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‘Shark Week’ becomes ‘Summer of the Shark’

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Madison Filmmaker Looking To Educate People On Sharks

NEW YORK — Just when you thought it was safe to watch the Discovery channel in the summer…

In a clever promotional gambit, the channel announced on Thursday that “Shark Week,” one of its biggest yearly events, will be getting a bit of an expansion in 2015.

This year’s “Shark Week” will kick off earlier than ever before — on July 5.

“This event is so synonymous with summer, I thought why not kick off true summer, which is July 4th, with this blockbuster,” Rich Ross, the newly-installed president of Discovery, said in a statement.

Most of the programming will be shown July 5 through 12. But the channel will also premiere all-new shark-oriented programming during a special weekend in August.

Discovery says this will add up to be the highest number of hours of programming in “Shark Week” history, thus earning the “Summer of the Shark” title.

This year’s telecast will also include the event’s first expedition to Cuba, various sequels to some of the event’s most popular specials, and programming featuring 10-year-old shark conservation activist Sean Lesniak.

(The young Lesniak actually helped to get a law passed last year that banned the possession and sale of shark fins in Massachusetts.)

The expansion of “Shark Week” makes sense, considering that the event is one of the channel’s most reliable rating attractions.

Last year’s 27th annual week pulled in the highest ratings in “Shark Week” history.

Here’s hoping that all this extra shark coverage this year won’t cause the event to, well, jump the shark.