Shark Week 2023 is here with nearly 20 hours of new television content focused on oceans’ apex predators, sharks. If you’re not afraid of jumping into the water, stick around to find out how to watch Shark Week 2023 and everything that’s going on during the event.
Following last year’s massive Shark Week, presented by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Discovery has passed the master of ceremonies torch to yet another famous DC actor in Jason Momoa, who you might also know as Aquaman, the King of Atlantis himself. Word on the street is that Momoa wanted to be a part of Shark Week for the longest time, so this crossover was always meant to be.
Shark Week has been around since July 1988, when Discovery aired as a programming block shows like “Caged in Fear”, “Sharks: Predators or Prey”, and “The Shark Takes a Siesta”. Its success led to a revival of America’s interest in sharks that hadn’t been seen since the release of Jaws in 1975. Many decades later, Shark Week has become a yearly sensation that both entertains and educates viewers on these impressive creatures. It features are big sharks, small sharks, fast sharks, and plenty of really weird sharks too.
If you’re looking to dive into Shark Week 2023, we’ve put together this handy streaming guide which brings together everything you need to know. On top of Discovery’s renowned T.V. event, National Geographic is running its own month of shark-centric programming with SharkFest 2023, which we highly recommend too.
Of course, we’re in the middle of the summer season, and that means sharks are more popular than during the rest of the year. If you’re a shark fanatic, you should watch (or rewatch) the best shark movies of all time. What about the legendary Jaws saga? Well, we’ve got all the Jaws movies ranked, looking at both the science and the fun. Coming in August, there’s a bigger fish chomping on cinemas; here’s everything we know about Meg 2: The Trench.
When is Shark Week 2023?
- July 23 – July 30
Shark Week 2023 airs from July 23 (Sunday) until July 30 (Saturday). It all starts on July 23 at 8pm ET/PT on Discovery, with the content also available to stream on Max (Warner Bros. Discovery’s rebranding of HBO Max).
As we said before, fan-favorite actor, superhero, and conservationist Jason Momoa will host the 35th Shark Week, guiding viewers through an all-you-can-eat of shark-centric shows and documentaries, many of which – “Cocaine Sharks”, come on! – will surely surprise you.
How to watch Shark Week 2023
As we’re in the middle of the streaming era, Discovery+ might be the way to go for most households. It’s rather inexpensive if you’re interested in Discovery’s offerings and even has a free trial available. For those who still prefer cable and satellite, the good old Discovery Channel should have you covered, but in that case, you need to follow the schedule of air times (see below) to the letter.
The novelty this year is that, following the Warner Media-Discovery merger, fans will also be able to watch Shark Week on Max (formerly HBO Max), the company’s main streaming platform.
If you’re stuck abroad during Shark Week and can’t access Discovery+ nor Max in your current location, we have a solution for you in the form of VPNs, which allow you to access geo-restricted content by bouncing your connection to a server based in that country. This means that you can access all of your US-based streaming services no matter where you are in the world. There are many VPN services out there, but our favorite is ExpressVPN.
Shark Week 2023 schedule
Below you can find the full Shark Week 2023 schedule, which includes every show airing during Shark Week plus the dates & times to catch them live. All of them can be watched on Discovery+ and Max anytime after the air date.
What is Shark Week?
Shark Week 2022 is a week-long extravaganza of original content about, you guessed it, sharks. Big sharks, little sharks, mating sharks, migrating sharks — but mostly it’s about sharks eating things. Let’s be honest, watching shark eat things is never not cool. They’re incredibly well-designed killing machines that make violence look graceful. They’re so well-designed, in fact, that they’ve changed very little since they first evolved. They’re were here before the dinosaurs and they’ve long outlasted them, and much of Shark Week is about watching them eat things and watching people be scared or fascinated by them eating things.
Shark Week was originally created to spread awareness about conservation efforts and correct misconceptions about sharks in a post-Jaws world. Over time, however, it grew in popularity and became a recurring hit for Discovery. As a result, more entertainment-oriented and sometimes fictional programming took over the event.
By the 2010s, criticism of its most dramatic programs, many of which ironically hurt the reputation of sharks, led to professionals in the science blogger community as well as scientists calling for a boycott of the network. As accusations of junk science and fake stories piled up, Discovery vowed in 2015 to remove this type of programming from future Shark Week lineups. While dubious shows like “Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” are rarer nowadays, you can tell from the spicy titles that even the most scientifically accurate programs are designed to attract as many eyes as possible. Still, we think it’s all good fun as long as you do your homework afterwards reading sites such as Live Science.
Shark Week also offers more than just shows. There’s now a podcast – captained by marine biologist Luke Tipple – to listen to, plus Discovery is highlighting plenty of educational shark-centric articles, facts, and videos to get people interested in these animals beyond this marketing-ploy-turned-cultural-phenomenon.
Since its inception, Shark Week has clearly earned a place in cultural vernacular. From mentions on 30 Rock to references in movies, Shark Week has arguably done more to raise sharks’ profile than anything since the first Jaws movie. The phenomenon isn’t limited to the U.S. either, as millions of viewers from all over the world tune in each year.
What shows are running during Shark Week?
While the total 20-hour run time announced by Discovery for Shark Week 2023 falls a little below other years’ gargantuan programming menus, there’s plenty of exciting and informative television to watch every day of the event. We suggest carefully studying the full schedule – straight from Discovery – that we shared above, but we’ve picked out some potential standouts you should keep an eye on.
“Belly of the Beast: Feeding Frenzy”
This is the documentary that kicks off Shark Week 2023. In a first for the event, a group of researchers equipped with special cameras capture a great white shark feeding frenzy from inside a life-size whale decoy.
If everything goes to plan, their findings could help find the biggest great white in South African history.
Catch “Belly of the Beast” at 8pm ET/PT on Sunday, July 23.
“Jaws vs. The Meg”
Despite what the incredulous title suggests, this could potentially be an interesting show, as it promises an exploration of evidence which suggests one of the Megalodon’s much smaller cousins, the great white shark, may have caused its extinction.
Tune in to “Jaws vs. The Meg” at 9pm ET/PT on Sunday, July 23.
“Alien Sharks: Strange New Worlds”
No, this one doesn’t have anything to do with the latest Star Trek series. Instead, it focuses on the southern tip of South Africa, which is a hotspot for unusual sharks that exhibit bizarre behaviors and “otherworldly appearances”.
Wildlife biologist Forrest Galante will explore stunning underwater environments rarely seen by humans in order to study these extraordinary creatures.
Catch “Alien Sharks: Strange New Worlds” at 10pm ET/PT on Monday, July 24.
Yes, we couldn’t believe it either. But you know what, we’re always down for an off-beat show rooted in reality. After we learned about the real “cocaine bear” following the release of one of 2023’s most unexpected movies, it was only a matter of time before someone did some investigation on what happens when sharks come in contact with the most notorious drug on the planet.
Believe it or not, rumors of cocaine-fueled sharks have spread for decades, so shark expert Tom Hird traveled to the Florida Keys to (try to) learn the truth.
“Cocaine Sharks” airs at 10pm ET/PT on Wednesday, July 26.
After a 16-foot great white invaded the coast of Bali, fear spread in Indonesia that they might be adapting to hunt in the tropical beaches where millions of people swim every day. Dr. Craig O’Connell and Madison Stewart are on the case, trying to discover why the great whites might have left their usual cold-water environments.
Watch “Tropic Jaws” at 8pm ET/PT on Friday, July 28.
“Dawn of the Monster Mako”
In Portugal’s Azores region, a 14-foot giant mako shark has been spotted. Following the strange sightings, underwater cinematographer Joe Romeiro and his marine biologist wife, Lauren, search the depths around the famous islands to hopefully capture the unusual beast on film.
“Dawn of the Monster Mako” airs at 8pm ET/PT on Saturday, July 29.