Discovery Communications Announces 2011-12 Programming

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Discovery Communications' networks unveiled their programming plans for the 2011-12 season in advance of its upfront event in New York Thursday afternoon.

Highlights are broken out by network below:

Discovery Channel will launch four news series, including Penn & Teller's Secrets of the Universe, where the world famous anti-magicians present 10 amazing stories, one of which will be revealed as false at the end of the show. Other new Discovery series are Best in the Business, which showcases three average American jobs and people who excel at them; Swamp Brothers, about two brother who run Florida's largest reptile sanctuary; and Life on a Wire, which follows Nik Wallenda and his famous circus family "The Flying Wallendas."

TLC announced new spinoffs of its Say Yes to the Dress franchise, Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids and Randy to the Rescue. New family programming includes Homecoming, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, that reunites soldiers with their loved ones; and I Kid, where comedian Brad Garrett will get kids to say funny things. TLC has also acquired the U.K. series Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and will develop an American adaptation.

Animal Planet will add 14 new series to its lineup, including Romance is Dead, about a family running a taxidermy shop in Romance, Ark.; Sweet Avenger, about a vegan baker; and Saved, featuring first-person accounts of how animals have intervened to save people's lives.

Investigation Discovery has eight new series in development: Real Crime/Reel Story, Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, Real Streets Miami, Hostage: Do or Die, Hunting Justice with William Phelps, Crimes of Passion, Deadly Sins and Unraveled: Countdown to a Kill. The new series will join 23 returning series on I.D. during the 2011-12 season.

Recently rebranded Science has renewed its hit series from Ricky Gervais, An Idiot Abroad, for a second season to premiere in early 2012. In An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List, Gervais and Stephen Merchant send their friend Karl Pilkington around the world to sample adventures to do before one dies. New series for 2012 are Agent of Invention, about the search for backyard inventors; Will Wright Future Project, about history and the butterfly effect; and Weird Travel, about strange subcultures.

Discovery Fit & Health, which launched Feb. 1, has seven new acquired titles set to premiere beginning in the fourth quarter 2011, including the sixth season of forensic thriller Dr. G: Medical Examiner; Bizarre ER, which tells stories of emergency room mishaps; and docu-drams Under 18 and Under the Knife and Underage and Having Sex.