locals call it “Shark Alley.” With limited resources and punishing conditions on land, they’ll have no choice but to take to the waters and compete with hungry sharks for the same food.
Did you know?
The 2013 mockumentary Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives became one Discovery’s most watched specials of all time, but posited that the clearly extinct Megalodon still roamed the seas to this day. This controversial dive into pseudo-science resulted in a Discovery boycott, with President Rich Ross vowing to never air such programming again.