TV: National Geographic Channel SharkFest 2021 Highlights


A great white shark photographed by Valerie Taylor in 1964. As part of National Geographic's SharkFest 2021, Disney + will air the documentary “Playing with Sharks”, about Taylor's groundbreaking work.

A great white shark photographed by Valerie Taylor in 1964. As part of National Geographic’s SharkFest 2021, Disney + will air the documentary “Playing with Sharks”, about Taylor’s groundbreaking work.


Sharkfest (National Geographic Channel) – National Geographic’s annual Sharkfest begins today, and it’s the network’s biggest event to date. This year’s highlights include a special with the “Thor” star Chris Hemsworth and a documentary on a brave North Carolina teenager who lost a leg in a shark attack. Sharkfest will actually air on four networks this year, as well as the Disney + streaming service, and will run for six weeks. During those six weeks, we’ll have 21 hours of original programming (with some classic covers) and 60 hours of enhanced content. Programming note: Generally speaking, most premieres take place on National Geographic and air on Nat Geo Wild, Nat Geo Mundo, Disney XD, and Disney + on later dates.

Chris Hemsworth paddling to surf for the National Geographic SharkFest Special “Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth”. Craig parry National Geographic

Some highlights of SharkFest 2021

â–ª JULY 5: Shark Beach with Chris Hemsworth (9 p.m.) – This follows the world movie star as he embarks on a personal mission to investigate how we can live more harmoniously with sharks. The hour-long special features shark icon and conservationist Valerie Taylor, who takes Hemsworth on a shark dive to experience firsthand the awe and beauty of nurse sharks, and other prominent shark experts who are exploring new preventative measures and the latest technology to help save off shark-human encounters.

â–ª JULY 12: Investigating Shark Attacks: Paige Winter’s Story (10 p.m.) – Paige Winter was only 17 when she lost a leg and part of her hand to a shark. Experts reveal details of Paige’s attack to determine what type of shark is responsible and what can be done, if anything, to prevent it from happening again. Despite everything Paige has been through, this inspiring teenage girl remains a shark advocate and, with professional guidance, takes courageous action to overcome her greatest fears.

Paige Winter, right, and her father Charlie Winter set sail for a shark-tagging expedition for the National Geographic Sharkfest documentary special “Shark Attack Investigation: The Paige Winter Story”. Gabriel Kerr National Geographic

â–ª JULY 13: The biggest bull shark in the world? (10 p.m.) – In 2012, off the coast of Florida, shark scientist Dr. Neil Hammerschlag caught the mother of all bulldog sharks: over 10 feet long and weighing over 1,000 pounds.

â–ª JULY 15: Killer Shark vs Killer Whale (10 p.m.) – A look at the mystery of killer whales attacking great white sharks in California, South Africa and Australia.

â–ª JULY 23: Playing with sharks – This feature-length documentary is available only on Disney +. It follows pioneer of underwater cinema and shark research Valerie Taylor through groundbreaking archive footage and includes an interview with Taylor.

In non-shark programming …

Neutral Earth (9:30 p.m., PBS NC) – In this POV documentary, comic book and filmmaker CJ Hunter chronicles the dispute over the removal of four Confederate monuments in New Orleans.

The beast must die (AMC +) – In this new revenge thriller series, starring Jared Harris and Cush Jumbo, a woman (Jumbo) takes matters into her own hands after learning that the police investigation into her son’s fatal hit-and-run has been dropped. She poses as a novelist looking for a murder mystery to get closer to the family of a man (Harris) she believes is responsible, then hatches a plan to kill him. But she is followed by a detective who believes the police department helped cover up the crime. All six episodes of this series arrive today on the AMC + streaming service and will air on AMC cable on July 12.

Some programming descriptions are provided by the networks.

Brooke Cain is originally from North Carolina and has worked for The News & Observer for over 20 years. She writes on television and local media for the Happiness is a Warm TV blog, and follows the changing landscape of the local grocery store.

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