Bell Media Studios Confirms Unprecedented International Orders For New Original Canadian Docudrama Series DISASTERS AT SEA From Exploration Production Inc.

GTA Weekly
Bell Media Studios (CNW Group/Bell Media)

TORONTONov. 21, 2017 /CNW/ – Bell Media Studios announced today that Exploration Production Inc. (EPI) has begun production on new original Canadian series, DISASTERS AT SEA (working title). Commissioned by Discovery Canada, the docudrama is made possible in part by international broadcast partners Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) and Seven Network (Australia), in the biggest and most comprehensive partnership of its kind for an EPI production.

DISASTERS AT SEA is a six-episode series about the most mysterious and unexpected marine disasters in recent history, recreated in each 60-minute episode through the visceral first-hand accounts of seamen and women on their worst day, and for some, their finest hour. In each of the stories featured, there are heroes who exerted herculean efforts to save their colleagues, the environment, and valuable property. International rights of DISASTERS AT SEA are managed exclusively by Exploration Distribution Inc. (EDI).

“As part of Canada’s leading content company, EPI – led by award-winning executive producer Kelly McKeown – is a world leader in creating quality and sought-after factual programs,” said Nanci MacLean, Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios. “We’re proud to offer viewers across Canadaand around the world this enthralling docudrama, diving deeper than ever into the most perplexing marine disasters of our time.”

“After hugely successful runs of the MIGHTY franchise, which have become integral to our blue chip, international broadcast partners, we’re thrilled to have their confidence in coming to EPI for quality, entertaining factual programming for their audiences,” said Tony Leadman, EDI. “We are proud to offer this new program and can’t wait to showcase it to additional international audiences.”

DISASTERS AT SEA continues Discovery’s proud tradition of creating compelling, insightful storytelling with an investigative approach. Employing cool science, dramatic recreations, and cutting edge CGI, this series not only reveals what went wrong in some of the worst nautical disasters in recent history, but also how they can be prevented in the future,” said Edwina Follows, Director of Commissioning and Production, Discovery Networks. “We look forward to continuing our successful partnerships with Smithsonian Channel and Seven Network.”

Proving and disproving theories of catastrophic real-life events, DISASTERS AT SEA goes beyond the traditional documentary approach to explore six separate disasters at sea throughout the season. Often-conflicting reports leave the cause of the sinking unknown and mysterious, and DISASTERS AT SEA unravels these mysteries through a second set of key characters: the dedicated marine investigators whose job it was to separate fact from fiction, fill in the unknown, and identify cause and effect as they uncover the shocking chain of events, often with nothing more than tiny leads. The conclusions are dramatic, unexpected, and profound.

Designed to pull viewers off the sidelines and immerse them in the action, archival footage is combined with carefully imagined and evocative dramatic re-enactments that provide an engaging mix of factual and modern storytelling. To achieve this, the series includes CGI and special effects, bringing to life the wide shots of the ship in rough waters, and recreations to dramatically convey the catastrophic events.

Grounded in fact, each episode unfolds as a mystery, providing a suspenseful journey into the little known world of life at sea, and a tribute to the working men and women who sacrificed their lives for it all.

DISASTERS AT SEA (working title) is produced by Bell Media’s EPI in association with Discovery, and in conjunction with Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) and Seven Network (Australia). Series Producer is Alix MacDonald. Executive Producers are Marianne Kushmaniuk and Kelly McKeown, who is also Director of Production for EPI. Nanci MacLean is Vice-President and Head, Bell Media Studios. For Discovery, Ken MacDonald is Vice-President and General Manager, Discovery Networks, and Edwina Follows is Director, Commissioning and Production, Discovery Networks.Tracey Pearce is President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media.

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About EPI:
Discovery Canada’s in-house production company, Exploration Production Inc. (EPI), is a multi-award-winning producer of ambitious, original, entertaining factual documentaries and series, for both Discovery and other international broadcasters. By the end of 2016, EPI delivered more than 3000 hours of television programming in the form of a daily science magazine show, series, and specials. EPI programming has been broadcast in more than 150 countries, in two-dozen languages, to potential viewing audiences of more than 600 million conventional, cable and satellite subscribers. EPI is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Discovery Canada, a joint-venture between Bell Media (Canada) and Discovery Communications Inc. Visit for more information.

About Discovery: 
With compelling real-life programming that inspires and entertains, Discovery reveals the world in all its wonder, diversity and amazement. Discovery ranks as the #1 Canadian entertainment specialty network in primetime. Discovery offers a signature mix of adrenaline-charged stories, larger-than-life personalities and vivid imagery for viewers with curious minds. With the best factual programming from Canada and around the world, Discovery captures the excitement of a passion for life – one lived fully and at its most extreme. With exceptional and immersive storytelling, the channel offers in-depth, behind-the-scenes glimpses at the extraordinary people and places that shape our world. Launched in Canada in 1995, Discovery is now available in more than eight million Canadian homes. Discovery Canada is a joint venture between Bell Media, which is owned by BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’slargest communications company, and Discovery Communications Inc. Find more information and interactive online features at

About Bell Media:
Bell Media is Canada’s leading content creation company with premier assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s highest-rated television network; 30 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 215 music channels including 105 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across the country, all part of the iHeartRadio brand and streaming service. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home with a network of more than 30,000 advertising faces in British ColumbiaAlbertaOntario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with its CraveTV and GO video streaming services; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; produces live theatrical shows via its partnership with Iconic Entertainment Studios; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit

SOURCE Bell Media

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