The Outdoor Channel, fresh off its parent company’s agreement to purchase rival Sportsman Channel in November, has unveiled its Winter/Spring lineup, with three new shows joining more than 60 returning series.
New series The Reluctant Outdoorsman, Flying Wild Alaska and Major League Fishing GEICO Selects will join returning fan favorites like Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild, Jim Shockey ‘s Hunting Adventures and Gridiron Outdoors with Mike Pawlawski.
“This season represents several firsts for Outdoor Channel as we continue to broaden our core programming base to meet the diverse interests of the dedicated enthusiasts that recognize us as a premiere destination for unparalleled outdoor entertainment,” said Outdoor Channel executive vice president of programming Jeffrey Wayne in a statement. “From outdoor-themed and Western feature films to the antics of The Reluctant Outdoorsman, we’re incredibly proud of the strength of our latest schedule as it spotlights raw competition, suspenseful journeys and heart-pounding adventures, as well as gripping storytelling and unscripted comedy.”
Here are the three new series set to debut beginning Dec. 29:
- The Reluctant Outdoorsman [Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. ET] pits a clumsy, apprehensive suburban man against some of the most intense outdoor challenges imaginable. Watch as Outdoor Channel stars Michael Waddell, Chris Brackett and Hal Shaffer, take couch potato Derek on series of grueling and intense adventures. From crossbow hunting for feral hogs and noodling for fish to bull riding and hunting alligators, this reality-based show is sure to offer outdoor pros some comedic enjoyment and inspire other beginners to follow suite.
- Major League Fishing GEICO Selects [Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. ET]. This hour-long show features 24 new Major League Fishing anglers competing for one of six additional spots in the corresponding MLF Cup event and offers an even more in-depth look at the anglers in the heat of the competition.
- Flying Wild Alaska[Mondays at 10:00 p.m. ET. The show, wchih formerly aired on the Discovery Channel, follows the unconventional Tweto family that rules Alaska’s most dangerous skies through the operation of their family-run airline, Era Alaska. Watch as they battle unforgiving Alaska weather and terrain to transport life's necessities, such as champion snow dogs and medicine for sick children, to the isolated rural inhabitants of the Bering Sea coastline.
Among the network’s returning shows with new episodes is fishing series “Buccaneers & Bones” [Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. ET], this season featuring late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, actor/comedian Jim Belushi and musician Huey Lewis alongside original cast members Lefty Kreh, Yvon Chouinard, Tom McGuane and Bill Klyn and narrated by Tom Brokaw. For more angling entertainment, catch commercial fishing reality show “Bottom Feeders” [Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. ET] and tune in to special episodes of “Spanish Fly” [Mondays-Fridays at 8:30 a.m. ET] in honor of the late Jose Wejebe, the Florida Keys-based fishing legend. As for the hunting genre, check out Michael Waddell, Travis “T-Bone” Turner and Nick Mundt on “Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector” [Sundays 10:30 p.m. ET], “Wardens” [Thursdays at 7:00 p.m. ET], “Hank Parker’s Outdoor Magazine” [Fridays at 6:30 p.m. ET] and “The Best Defense” [Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. ET]. In the sport shooting category, “NRA Gun Gurus Presented by Henry” [Wednesdays at 11:00 p.m. ET], featuring Jim Supica and Phil Schreier, delves into the fascinating history of firearms and “Shooting Gallery” [Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET], with network veteran Michael Bane, tackles guns, personal safety, and shooting.
Additional fan favorites, some of which are returning with new episodes, include:
§ Ted Nugent in Ted Nugent Spirit of the Wild [Tuesdays 8:30 p.m. ET];
§ Lee and Tiffany Lakosky in Crush with Lee & Tiffany [Sundays 7:30 p.m. ET];
§ Matt and Jessie Duff in NRA All Access presented by Taurus [Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET];
§ Mike Pawlawski in Gridiron Outdoors with Mike Pawlawski [Sundays at 6:00 p.m. ET];
§ Pat and Nicole Reeve in Driven with Pat and Nicole [Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. ET];
§ Mark Zona in Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show [Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET];
§ Jim Burnworth in Western Extreme[Saturdays at 9:00 p.m. ET];
§ Andy Morgan, Chad Ritter and Gerald Swindle in The Hit List Presented by Moultrie [Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. ET];
§ And Don and Kandi Kisky in Whitetail Freaks [Mondays at 7:30 p.m. ET].
The network will also be showcasing a number of classic and modern-day outdoor-themed and Western movies, representing the first time that Outdoor Channel has aired feature length films. Among the movies that will air each Friday beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET are: “High Plaines Drifter,” directed by and starring western legend Clint Eastwood; the critically acclaimed “127 Hours,” featuring James Franco; “Iron Will” starring Kevin Spacey; and Academy Award winner “A River Runs Through It,” directed by Robert Redford and starring Brad Pitt.
The channel’s full programming schedule is available here.