Discovery asks viewers: Can Michael Phelps win in a race with a shark?

The TV channel’s ‘Shark Week’ segment featuring the most decorated Olympian of all time might have disappointed some social media users, but it got viewers to dish about the show.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

With network TV series on hiatus, summer has always been an ideal time for special, gimmicky aired events.

It’s also the time Discovery airs its bread-and-butter “Shark Week.”

What better way to kick it off than with an old-fashioned special featuring one of America’s most beloved athletes, Michael Phelps, racing one of the ocean’s most fearsome beasts?

That’s where “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White” comes in.

The segment, which ran Sunday night, was by most accounts was a clever way to kick off Shark Week. It built hype, but it had one flaw: Phelps didn’t actually race a real shark. It was computer generated, which didn’t sit well with viewers that didn’t read (or listen to) the fine print:

Turns out ‘Michael Phelps races a shark’ was really ‘Michael Phelps swims alone and compares his time to a CGI shark’s time.’


— Jack Saunders (@JaackSaunders) July 24, 2017

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.