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Shark Week is an annual, week-long TV programming block created by Steve Cheskin at the Discovery Channel, which features shark-based programming. Shark Week originally premiered on July 17, 1988. Featured annually, usually in July and/or early August, it was originally devoted to conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks. Over time, it grew in popularity and became a hit on the Discovery Channel. Since 2010, it has been the longest-running cable television programming event in history. Broadcast in over 72 countries globally, Shark Week is promoted heavily via social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Episodes of recent years are also available for purchase on services like Google Play Movies & TV/YouTube, Amazon Video, and iTunes. Some episodes are free on subscription-based Hulu. The 2013 season of Shark Week drew controversy with the airing of Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, which is a "docufiction" program. Since that time, Discovery increasingly has come under fire for using junk science, pushing dubious theories, creating fake stories, and misleading scientists as to the nature of the documentary being produced. The program and several others, such as Monster Hammerhead and Shark of Darkness: Wrath of the Submarine caused an uproar among viewers, since and science-loving communities alike, and a boycott of Discovery Channel was initiated as a result. This changed on October 28, 2014, when Rich Ross became the new president of Discovery. Later in early 2015, he vowed to remove the so-called "docufiction", those fake and dramatized documentaries, from the future up-and-coming Shark Week lineups.

Broadcasting History[]

  • 1988: The first ever Shark Week premiered in July 1988, with the first show to air being Caged in Fear. A total of 10 episodes aired. Other shows included Sharks – Predators or PreyThe Shark Takes a Siesta, and Sharks of a Different Color.
  • 1989: Due to the success of the first Shark Week, Discovery decided to continue it. Programs such as Shark: Maneater or Myth?Shark Hunters of Achill Island, and Sharks of San Francisco aired in 1989.
  • 1990: New shows that aired included Shark!: The World of Sharks and Barracuda and Sharks: Hunters of the Oceans.
  • 1991: This year was referred to as Shark Week: The Revenge. Shows to air included Shark ShootersSea Lovers, and Great Shark Hunt.
  • 1992: This year was branded as Shark Week: They're Back. Shows to air included The Man Who Loves Sharks (showcasing scuba diver and underwater producer Stan Waterman), Sharks of PolynesiaGreat White Encounters, and Great White! Parts 1 and 2.
  • 1993: This year was called Shark Week: We Dare You to Watch. The programs to air included African Shark SafariSharks on the Brink of ExtinctionTeeth of DeathAssignment Adventure, and Sharks of Pirate Island.
  • 1994: Jaws author Peter Benchley hosted Shark Week 1994. This was the first year ever Shark Week had a host. New programs were introduced at locations where Jaws was filmed.
  • 1995: Programs to air included Sharks of the Red TriangleRendezvous at Ningaloo, and In Search of the Golden Hammerhead (this was the first time this rare shark was aired on television).
  • 1996: Shows to air included The Ultimate Guide: Sharks, Danger Beach, and Tales of the Tiger Shark, which is the third most watched Shark Week program ever.
  • 1997: Shark Bites: A Decade of Shark Week aired this year, which was a two-hour special reviewing some of the best moments on Shark Week.
  • 1998: Show that aired included Prehistoric SharksZambezi SharkHammerheads: Nomads of the Sea, and Great White: In Search of the Giants.
  • 1999: A two-hour special entitled Live From a Shark Cage aired in 1999, hosted by journalist Forrest Sawyer. It was a live program filmed at Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The show also featured cinematographer Al Giddings.
  • 2000: In 2000, Discovery Channel aired Shark Week Uncaged presented by famous zoologist Nigel Marven as a host. Six million 3D Pulfrich glasses were distributed to viewers in the United States and Canada for an episode featuring an extinct giant shark, which had 3D segments.
  • 2001: Nigel Marven hosted Shark Week for his second time in 2001. Air Jaws: Sharks of South Africa aired in 2001. The program showed great white sharks near the coast of South Africa jumping high out of the ocean. It was one of the most watched programs in Shark Week history.
  • 2002: Nigel Marven hosted Shark Week for a third time in 2002. This Shark Week was celebrity themed. Various celebrities swam in the water among sharks. They included Julie Bowen, Mark McGrath, David James Elliott, Adrian Pasdar, Estella Warren, Brian McKnight, Gabrielle Reece, and Casper Van Dien.
  • 2003: There was no host for Shark Week in 2003. It began on August 14. The second most watched show ever in Shark Week history, Anatomy of a Shark Bite, also aired that day.
  • 2004: Shark Week 2004 was hosted by the American Chopper cast. It ran from July 25–31.
  • 2005: In 2005, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman from the Discovery Channel series MythBusters hosted Shark Week, and a two-hour MythBusters "Jaws Special" was premiered for the event.
  • 2006: In 2006, Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs hosted, and two Dirty Jobs episodes were featured, titled "Jobs that Bite" and "Jobs that Bite...Harder". Also during the week, the Silver Spring, Maryland headquarters of the Discovery Channel was outfitted to resemble a giant shark.
  • 2007: In 2007, Discovery Channel celebrated Shark Week's 20th Anniversary hosted by Les Stroud, host of Survivorman. The 20th anniversary included the launch of Sharkrunners, a video game that uses GPS data from tagged sharks in the Pacific Ocean. The program Ocean of Fear aired on July 29.
  • 2008: Shark Week 2008 ran from July 27 to August 2 and was hosted by both the MythBusters and Mike Rowe. Both a new MythBusters shark special and a shark-themed episode of Dirty Jobs premiered for the event.
  • 2009: 2009's Shark Week began the evening of August 2. The season premiered with Blood in the Water, a recreation of the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916.
  • 2010: Shark Week 2010, hosted by The Late Late Show's Craig Ferguson, began on August 1 and featured six brand-new shark specials. It was advertised by the second appearance of the giant inflatable shark attached to the Discovery Channel building nicknamed "Chompie". Shark Week 2010 was rated the most viewed Shark Week ever with 30.8 million unique viewers. Shark Week is now as of 2010 the longest-running program event on cable.
  • 2011: Shark Week 2011, hosted by Andy Samberg, began on July 31. It featured seven specials.
  • 2012: Shark Week 2012, hosted by Philip DeFranco, started August 12, 2012, at 9/8c. After being absent in 2011, "Chompie" the giant shark is once again being displayed on the Discovery Channel Building. To honor the series' 25th anniversary, viewers were encouraged to vote via Twitter or Facebook on which item a mechanical megalodon shark would crush with its hydraulic jaws in the "Shark Week Chompdown".
  • 2013: Shark Week 2013 began on Sunday, August 4. It began with Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, a fictitious documentary-style film which hypothesized the megalodon shark existing in present times. The program was heavily criticized for promoting bad science and manipulating viewers. Shark Week was heavily promoted by a popular ad in which a news program covers the return of "Snuffy The Seal" to the ocean only to see a shark jump out and devour the seal on camera. Each evening of Shark Week, after new episodes aired, a program called Shark After Dark LIVE aired, hosted by comedian Josh Wolf and featured comedian Bob Oschack as Bob the Shark.
  • 2014: Shark Week 2014 began on Sunday, August 10. Fourteen programs aired, and five Shark After Dark LIVE episodes were shown for the first five days after two new programs each night. Shark Week ended on Saturday, August 16.
  • 2015: Shark Week 2015 aired a month earlier than the previous year, premiering on Sunday, July 5 at 8/7c. It will last a total of eight days. A total of 14 new episodes will premiere. On June 23, a special titled Shark Week Sharktacular was aired. It highlighted the best moments in Shark Week history, and previewed Shark Week 2015. Also, eight special "Sharkopedia Edition" episodes will air. These are re-cuts of new episodes from this year with extra information given for the viewer. For the third year in a row, five Shark After Dark LIVE episodes hosted by will premiere on the first five nights. This year, Eli Roth became the new host, replacing former host of two years Josh Wolf. Shark Week ended on Sunday, July 12, with the final new episode starting at 8/7c.
  • 2016: Shark Week 2016 aired on June 26. Lokai, a bracelet company which promotes "balance" partnered with Oceana and Discovery Channel in a campaign to help restore the ocean's balance and introduce the shark fin ban. This campaign was highly publicized on Shark Week's Facebook page as well as during Shark Week programming.
  • 2017: Shark Week 2017 is scheduled to begin airing on July 23 at 7 p.m. To celebrate its 29th anniversary, beginning July 18, select theaters throughout the United States will show a "best of" episode from 2016 while also debuting a new 2017 special. Discovery also announced that Michael Phelps will have a role in Shark Week 2017. It was later revealed that Phelps would "race" against a great white shark.

List of Episodes[]

Below is a list of notable episodes of Shark Week from 1988 onwards in chronological order:

  • Caged in Fear (Pilot episode)
  • Sharks - Predators or Prey
  • The Shark Takes a Siesta
  • Sharks of a Different Color
  • Shark: Maneater or Myth?
  • Shark Hunters of Achill Island
  • Sharks of San Francisco
  • Shark!: The World of Sharks and Barracuda
  • Sharks: Hunters of the Oceans
  • Shark Shooters
  • Sea Lovers
  • Great Shark Hunt
  • The Man Who Loves Sharks
  • Sharks of Polynesia
  • Great White Encounters
  • Great White!
  • African Shark Safari
  • Sharks on the Brink of Extinction
  • Teeth of Death
  • Assignment Adventure
  • Sharks of Pirate Island
  • Jaws of the Mediterranean
  • Sharks of the Red Triangle
  • Rendevous at Ningaloo
  • In Search of the Golden Hammerhead
  • Shark Attack Files
  • The Ultimate Guide: Sharks
  • Danger Beach
  • Tales of the Tiger Shark
  • Shark Bites: A Decade of Shark Week
  • Mako: Swift, Smart & Deadly
  • Sharks of the Wild Coast
  • In South African Waters
  • Shark Attack Files II
  • Prehistoric Sharks
  • Zambezi Shark
  • Hammerheads: Nomads of the Sea
  • Great White: In Search of the Giants
  • Sharks of the Atlantic
  • Live From a Shark Cage
  • The Secret Life of Sharks
  • Big Tooth: Dead or Alive?
  • Sharks of the Deep Blue
  • Sharks in a Desert Sea
  • Sharks 3-D
  • Air Jaws: Sharks of South Africa
  • Giant Sharks
  • Jurassic Shark
  • Sharks of the Golden Triangle
  • Future Shark
  • Paradise for Predators: The Sharks of Palau
  • Shark Attack Files III
  • 10 Deadliest Sharks
  • Air Jaws II: Even Higher
  • Great White Attack: A True Story
  • Shark Attack Rescuers
  • Shark Attack Files IV: Summer of the Shark
  • Anatomy of a Shark Bite
  • Sharks Under Glass
  • Monster Garage: Shark Boat
  • Diary of a Shark Man
  • Roboshark
  • Shark Roulette
  • Jaws of the Pacific
  • Primal Scream
  • Tiger Shark Attack: Beyond Fear
  • Monster House: Shark House
  • Great White Shark: Uncaged
  • Dive to Shark Volcano
  • Bull Shark: The World's Deadliest Shark
  • Sharks: Size Matters
  • Mythbusters: Jaws Special
  • Sharkbite! Surviving Great Whites
  • American Shark
  • Shark Hunter: Chasing the Great White
  • Dirty Jobs: Jobs that Bite
  • Shark Attack Survivors
  • Perfect Shark
  • Sharks: Are They Hunting Us?
  • Shark Rebellion
  • Dirty Jobs: Jobs that Bite Harder
  • Science of Shark Sex
  • Ocean of Fear: The Worst Shark Attack Ever
  • Deadly Stripes: Tiger Sharks
  • Top 5 Eaten Alive
  • Shark Feeding Frenzy
  • Perfect Predators
  • Shark Tribe
  • Sharks: A Family Affair
  • Shark Man
  • Mythbusters: Shark Special
  • Surviving Sharks
  • Day of the Shark
  • Dirty Jobs: Greenland Shark Quest
  • How Not to Become Shark Bait
  • Mysteries of the Shark Coast
  • Blood in the Water
  • Deadly Waters
  • Day of the Shark 2
  • Sharkbite Summer
  • Great White Appetite
  • Shark After Dark
  • Man Vs. Fish: Mako Shark
  • Ultimate Air Jaws
  • Into the Shark Bite
  • Man Vs. Fish: Tiger Shark
  • Day of the Shark 3
  • Shark Bites: Adventures in Shark Week
  • Shark Bite Beach
  • Shark Attack Survival Guide
  • Great White Invasion
  • Jaws Comes Home
  • Rogue Sharks
  • Summer of the Shark
  • Killer Sharks: The Attacks of Black December
  • How Sharks Hunt
  • Shark City
  • When Fish Attack 3
  • Air Jaws: Apocalypse
  • Shark Week's Impossible Shots
  • Sharkzilla
  • Mythbusters' Jawsome Shark Special
  • How Jaws Changed the World
  • Adrift: 47 Days with Sharks
  • Shark Fight
  • World's Scariest Animal Attacks
  • Great White Highway: Where the White Sharks Go
  • Shark Week's 25 Best Bites
  • Air Jaws: Countdown to Shark Week 2013
  • Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives
  • Return of Jaws
  • Voodoo Sharks
  • I Escaped Jaws
  • Spawn of Jaws
  • Top 10 Sharkdown
  • Great White Serial Killer
  • Sharkpocalypse
  • Alien Sharks of the Deep
  • Great White Guantlet
  • Air Jaws: Fins of Fury
  • Shark of Darkness: Wrath of the Submarine
  • Jaws Strikes Back
  • Monster Hammerhead
  • Alien Sharks: Return to the Abyss
  • Lair of the Mega Shark
  • Zombie Sharks
  • Spawn of Jaws: The Birth
  • I Escaped Jaws 2
  • Sharkageddon
  • Megalodon: The New Evidence
  • Great White Matrix
  • Sharksanity
  • Shark Week Spectacular
  • Shark Trek
  • Island of the Mega Shark
  • Monster Mako
  • Return of the Great White Serial Killer
  • Alien Sharks: Close Encounters
  • Bride of Jaws
  • Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba
  • Super Predator
  • Ninja Sharks
  • Shark Planet
  • Sharks of the Shadowland
  • Shark Clans
  • Sharksanity 2
  • Shark Island
  • Shark Alley: Legend of Dynamite
  • Air Jaws: Walking with Great Whites
  • Shark Week Spectacular 2016
  • Tiger Beach
  • Return of the Monster Mako
  • Isle of Jaws
  • Shallow Water Invasion
  • Jaws of the Deep
  • Sharks Among Us
  • Wrath of a Great White Serial Killer
  • Air Jaws: Night Stalker
  • Deadliest Sharks
  • Sharks Vs. Dolphins: Face Off
  • Nuclear Sharks
  • Jungle Shark
  • Shark Bait
  • Blue Serengeti
  • Sharksanity 3
  • The Killing Games
  • Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives
  • Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs Great White
  • Shark-Croc Showdown
  • Devil Sharks
  • Shark Vortex
  • Return to the Isle of Jaws 
  • Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins
  • Sharks and the City: LA
  • Sharks and the City: New York
  • The Lost Cage
  • Great Hammerhead Invasion
  • Shark Exile
  • Shark Swarm
  • African Shark Safari
  • Lair of the Sawfish
  • Sharkmania
  • Shark School with Michael Phelps
  • Alien Sharks: Greatest Hits
  • Bear vs Shark
  • Shaq Does Shark Week
  • Ronda Rousey Uncaged
  • Monster Tag
  • Great White Abyss
  • Cuba's Secret Shark Lair
  • Guy Fieri's Feeding Frenzy
  • Laws of Jaws
  • Air Jaws: The Hunted
  • Air Jaws: Back From the Dead
  • Shark Week Meets Shark Tank
  • SharkCam Stakeout
  • SharkCam Strikes Back
  • Sharkwrecked
  • Tiger Shark Invasion
  • Megaloddon: Fact vs. Fiction
  • Bloodline: Spawn of Jaws
  • Great White Shark Babies
  • Return of Mega Shark
  • Sharks Gone Wild
  • Naked and Afraid of Sharks
  • Expedition Unknown Megalodon
  • Shark Trip Eat Prey Chum
  • Sharks of the Badlands
  • Legend of Deep Blue
  • The Sharks of Headstone Hell
  • Shark-Wrecked Crashlanding
  • Laws of Jaws: Dangerous Waters
  • Air Jaws Strikes Back
  • Extinct or Alive: The Lost Shark
  • Capsized: Blood in the Water
  • Return to Shark Island
  • Great White Kill Zone: Guadalupe
  • Monster Mako: Perfect Predator
  • Isle of Jaws: Blood Brothers
  • Andrew Mayne Ghost Diver
  • I Was Prey: Shark Week
  • Sharks Gone Wild 2
  • Shark Week Immersion
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