Discovery Presents ‘Pit Bulls & Parolees’, ‘The Whale’, ‘Gunslingers’ and ‘Naked and Afraid’ [TCA 2014]

discovery tca 2014

The Television Critics Association (TCA) has once again kicked off its Summer Press Tour and networks are ready to wow with their new series. Discovery Communications brought out quite a few of its networks and shows, including Pit Bulls & Parolees, The Whale, Naked and Afraid and Gunslingers.

You can find out more information and highlights for each show/movie below.

pitbulls and parolees animal planet

Pit Bulls & Parolees

Something that touched me personally was the presentation for Pit Bulls & Parolees. I was not aware of the show until now, but have added it to my schedule for the Fall (it returns for its sixth season on Saturday, September 27th at 10pm). The series follows Tia Torres and her pit bull rescue center (the largest one in the US), Villalobos Rescue Center, as she rescues pit bull and gives a second chance to parolees she employs to help her run the center.

Tia Torres was in attendance along with one of her pit bull rescue Baker Red (can I just gush one second over how adorable he was) and one of the parolees she employs, Earl Moffett. Animal Planet executive producer Lisa Lucas was also in attendance.

An interesting fact that Torres shared during the panel was the fact that some of the fame from the show has of course helped, but it has also backfired a bit on them in that more dogs are being dumped at their door now.

As an advocate for pit bulls, Torres shared that her and her children have all been bitten by dogs before but none of them was a pit bull. She also thinks that pit bulls are their own worse enemy, in that because they tend to be very human friendly they “are not smart enough to know” that it’s their owners who put them into fighting rings with other dogs and those owners tend abuse that love, which has led to their bad reputation.

Later, she also made a point to say that she doesn’t believe every dog can be rehabilitated and they make sure to look out for the good ones and make sure they are safe for public safety.

the whale animal planet

The Whale

Animal Planet has landed itself quite the catch (pun not intended) with The Whale, a TV movie starring Martin Sheen based on the true account of the sinking of The Essex whaling ship. The movie originally premiered in the UK in December of last year and is finally making its way to the US this Fall.

Animal Planet didn’t have a panel for the movie, but did share the trailer, which looks quite impressive. And here is a fun fact for you: The book the movie is based on, In The Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick, is in fact the inspiration for Moby Dick.

Below you can watch the original BBC One trailer for The Whale.

gunslinger ahc


AHC (American Heroes Channel) will premiere its new series Gunslingers on July 20, which tells the true stories behind the infamous icons and conflicts of the Wild West. The interesting thing about the series is that as a docudrama series it mixes interviews with dramatic reenactment. From the trailer shown, those dramatic reenactment feel like a regular scripted series you’d expect to see on TV and not the low quality reenactment we sometimes get for real life stories. Fans of the Wild West stories will want to check it out.

naked and afraid discovery

Naked and Afraid

Discovery Channel showed off their reality series, Naked and Afraid, which pairs complete strangers (a man and a woman) and leaves them stranded and naked with only one personal item each and their survival expertise to survive for 21 days. As someone who doesn’t watch much reality television, this was my introduction to the show and as was echoed by the first question asked to a few of the participants in attendance on the panel, my first reaction was “why?” That said, for fans of Survivor and those types of reality series, it might be your new addiction.

And for those wondering, the nakedness is blurred, sorry… or maybe that’s a good thing?

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