Discovery Communications' Networks Unveil Upfront Slates

By Nellie Andreeva

Discovery Communications' networks will hold their upfront presentation in New York this afternoon. Here is the new programming they will be announcing. (The slate for OWN's, Discovery's co-venture with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo, was announced separately.) Flagship Discovery Channel is adding four new unscripted series to its lineup, including Penn & Teller's Secrets of the Universe. TLC has picked up new spinoffs of its Say Yes to the Dress franchise.

Flagship Discovery Channel is adding four new unscripted series to its lineup, including Penn & Teller's Secrets of the Universe. TLC has picked up new spinoffs of its Say Yes to the Dress franchise.

Romance Is Dead (wt)

Take a peek into the unusual. Snuggled deep in the backwoods of Romance, Arkansas is a taxidermy shop where people come far and wide to say farewell to their pets in a special way through pet preservation. Taxidermist Daniel Ross makes his business a family affair, employing wife LaDawn, who handles the books, and even seeking some help from his three young boys. With the help of three other eccentric employees, Daniel’s shop, X-treme Taxidermy, gives customers once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to cope with the loss of precious family members– their pets. While nothing can bring back these animals, Daniel and his artistic team attempt to come close by recreating the illusion of life so his customers can return home with their pet for eternity.

Behind the scenes, Daniel's three assistants often deliver more drama than product. Dixie is a veterinary student and newbie to taxidermy who ironically cringes at the sight of blood. Fred, a shoeless, shirtless classic redneck, has an accent so strong he’s often in need of an interpreter. Joseph, a hunky, part-time model from ‘big city’ Little Rock, suffers from OCD and contamination fears – a condition that doesn’t make the process of preserving animals easy. In this series, viewers watch Daniel console offbeat customers, including a burly farmer distraught over his chihuahua's death and a waitress with a deceased pet goat that once occupied her living room. Viewers also get to watch Dixie go over the edge when stuffing her first poodle, Joseph’s dating life go awry because of the nature of his job, and LaDawn lose it when Fred moves his mobile home next to the Ross family house. Taxidermy is an odd business, but Daniel, his family and coworkers embrace their trade with the warm knowledge that they are providing a rare and lifelong gift to animal lovers.

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