First-Ever Shark Competitive Docu-Series, 'Shark Academy'
May 24, 2021
(Los Angeles) – Discovery, the destination for unparalleled shark programming every summer during Shark Week has greenlit the networks first-ever shark series, SHARK ACADEMY. The series follows eight men and women who will compete to secure a coveted crew spot on shark scientist, Dr. Riley Elliott’s next great shark diving expedition. It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for these shark enthusiasts with non-traditional backgrounds to leap ahead in the competitive world of shark research, embarking on the adventure of a lifetime in hopes of making their dreams a reality. The recruits will work and live together on a research vessel for six weeks, as Riley and his crack team of pros put them to the test to see who has what it really takes. SHARK ACADEMY will be available across Discovery platforms.
With unbelievable shark encounters and a fair amount of drama, the diverse cohort of skilled divers with a deep passion for sharks, will put everything on the line for the opportunity of a lifetime. While these eight recruits give it all they’ve got in hopes of landing their dream job, tensions will run high, relationships will thrive and disintegrate, nerves will fray and only the best won’t crack under the pressure. They must work as a team, but only one recruit will secure this life-changing job.
“SHARK ACADEMY follows the most dangerous job interview in the world…one where you literally can come face to face with a shark,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, Executive Vice President, Factual Programming, Discovery. “We'll watch as top marine biologist and Shark Week favorite Dr. Riley Elliott takes aspiring researchers to the middle of the ocean to find out if they have what it takes to accompany him as a member of his team on his next big shark expedition.”
Dr. Riley Elliott obtained a PHD in Marine Science, describing the behavior and migration patterns of the blue shark in the south Pacific region. Using satellite tags his work revealed remarkable journeys and ecosystem services provided by the most numerous yet exploited shark species on earth. Findings supported a ban on shark finning in NZ and illustrated the value of retaining healthy populations of this predator. He also holds a master’s in Marine Science, a Bachelor of Science honors in Zoology and has explored over 60 countries around the globe to surf, dive, and experience culture. By applying academic principles from university, with real world field experience, Riley excelled in the shark research environment. With unbelievable stories such as a 13 ft. Great White shark jumping into his research vessel, to freediving without a cage with 29 of the world’s most dangerous shark species, Riley found his niche. Fear to fascination became his life motto and the Shark Man was born.
SHARK ACADEMY is produced for Discovery by Double Act. For Double Act, Alastair Cook and Dr. Riley Elliott are executive producers, and Jo Locke is showrunner. For Discovery, Keith Hoffman is executive producer and Sarah Russell is supervising producer.
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