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Discovery’s Shark Week returns Sunday

Shark Week returns to Discovery and some shows will also appear on Discovery+.Discovery

Discovery’s Shark Week has been around since 1988, and its popularity has exploded over the years. It has become a major boon for the channel, attracting high-paying advertisers and many millions of viewers, including people who don’t generally tune in to Discovery. This year, some of the festivities will also take place on the streamer Discovery+.

People love Shark Week, which begins on Sunday, for different reasons. For some, it’s an educational-tinged nature-programming event, featuring an animal that is beautiful and yet predatory. We should admire sharks, and we should be terrified of them at the same time. For others, Shark Week offers a more horror-movie-like quality, with thrilling and scary tales — many of them true — in the manner of “Jaws.” Discovery aims to appeal to both types of viewers, with a full range of programming.


Here is Sunday’s lineup. I’ll feature the rest of the Shark Week schedule next week.

“Crikey! It’s Shark Week” (Sunday, 8 p.m.) Robert Irwin comes face to face with a Great White Shark alongside conservationists Paul de Gelder and Madison Stewart.

“Tiffany Haddish Does Shark Week” (Sunday, 9 p.m.) Haddish, who hosts the event this year, hopes to learn something about shark sex from the experts.

“Jackass Shark Week Special” (Sunday, 10 p.m.) Johnny Knoxville sends Steve-O, Chris Pontius, and new “Jackass” cast members out for a series of shark-related stunts.

“Sharkbait with David Dobrik” (Sunday, only available on Discovery+) Dobrik and friends encounter sharks during a not-so-routine dive.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.