New Discovery Channel lineup: Mythbusters, Penn & Teller

By Michael Vass | September 27, 2011

The Discovery Channel got lucky back in 2003 when they went with the television series Mythbusters. A geeky program that mixes explosives, science, and common rumors, myths, movie scenes, adages, Internet videos and news stories. It’s a combination that has propelled the cable network to greater exposure and a loyal fanbase.

Almost 10 years down the line and Mythbusters continues to bring audiences their quirky and visually entertaining answers to thoughts like a lead ballon (yes you can make it fly), why did some pirates wear an eyepatch – even though they had 2 eyes (night vision), and how to survive if your car is submerged in water (1 woman has publicly stated watching the show saved her life in such a situation). In total there have been 2,391 tests so far and counting. They have used 12 tons of explosives in 769 of those myth tests (if you ever wondered how to make a cement truck disappear, they did it). The show has even made a television star out of a crash test dummy – “Buster”.

Capitalizing on this success has been difficult for the Discovery Channel. They have tried, largely unsuccessfully, to pair Mythbusters with other programs following it. Several have been more or less copycat programs, which have failed due to having a crew with far less chemistry and/or because of the style and nature of the experiment/tests that were chosen. It seems some things even Hollywood and television cannot replicate ad nasueum.

But there is something that looks to fill the void quite well for Discovery Channel. A true potential match for the Wensday timeslot after Mythbusters. And in a slick advertising move it is being hyped almost like a boxing grudge match. Penn & Teller.

Penn & Teller are another unique and quirky pair of entertainers. While Mythbusters Adam Savage and Jaime Hyneman are actual special effects professionals, Penn Jillette and Teller (Raymond Joseph Teller) are magicians. Being magicians has never stopped them from debunking myths, or even magic tricks. Much to the disdain of the magic community – yet they do so while adding to the mystic of may of the magic tricks they debunk.

Of course Penn & Teller have never limitied themselves to just debunking magic. They very successfully had the Showtime series Bullshit!. A program that took on conspiracy theories, religion, psychics, gun control, PETA, environmental control, and the war on drugs to name a few subjects.

One of their most famous, and controversial, tricks involves the Untied States flag, and Bill of Rights

Yes a bit of politics, magic, and even debunking of the magic itself. That is a mix that has worked for decades for the duo. On stage, in Las Vegas, and on cable television. Now it is coming to Discovery Channel after Mythbusters. The promo for the addition of Penn & Teller feeds right into much of these elements

Given this addition, you may well want to free up some time on Wednesday. It protends to be a good night of television.

Topics: Celebrity news, Television | No Comments »

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