Discovery Channel Is Kicking Reality TV Out, Embracing Science, And Teaching About Climate Change

Do you remember the good old days, when the Discovery Channel had educational and scientific documentaries on it? Are you disappointed with scripted “reality shows?” If so then you are in luck, because Discovery is shaking things up in a great way.

John Hoffman, the new boss of documentaries at the network, says that documentary programming at Discovery, Animal Planet and Science Channel, are going to undergo a “dramatic shift.”

I’m also part of a group decision, throughout the company, to bring a lot more science. To elevate the scientists in the films.

I am the change.” Hoffman says about the upcoming improvements to the network. He also says climate change is real and calls it “the most important story of our time.”

Many of the informative channels on cable TV have fallen into the reality show trap over the years, and quality of programming has suffered as a result. Hoffman wants to focus more on educational programming and  “ways that we’re compromising the environment, and ways we will hopefully save it.” We can all guess how Fox News will feel about this.

Discovery had been under a lot of criticism of late, due to showing lavishly produced pseudo-science and “docu-tainment” pieces, instead of the science-based programming we all used to enjoy. The boldly progressive step by Discovery is in stark contrast to when earlier this month, National Geographic was bought by Rupert Murdoch and revamped into a Fox News magazine.


The first big step on this new path was the acquisition of Racing Extinction, a film from Academy Award-winning director, Louie Psihoyos. At the heart of the film is a detailed and frank explanation of climate change and its devastating effects on the planet. If this is an indicator of things to come, it appears that Discovery is going to have a brilliant future secured for it.

Watch the trailer for Racing Extinction:

Featured image via Wikicommons

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