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Posted at 10:16 AM ET, 04/14/2011

Ricky Gervais and cars stars of Discovery Communications’ future


Stephen Merchant, Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, featured in Science’s “An Idiot Abroad,” which will get a second season. (NICOLA DOVE - HBO)
Cars for rich guys -- the leitmotif of a new channel Discovery Communications unveiled Thursday to advertisers in New York.

If you’re not a guy making over $150,000, you’re not the target of the new Velocity network launching in September in 40 million homes, replacing Discovery’s HD Theater network.

“Mecum Auto Auctions,” “Chasing Classic Cars,” and “Cafe Racer” are three shows with which Discovery will officially kick off the new channel, because “cars so important for us guys in America,” Discovery CEO David Zaslav told the AP.

“We grew up dreaming about what the day would be like when we got our licenses and what cars we would drive,” he added.

Girls apparently were too buys dreaming about prom to think about things like driver’s licenses and modes of transportation.

Meanwhile, Discovery’s Science Channel thinks its found a pretext for ordering another round of “An Idiot Abroad” from Ricky Gervais.

Gervais’s first season of “An Idiot Abroad,” in which he sent his pal Karl Pilkington to travel globally to experience the seven wonders of the world, is the top-rated series in Science channel’s history.

The problem is, there’s only seven wonders of the world, which made a second season challenging.

The second season will therefore be called “An Idiot Abroad 2: The Bucket List,” and Pilkington will again be launched on a world tour to sample adventures you ought to experience before you die.

“I’ve never understood the ‘things to do before you die’ idea, Pilkington said in Thursday’s announcement. “If I was ill, I’d be in no mood to have a swim with a dolphin.”

Science general manager Debbie Adler Myers says “An Idiot Abroad” was a “game changer” for Science.

And finally, Discovery’s Animal Planet is going ahead with a series about a family of taxidermists in Arkansas who specialize in stuffing family pets, presumably after they’ve died of natural causes. It’s called ”Romance is Dead,” because the company in a town called Romance, and the animals are, of course, dead.

Meanwhile, Oprah Winfrey’s network, the ratings-lean OWN network introduced six news series: “Confronting,” which documents the mediation process as an offender and a person they’ve offended try to achieve closure; “I Owe You My Life,” about everyday people who take scary risks to become heroes; “Louie Spence Dance Project,” following a choreographer as he tries to reinvent a New York studio; “My Mom and Me,” about contentious mother-daughter relationships; “Sweetie Pies,” which follows a 1960s singer and her family as they work in their soul food restaurant; and finally, “Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal,” featuring married couples who have “suffered and survived” infidelity.

Lucky OWN series that got renewed include “Ask Oprah’s All Stars,” “Enough Already! with Peter Walsh,” “In The Bedroom With Dr. Laura Berman” and “Oprah Presents Master Class.”

By  |  10:16 AM ET, 04/14/2011

 
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