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Smithsonian Channel July Slate Offers Wide Array of Original Programming

July 13, 2009

Smithsonian Channel serves up a wide variety of summer fare this July with original programming exploring universally fascinating subjects. From James Bond to extreme weather to sharks and to one of Africa’s most dangerous rivers, every original series and special is presented in stunning high-definition.

July Premieres:

Premieres Sunday, July 5 at 8PM ET/PT: The latest episode of “The Real Story” series uncovers the facts behind the fiction – the people, the events, the gadgets and the places that inspired the most iconic action hero ever known. Marking the 100th birthday of Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, ‘The Real Story: James Bond’ will explore the true-life influences of one of the greatest fictional icons of modern times. A link to a reviewable copy of the program is below.

Second Season Premiere Sunday, July 12 at 8PM ET/PT: This critically acclaimed series hosted by Tom Cavanagh (“Ed”) takes viewers beyond the Smithsonian museum’s exhibit halls into the back rooms, high-tech vaults and cutting- edge labs to track down some of the museum complexes most rarely-seen treasures. The second season premiere episode, “Lets Eat!”, goes behind the scenes of the Smithsonian museum to cook Native American dishes with the executive chef of Mitsitam Café, experience the American coffee break with folks from the National Museum of American History, and visit the National Museum of Dentistry where we’ll learn how food takes a toll on our teeth. New episodes premiere every Sunday night thereafter at 8PM ET/PT. A link to a reviewable copy of the program is below.

Premieres Sunday, July 12 at 9PM ET/PT: A few nights after the November full moon, with the water temperature and tides in exactly the right phase, one of the most extraordinary events of the natural world can be witnessed. This is a synchronized dance that happens at precisely the same time along the entire length of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, and it’s all about sex! This spectacular high-definition hour-long special captures a “mass spawning event,” the moment when thousands of coral emit sperm and eggs in an elaborate mating ritual.

Premieres Saturday, July 18 at 8PM ET/PT: An hour-long adventure along the longest and most dangerous river in Southern Africa. The river and its banks provide the perfect breeding ground for millions of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Decades after it was brought under control elsewhere in Africa, along the Zambezi, malaria remains one of the biggest killers. This special follows a two-month expedition led by a German journalist and Swiss explorer as they travel the entire length of the river meeting with communities devastated by malaria and with health workers struggling to deal with the deadly disease. In a unique act of collaboration, ten different anti-malaria groups came together to sponsor the expedition.

Premieres Sunday, July 19 at 9PM ET/PT: In an attempt to overcome her shark phobia, Tanya Streeter travels to the shark hot-spot, the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Not long after she arrives, Tanya becomes terrified by two-foot long reef sharks.  It takes an encounter with a spectacular shoal of manta rays to tempt her back into the water.  In this difficult personal journey, Tanya freedives at night amongst feeding white-tips, discovers the curious deep-living zebra shark and comes face to face with the largest fish in the sea, the mighty whale shark.

Premieres Sunday, July 26 at 9PM ET/PT: This one-hour special takes viewers on a thrilling ride with scientists battling to better understand the role of thunderstorms in the climate change puzzle. Armed with seven planes and a ship, 250 scientists and researchers, with the best gadgets money can buy, try to catch the “perfect storm”. Dubbing themselves the I.C.E., the “International Cloud Experiment,” this multinational force from Australia, Russia, England, Germany and the U.S. converge in Darwin, Australia. Darwin is the lair of Hector, one of the largest thunderstorms on the planet and believed to be the key to better understanding how thunderstorms affect global warming.

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Stuart Zakim
(212) 708-1590