Discovery Offers No Details on WarnerMedia Merger — but Hey, They’re Sending Someone to Space!

Discovery+ will premiere a competition series in 2022 about ordinary people vying to live on the International Space Station.
An undated photo provided by NASA shows the International Space Station in orbit. On Monday, May 16, 2016,  the International Space Station made its 100,000th orbit circling of the world. NASA says these 100,000 orbits are akin to traveling more than 2.6 billion miles. (NASA via AP)
An undated photo provided by NASA shows the International Space Station in orbit.

At Discovery’s virtual upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday morning, CEO David Zaslav had no new details to share about Monday’s news that his company was planning to merge with WarnerMedia — besides an offhand comment during his opening remarks thanking people for joining the company on a new adventure.

The rest of the upfront focused on adventures of a different kind, including the big reveal that the company is sending someone to space. Discovery unveiled a slew of new and returning shows during the company’s upfront, including “Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?” (working title), which Discovery is touting as the first show of its kind to feature the real-life adventures of space tourism. Per Discovery, the series offers ordinary people the chance to do something extraordinary – travel from Earth into space where they’ll live aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for eight days. The 8-part competition series is set to premiere on the Discovery+ streaming service in 2022.

Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?” marks the latest in a string of original series that have been announced for Discovery+, which launched in the United States in January. The streaming service aims to carve a niche for itself in the streaming industry via its focus on reality TV programming, a popular genre that has been largely overlooked at competing streaming service. Though Discovery+ launched with over 55,000 hours of programming and already boasts a library of popular franchises ranging from “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” to the various “90 Day Fiancé” shows, the groundbreaking premise of “Who Wants to Be an Astronaut?” could help the platform further expand its reach.

Discovery has made a name for itself with space and adventure-oriented programming recently; Discovery and the Science Channel (which is owned by Discovery) held a multi-platform event to air and celebrate the launch of NASA’s SpaceX rocket last year, which included guests such as Katy Perry, Adam Savage, and former NASA engineer Mark Rober.

Outside “Who Wants to be an Astronaut?,” Discovery touted its network talents and various celebrities who are working on television shows for the company, including Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.

WarnerMedia is set to do its upfront presentation tomorrow morning; with a bit more time since the spinoff deal with Discovery was announced, it is possible that more details about the merger will be made available. The deal would bring a myriad of high-profile WarnerMedia brands into the Discovery fold, including TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, the Warner Bros. film and TV studios, HBO, CNN, and the HBO Max streaming service.


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