Shark Week 2017
Divers tempt a great white shark in "Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives," part of Shark Week 2017. (Discovery)

Shark Week 2017: Michael Phelps battles sharks

Michael Phelps and Chris Noth take part in Shark Week 2017, but all kinds of sharks are the real stars of Discovery Network’s annual programming event.

The popular week of specials kicks off at 7/6c July 23 with nightly programs airing through July 30. The event’s 29th anniversary includes 17 news specials plus the nightly “Shark After Dark” talk show. It is the first year programming will air in nearly 220 countries during the same week.

Olympic gold medalist swimmer Michael Phelps makes a splash in two specials. In “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs Great White,” he races a Great White—sort of. In “Shark School with Michael Phelps,” he learns all about the sea swimmers at the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas.

Noth won’t get so close to the sharks, but he narrates “Sharks and the City: New York.” Find the list of specials and the schedule below.


Shark Week 2017 specials 

Great White Shark Serial Killer Lives

7/6c July 23

Every two years in October—2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014—a secluded beach on the central California coast has been the scene of great white shark attacks. Is it the same shark returning again and again? And will the attacks continue in October 2016? Dr. Michael Domeier believes the Surf Beach attacks may be more than a tragic coincidence. With the help of shark experts Ralph Collier and Cal Lutheran, and using satellite tags and DNA technology, he wants to out the killer once and for all. Produced by Shark Entertainment.


Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs Great White

8/7c July 23

Sharks are some of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet. Michael Phelps is our greatest champion to ever get in the water. He has 39 world records and 23 Olympic gold medals, but he has one competition left to win. It’s an event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps vs. Shark—the race is on! Produced by Peacock Productions.


Shark-Croc Showdown

9:10/8:10c July 23

Dr. Mark Meekan and conservationist Paul de Gelder go on an expedition to one the sharkiest places in the world—a remote wilderness called the Cobourg Peninsula in the Northern Territory of Australia. Meekan is there to count sharks and species as part of Vulcan’s Global FinPrint project—Paul de Gelder’s going because he heard that sharks and crocs fight over sea turtles out there. What happens when 14-foot crocodiles move into shark infested waters? That’s what they’re going to find out! Produced by Big Wave.


Shark Week 2017
Black Tip Reef sharks swim in the Blue Lagoon near a volcano in “Devil Sharks.” (Discovery)

Devil Sharks

10:10/9:10c July 23

From active to extinct, and at every stage in between, volcanoes hold a strong attraction for sharks of all kinds. Across the world, sharks congregate and concentrate around volcanoes and volcanic islands. What is it about volcanoes that make them shark hotspots? Dr. Mike Heithaus dives in several volcanoes to find out. Produced by Pangolin Pictures.


Shark Week 2017
Dr. Greg Skomal films a blue shark for “Shark Vortex.” (Discovery)

Shark Vortex

8/7c July 24

Each summer the Gulf Stream pushes north into the waters of southern New England, bringing with it 30 species of shark. Greg Skomal and Joe Romeiro study the annual spectacle, focusing on three sharks—makos, great whites and porbeagles—that can out-swim, out-think and out-compete all the others. Produced by 333 Productions and Radley Studios.


Shark Week 2017
Andy Casagrande films great white sharks in “Return to the Isle of Jaws” for Discovery’s Shark Week. (Discovery)

Return to the Isle of Jaws

9/8c July 24

Divers and scientists return to the isle of Jaws to unlock the mysteries of this new great white hot spot just south of Western Australia. They make a startling discovery that causes us to re-think everything we knew about great whites. Produced by Red Rock Films.


Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins

10/9c July 24

“Alien Sharks” is back in search of some of the world’s strangest sharks.  Dr. Craig O’Connell goes to the Bass Strait for sawsharks, while Victoria Elena Vasquez and Dr. David Ebert go into deep water in Tokyo Bay to find the star of the show, the goblin shark. They find both sawsharks and goblins—and many more, including ghost sharks, frilled sharks and the amazing luminescent lantern shark. Produced by Discovery Studios.


Sharks and the City: LA

9/8c July 25

Along the coastline of LA, great white sharks are increasing and they seem to be hunting out of season. Dr. Chris Lowe, Director of the CSULB Shark Lab, wants to know why. His investigation takes him to Guadalupe Island, off Mexico, where he finds the answer. Produced by Arrow Media.


Sharks and the City: New York

10/9c July 25

For decades, great white shark numbers were in decline in the waters around New York. But now, seals are back in New York Harbor—can the great whites be far behind? Marine biologist Craig O’Connell tries to find out how close they really are, and shows what a future with great whites in New York will look like. Produced by Pangolin Pictures.


The Lost Cage

9/8c July 26

A team of explorers float in a one-of-a-kind shark cage, 500 miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Acting as human lures in the open ocean will they encounter its deadliest shark? Produced by Gurney Entertainment.


Great Hammerhead Invasion

10/9c July 26

Early November, giant hammerheads arrive off Bimini, in the Bahamas. But why? Leading shark scientist Tristan Guttridge tags and follows these normally solitary sharks to find out. Many appear to be pregnant females, as an ultrasound of a female hammerhead shows. Guttridge believes they spend winter in Bimini to feed the growing young in their bellies—and then move on to the Florida coast to prey on migrating blacktips—and the evidence is unmistakable. Produced by Icon Films.


Shark Exile

9/8c July 27

In Brazil, Dr. Hazin has successfully reduced the number of shark encounters by simply catching and moving sharks out to the open sea. What’s his secret? And can this solution work in Australia, where encounters are a problem? Produced by Sealight Pictures.


Shark Swarm

10/9c July 27

At various times of the year and in different locations around the world, sharks of many kinds gather, swarm, and spiral. Dr. Tristan Guttridge conducts a study of just what brings them together, and what’s going on in these shark “societies.” Produced by Red Rock Films.


Shark Week 2017
A Great White Shark swims off of Gansbaai, South Africa. (Discovery)

African Shark Safari

9/8c July 28

Madagascar is NOT known as a location for great white sharks. According to the shark sanctuary here, both great whites and tigers are “extinct” in Madagascan waters. So why has a great white shark, tagged in South Africa, travelled 1,500 miles up the African coast to Madagascar? Craig O’Connell and the team make the long journey to the remote island nation to investigate and see if Madagascar is the next big great white shark hotspot. Produced by Arrow Media.


Lair of the Sawfish

10/9c July 28

Experts unravel the mystery behind one of the sea’s strangest creatures, the sawfish, from its evolutionary links to sharks and rays, to its key role in the marine ecosystem. Their goal is to bring the sawfish back from the brink of extinction. Produced by Radley Studios and Delve Creative.



9/8c July 29

A rundown of the greatest moments from Shark Week 2017, featuring the closest calls, biggest bites, greatest gadgets and viewers’ top picks for the best of Shark Week history. Produced by Discovery Studios.


Shark School with Michael Phelps

8/7c July 30

Michael Phelps joins Doc Gruber and Tristan Guttridge of the Bimini Shark Lab to get a crash course on everything shark. They’ll dispel the myths and common misconceptions, teach him how to safely dive with sharks—including how to stay calm when a hammerhead swims two feet above his face—and will get Michael Phelps up close and personal with the incredible power of a great white.  Produced by Peacock Productions.


Shark Week  2017 schedule

All times CT

Sunday, July 23

6 p.m. Great White Serial Killer Lives

7 p.m. Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs Great White

8:10 p.m. Shark-Croc Showdown

9:10 p.m. Devil Sharks

10:10 p.m. Shark After Dark

Monday, July 24

7 p.m. Shark Vortex

8 p.m. Return to the Isle of Jaws 

9 p.m. Alien Sharks: Stranger Fins

10 p.m. Shark After Dark

Tuesday, July 25

8 p.m. Sharks and the City: LA

9 p.m. Sharks and the City: New York

10 p.m. Shark After Dark

Wednesday, July 26

8 p.m. The Lost Cage 

9 p.m. Great Hammerhead Invasion

10 p.m. Shark After Dark

Thursday, July 27

8 p.m. Shark Exile

9 p.m. Shark Swarm

10 p.m. Shark After Dark

Friday, July 28

8 p.m. African Shark Safari 

9 p.m. Lair of the Sawfish

Saturday, July 29

8 p.m. Sharkmania

Sunday, July 30

7 p.m. Shark School with Michael Phelps


Shark Week 2017 Online

Discovery brings the Shark Week 2017 experience to viewers in new and innovative ways through digital and social media platforms, partnerships with nonprofit groups, affiliates, education programs and more.

Leading up to and during Shark Week, Discovery Channel will cover the latest shark news, scientific findings, and everything you ever wanted to know about sharks. Fans who follow Shark Week on FacebookInstagram and Twitter will receive daily video updates all summer long featuring incredible shark facts and the planet’s most jaw-dropping shark footage. continues to be the best destination for all things shark online.

Read about more Shark Week 2017 events at Discovery’s Shark Week page

Remember Shark Week 2016?