Discovery’s baffling defense of its fake Shark Week documentary

Despite outrage over its fake Megalodon documentary that kicked off Shark Week, the Discovery Channel is defending its decision to betray its viewers trust in the network by acting as if science doesn’t really matter.

Michael Sorensen, Discovery’s senior director of development and the executive producer of Shark Week, said in an unbelievable statement:

“With a whole week of Shark Week programming ahead of us, we wanted to explore the possibilities of Megalodon. It’s one of the most debated shark discussions of all time, can Megalodon exist today? It’s Ultimate Shark Week fantasy. The stories have been out there for years and with 95 percent of the ocean unexplored, who really knows?”

Um, scientists really know, Michael. THE SHARK IS EXTINCT. It’s a prehistoric shark. This is called science. And your defense makes no sense: Why not just apologize, recut the special to frame it as fiction, and move on?

Also, let’s be clear: the special didn’t “explore the possibilities of Megalodon.” That would have been far more defensible, especially if it had explored that “fantasy.” Instead, the network–with only brief disclaimers that understated the fiction–presented a whole lot of bullshit as reality.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.