U.K. Channel 4 lands Discovery ‘Shark’ spec

Director MacLeod looks to focus on 'high-profile event programming'

Channel Four Intl. has snapped up worldwide distribution rights to “Live … at Shark Pass,” a special docu event scheduled to air on the Discovery Channel in the U.S. on Aug. 8.

Channel Four’s acquisition is unusual in that most Discovery projects are acquired for British free TV by the BBC, which has a long-term production and distribution alliance with Discovery.

The special was produced at the Bikini Atoll, the remote site where the U.S. government conducted nuclear tests during the 1950s. It describes how the race for nuclear power resulted in the destruction of a once pristine oceanic setting — but also focuses on the recent reclamation of life there, including the re-emergence of the endangered grey reef shark.

Channel Four Intl. managing director Bernard MacLeod told Daily Variety that the acquisition is part of the station’s new focus on high-profile event programming.

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