New skeins trade on cars, nature, politics and history

Discovery Channel unveiled four new series, a raft of renewals and a handful of specials Thursday at its annual upfront presentation heavy on non-fiction essentials, cars, nature, politics and history.

Sister net TLC continues mining the world of weddings, women and the curious subculture with “Breaking Amish,” “Preacher Ladies” and three new additions to its Friday Bride-Day lineup.

Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, Science, Discovery Fit & Health, Velocity and Military Channel, all part of Discovery Communications muscular cable stable, also announced new and returning shows at the event in Gotham.

On Wednesday, Discovery announced plans to rebrand its Planet Green channel as Destination America.

At Discovery, “One Car Too Far,” drops a former British Special Forces operative and an American car junkie into punishing landscapes where they work together to survive and reach safety — taking a small red car with them. ”

In “Fast and Loud,” two auto aficionados search far-flung corners of the country for forgotten and derelict classic cars to restore at their Gas Monkey Garage.

“Mark Burnett’s Alaska,” from the reality television maestro, looks at the state’s colorful people, places and history.

And new competition series “Top Engineer” seeks out America’s “brightest, boldest, out-of-the-box thinkers.”

Upcoming specials include “The Gatekeepers,” spanning nine administrations of White House Chiefs of Staff, the inside eyewitnesses to history and confidants of presidents and first ladies.

“Gatekeepers,” produced by filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet (“9/11,” “In God’s Name”), Chris Whipple (“60 Minutes,” ABC News) and White House photographer David Hume Kennerly, interviews former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush and former chiefs of staff Rahm Emanuel, Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, James Baker, Ken Duberstein, John Sununu and Mack McLarty.

“All The President’s Men Revisited” with Robert Redford, who played Bob Woodward in the iconic 1976 film, returns to the scandal that broke all the rules of press and politics.

“Osama: A History,” “Area 51″ and “Amelia Earhart” explore, respectively, the terrorist kingpin, the Roswell, New Mexico alien cover-up, and the mysterious disappearance of the famed aviator.

“North America” tackles the sprawling continent and “History of the World” is an ambitious look at the past 2,000 years.

Returning series include: “Gold Rush,” “Bering Sea Gold,” Deadliest Catch,” “Flying Wild Alaska,” Alaska: The Final Frontier,” “American Chopper,” “Dirty Jobs,” “Moonshiners,” “Mythbusters,” “Dual Survival,” “Curiosity” and “Auction Kings.”

At TLC, “Breaking Amish” is a 10-part series following the lives of Amish men and women. “Preacher Ladies” looks at Atlanta-area churches’ first ladies in their work with their congregations and at home.

Bride-Day will add “Ultimate Dress Quest,” “Brides of New Jersey” and “Maids of Dishonor.”

New family series include “Mama’s Boys of the Bronx,” about five Italian-American men who live at home with mom, and “Bates Family Series,” following a couple with 19 children.

Other new skeins include “American Wifestyles,” “Big Tiny: Life with the Jordans,” “Craft Wars,” a creative competish hosted by Tori Spelling, “Extreme Cheapskates,” “May the Best House Win,” “On the Fly” (about airline employees), “Southern Pride,” set in South Boston, “Randy to the Rescue” “Tattoo School,” a series on competitive Irish Dancing and an untitled project with original “Supernanny” Jo Frost.

New specials and pilots include “9/11Emergency Room,” “Birth Moms,” “The Bubble Man,” “DC Cupcakes: Mom’s Birthday Bash,” “Little People, Big World,” “Dr. Mckinnon Tumor Specials,” “Mario Lopez Wedding Special, “My mother Diana,” about Prince William, “William and Kate, One Year Later,” “Obese & Expecting” and “Ultimate Dress Quest.”

Animal Planet’s new series include “Fish America,” “Frontier Earth with Dave Salmoni,” “Glory Hounds,” “Monster week,” which collects monsters from the net’s other popular shows, “Polar Bear Family and Me,” “Rhino Wars,” “The Afterlife Elephant” and “The Afterlife Hippo,” The Hunger,” “Treehouse Men,” “Top Hooker,” “Wild Arabia” and “Wild Hawaii.”

ID network will roll out three summer series, “Evil Twins,” Redrum” and “Deadly Affairs.”

Other new original shows include “Frenemies: BFFs Gone Bad,” “‘Til Death Do Us Part,” “Wives with Knives,” “Pretty Bad Girls,” “Cold Case,” “Dangerous Persuasions,” “The Ex-Files,” “Who the Bleep…” and “Murder in Paradise.”

Science channel touted its upcoming “This Changes Everything.” hosted and exec produced by James Woods. that forecasts future game-changing advances in science and technology, and its new series “How the Earth Works.”

Fit & Health will debut “High School Moms” and “If They Were My Kids.

Velocity, a young net geared for an upscale male aud, announced “Road to LeMans,” which follows Patrick Dempsey as he serves as owner and driver for an auto racing team in the endurance race 24 Hours of LeMans. The four-part docu series premiers in 2013.

Military Channel will roll out “The Brokaw Files” from newscaster Tom Brokaw produced by NBCUniversal’s Peacock Prods. and “Commander in Chief” from Stephen David Entertainment.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more