If you hear the Jaws theme music playing in the distance, it could be because your reproductive rights are under attack, or it could be because Shark Week is coming up! That's right, Discovery Channel's annual week-long programming dedicated to vicious monsters of the sea (or cute fishies just trying to survive, whichever) is almost here, perfectly timed for mid-summer guilty pleasure viewing in an air-conditioned living room. So what is the Shark Week 2018 lineup? There is just so much shark content coming your way.
Shark Week kicks off Sunday, July 22 with Alien Sharks: Greatest Hits, recapping the past five years' worth of Alien Sharks' most memorable moments. The show explores sharks' wildest mutations and adaptations as they lurk in deep sea environments, and this stroll (swim?) down memory lane (memory cove?) is sure to be fascinating or possibly terrifying, depending on how soon you're headed to the beach.
Of course, plenty of Discovery Channel stars and other celebs will join in on the fun before Shark Week comes to a close on Sunday, July 29. Guest stars like Shaquille O’Neal, Ronda Rousey, Aaron Rodgers, Rob Gronkowski, Lindsey Vonn, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Guy Fieri, and Bear Grylls are all on hand to, uh, support the scientists and other marine experts who will be using innovative research technology to share groundbreaking stories about the State of Sharkhood 2018.
Other highlights include Bear vs Shark, also airing Sunday, July 22, which finds Bear Grylls trading in his usual land survival stunts for the sea. Teasers promise that we'll see him chum from a helicopter, dive into a feeding frenzy, and use himself as human bait. Good luck watching more than 20 percent of that episode with your eyes open!
If watching seasoned athletes learn about sharks is more your vibe, then you can tune into Monster Tag on Monday, July 23, where Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, four-time Olympian and alpine skiing medalist Lindsey Vonn, and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski will work with scientists and researchers to learn about the threats facing sharks today and new methodologies to conserve the species.
Meanwhile, Air Jaws: The Hunted unpacks the circumstances behind last year's bizarre news story that five full grown Great White sharks had washed up dead on the shores of South Africa with their livers ripped out of their bodies. Shark Biologist Alison Towner explains how orca whales are the culprits and examines what can be done to conserve Great Whites in the future.
Of course, there's also some gimmicky fare. For example, there's going to be a Shark Tank Meets Shark Week crossover starring Mark Cuban, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, and Kevin O’Leary. They'll each try to convince their fellow sharks to donate $50,000 to a different shark-centric nonprofit organization. According to the episode synopsis, "They’ll discover the threats of finning, micro-plastics and the shark-saving measures of tagging or ecotourism. Armed with their newfound knowledge and life changing experiences, our Sharks head back to the Shark Tank studio where, for the first time ever, they have to pitch each other."
Shark Week fans will also get treated to the classics: tales of pregnant Great White sharks searching for increasingly rare safe places to give birth, the potential return of Great White sharks off the coast of Montauk, and a special on the pre-historic Megalodon, the largest shark ever to exist. Megalodon: Fact vs. Fiction will include an exclusive look at this summer's upcoming action horror movie The Meg, in which scientists discover a surviving Megalodon looming off the coast of China. So get ready to soak up enough shark facts to maintain an entertaining presence at parties for the next year, because Shark Week is here and ready to drop some knowledge on you.