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The Ultimate Guide: Sharks

Chances are that most people rarely gave a thought to sharks -- until "Jaws." Since then, the fascination with these primitive living fossils (they've been around for 400 million years) has never abated.

With:
Narrator: Will Lyman. Discovery Channel's very popular and highly rated Shark Week -- in its ninth year -- kicks off with what the channel is billing as "The Ultimate Guide." Although it may not be everything you ever wanted to know about sharks, spec features fascinating -- and some exclusive -- footage of these creatures, of which not that much is known.

Chances are that most people rarely gave a thought to sharks — until “Jaws.” Since then, the fascination with these primitive living fossils (they’ve been around for 400 million years) has never abated.

TX:Filmed by Nick Caloyianis Prods. for the Discovery Channel. Producers, Nick Caloyianis, Clarita Berger. Directors, Caloyianis, Berger; Discovery’s Shark Week series of specs has done an excellent job of studying these creatures.

“The Ultimate Guide” sports amazing footage lensed by courageous diving photogs Nick Caloyianis and Claudia Berger. The never-before-filmed Greenland shark, which lives in the deep waters of the North Atlantic, is extraordinary: Looking like it hasn’t evolved since the Ice Age, the enormous Greenland shark docilely approaches and nudges Caloyianis, but luckily decides to get its lunch elsewhere. Nonetheless, the foot-age is thrilling.

Less thrilling is the fixation on great whites, the “It” shark, so to speak. No new info is imparted, although the last quarter of “Ultimate Guide” seems to comprise lots of scary footage of a great white, jaws bloodied, rising in slow motion to wolf down a tuna carcass dangling from a fishing boat.

“Ultimate Guide” succeeds best when sticking with education: Many unusual sharks (even one that uses its fins to “walk” over the ocean floor) are spotlighted as well as fascinating facts about thefishes’ anatomy and life patterns.

Big kudos to Caloyianis and Berger, who provided the first-rate footage.

The Ultimate Guide: Sharks

Production: The Ultimate Guide: Sharks (Sun. (11), 9-10 p.m., Discovery)

Crew: Camera, Caloyianis; writers, Garry Michael Kluger, Lori Oliwenstein; editor, Sam Green; sound, Wounded Buffalo; music, Chris Whitten.

With: Narrator: Will Lyman. Discovery Channel's very popular and highly rated Shark Week -- in its ninth year -- kicks off with what the channel is billing as "The Ultimate Guide." Although it may not be everything you ever wanted to know about sharks, spec features fascinating -- and some exclusive -- footage of these creatures, of which not that much is known.

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