Discovery Channel will be airing its 30th annual edition of Shark Week starting July 22, 2018. With 8 days of shark specials to sink your teeth into, let's take a look at a few facts about this long running summer TV event.
Shark Week made its debut on July 17, 1988 with the special "Caged in Fear". A total of 10 shark-themed shows aired that year over the course of the inaugural Shark Week, which was an immediate hit. The channel’s ratings nearly doubled their normal primetime average.
Appropriately, "Jaws" author Peter Benchley—whose beloved novel was celebrating its 20th anniversary—became the first-ever host of Shark Week in 1994.
In 2001, Shark Week made history when the program caught a never-before-seen behavior of a great white breaching on camera. The animal launched itself nearly 15 feet above the water.
While Shark Week is meant to both entertain and educate viewers, Discovery Channel has also teamed up with Oceana, the world’s largest ocean conservation nonprofit, to help raise awareness about the dangers facing today’s sharks and encourage donations to the organization. The channel also runs anti-finning PSAs throughout the week.
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