Shark Week Dates Unveiled With Discovery Channel’s Trippiest Promo Yet

Discovery Channel released its first 2016 Shark Week promo – no snacking on baby seals this year, but there is a sly nod to mermaids, who did so much for Discovery Communications’ Animal Planet ratings, if not its credibility, a few years back.

The promo comes with word the network’s popular orgy of sharkness will run June 26-July 3. Shark Week this year will include, Discovery says ominously, faceoffs with dolphins, seals and crocodiles. Oh, and humans too — though presumably they asked for it. Specifically, Discovery says the members of one science team will find themselves surrounded by a gang of tiger sharks, after which they must have cried, “Eureka!” Unless, of course, they were not a science team studying sharks.

The first promo of a Shark Week campaign has become a “thing.” Most famously, in 2013’s first promo, little Snuffy the Seal appeared to have met his maker, and humans went insane over the promo, both pro and con:

The next year, the network poked some fun at Syfy’s Sharknado, with a video in which a guy climbed out of an enormous shark that looks suspiciously like the one out of which Sharknado star Ian Zierling climbed to rescue damsel who’d been swallowed whole by same. But Discovery’s shark-climber-outer did better than that: He saved Snuffy.

Last year’s Shark Week snagged an average of 2.503 million viewers from July 5-12. But that was coverage area data. Discovery Channel at that time was available in 82.4% of the country (95.969 million homes out of 116.400 million Total U.S.). One year earlier Discovery Channel was in 84.3% of all U.S. homes (97.6 million out of 115.8 million). Coverage area data, with fewer homes, causes rating to go up.

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