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