Shark Week Kicking Off on August 9th, Will Explore Pandemic's Impact on Ocean

Discovery Channel fans know it's not really summer until you can start getting excited about Shark Week, with Entertainment Weekly confirming that this week's celebration of the beloved fish will kick off on August 9th. The network will be bringing audiences 20 hours of fresh programming about sharks, in addition to broadcasting some fan-favorite programs from the past 31 years of the event. Additionally, the Discovery Channel has released an all-new promo for the event, which you can watch above, that promises there is still a lot to learn about sharks, no matter how familiar with them you might be.

While the network has yet to unveil its full slate of programming, the outlet noted we can expect a special honoring the 20th anniversary of its Air Jaws program, which highlighted the strange hunting habits of great white sharks who would lurk beneath the surface and swim at full speeds to capture seals on the surface, resulting in the beasts leaping completely out of the water. Additionally, we can expect a program exploring "how the pandemic lockdown — which reduced the number of people playing or working in the oceans — 'has given sharks the opportunity to reclaim the oceans.'"

For as long as people have been exploring the ocean, humans have been captivated, and fearful, of the majestic creatures. A pivotal moment for sharks in pop culture came in 1975 when Steven Spielberg's Jaws landed in theaters, which became one of the biggest cinematic hits of all time and helped coin the word "blockbuster" due to it regularly drawing lines around the block for screenings. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, the film sadly heightened the notion of man-eating sharks and vilified the creatures.

The first Shark Week took place in 1988 and gave audiences of the burgeoning cable channel 10 programs developed specifically for the event. Its popularity resulted in subsequent summers seeing the return of Shark Week, which began adding hosts over the years to draw in even more viewers. Discovery Channel enlisted their own personalities, such as the hosts of MythBusters or Dirty Jobs' Mike Rowe, while recent years have seen hosts such as Andy Samberg, Shaquille O'Neal, and horror filmmaker Eli Roth.


Stay tuned for details on Shark Week's full slate of programming before the event launches on August 9th.

Are you looking forward to this year's Shark Week? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!