Discovery's New Slate Expands To Scripted TV, Live Events

With two live tightrope specials and its first scripted TV series, Discovery Channel looks to expand beyond its documentary/reality TV show base for the new TV season.

"Klondike," Discovery's first scripted series, is a mini-series about six strangers looking for gold in a frontier town called Klondike. It features Tim Roth, most recently from Fox's "Lie To Me."

Two big live events will also make the schedule "Wallenda Live," featuring Nik Wallenda, of the famous tightrope family, looking to transverse the Grand Canyon. "Fast N' Live -- Fast N' Loud" is a live event featuring teams who compete to build some of the junkiest cars into new road machines.

In the first quarter of 2013, Discovery Channel's total average viewers grew 5% to an Nielsen average 1.4 million with its 18-49 viewers up 5% to 751,000.

Other new series will include "Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius," a reality competition show that looks for America's next great technological innovator. "Backyard Oil" focuses on the real-life world of wildcat oil drilling. Another semi-related show, "Cutter Oil," is about a family-run oil Ohio-based company that competes against the big corporations.

New natural history series include "Hidden Kingdom," which looks at the big lives of tiny animals. "Survival," in a different kind of visual format, follows the drama storylines of animals in an episode-by-episode basis.

Other series include: "The Huntsman," about men in jobs in the most extreme terrains who deal with brutal weather and wildlife conditions. "Naked and Afraid" is a survival series in which a new pair of strangers in each episode find themselves stranded in some of the world’s harshest environments, with no food, water, tools or clothes.

Also: "Naked Castaway," which follows the story of Ed Stafford and his attempts to survive on a desert island near Fiji for 60 days; and "Rock Raiders," a real-life series about the world of precious gems.

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