With 18 million global subscribers, Discovery+ and its sister streaming services have seen incredible growth in a short seven-month period. While their library of content is already vast, they’re giving viewers more and more reasons to either sign up or keep their subscription active. During TCA’s Summer Press Tour, Discovery+ previewed 6 exciting new projects that should be on your radar this fall while also announcing a new project coming in 2022.



Introducing, Selma Blair

“By no means am I saying I'm speaking for all people with this condition or any condition of chronic illness or disability or anything,” Selma Blair explained about the documentary film that shines a light on her life with Multiple Sclerosis. “I'm speaking my story, and if that helps normalize one thing, to open the door for other people to be comfortable telling their stories… then I'm thrilled to have this.”

The documentary was already well underway when the pandemic hit, with the actress already accustomed to a style of life that we can all relate to now. “I went from [wearing ] masks and [being] careful right into COVID, [with] people saying ‘No masks, not the science.’  And I'm like, oh my God, I was just there living with a mask to keep me safe from germs that could kill me with immune system stuff."

Director Rachel Fleit was inspired by Selma’s story, but surprised by just how open and willing the actress was. “The world will get to see what is really happening and this is going to help people so much,” the director said. “We stay present, we hold the space. She became my dear friend, like a piece of my heart. And we just kept the cameras rolling. And if she told me to cut the cameras, I would've, but she didn't. And so we kept going and what we get is magic because it's real life. There is no denying that. That is real life on that screen with my dear Selma.”

Introducing, Selma Blair premieres in theaters on October 15th and starts streaming on Discovery+ October 21st.

Curse of the Chippendales

The Chippendales of this true-crime docuseries are not a pair of animated chipmunk gumshoes, but there is a surprising Disney connection. “[Steve Banerjee, founder of Chippendales] totally studied Walt Disney's thinking in putting on a total encompassing theatrical environment that affects you on all levels,” said Eric Gilbert, who served as Chippendales’ creative director from 1983 to 1991. “He wanted all of these guys to be in their uniforms and to be perfect, because he’s creating this theatrical environment where women felt safe and comfortable to let loose to their emotions and their inhibitions.” The collared and cuffed gentlemen who worked at the famous L.A. nightclub may have made magic for the women in attendance at night, staying in character and playing the part. But one thing you won’t find in any of Disney’s magic kingdom’s is murder (outside of The Haunted Mansion, of course).

Curse of the Chippendales is one of almost 20 new crime shows that will launch on Discovery+ before 2021 comes to a close, a true tale of sex, greed, revenge and power. “I think the curse kind of landed on me a little heavier than some of the others” revealed Read Scot, a former Chippendale performer who was a murder target. “I was notified that someone was after me and my partner, and there was a contract out. They were going to kill us by injecting cyanide, which is kind of a weird way to do something. There’s a lot of easier ways to kill a stripper, because of the way people think we are, that we’re alcoholics, we’re drug addicts, we’re party people, so there’d be a lot of easier ways to do it and have it just slip away. But cyanide’s a message, it’s a message to anybody else in the business. It’s a message that this was deliberately done.” Read and some of his colleagues are now telling their stories for the first time in a public forum. “This is my first public outing with anything to talk about this case since Steve Banerjee’s death.”

While Read Scot was evading death while bringing fantasies to life every night in L.A., Michael Rapp was doing the same thing for Chippendales’ second location in New York City. “I’m 3,000 miles away from the office and Steve Banerjee, so there was another set of things that were going on in New York,” he shared about the complexity of the case. “If you’re a New York night club, you’re connected somehow with some bad people… When the murder did happen and the FBI came to speak to me, well, I’ve heard the New York club owners say, ‘I want to kill that guy.’ So I had a different perception about who it could possibly be.”

All the drama and excitement of Curse of the Chippendales starts September 24th.

Naked and Afraid of Love

From a nightclub where only the men bare all to the tropics where a lack of clothing is not optional for all participants, Discovery+ puts a romantic twist on the popular reality series Naked and Afraid. “It's dating in reverse,” explained executive producer Jay Beinstock. “Being naked, for many people, is the endgame. So here we start from the very beginning and then, through a very meaningful exercise, these people got to know each other far beyond what their physical bodies were.”

For the 16 contestants, evenly divided by sex, the experience was nothing short of unique. “This is a very unconventional way of getting to know people and we're doing everything backwards,” shared Candice Liang. “Once we’ve started with that, then we have more time to be bonded emotionally and more deeply and to get to know this person. It's like, I’ve already seen you naked, so I want to see you now with your heart.”

Taking dating back to the Adam and Eve biblical era, navigating romance in just your birthday suit quickly became the norm. “We're all on the same level playing field,” added Britt Whitmire. “You no longer look at someone as naked, you just look at them for who they are.”

By the way, just like the series it’s spun off from, Naked and Afraid of Love doesn’t allow the participants any of your modern hygiene conveniences. No deodorant, no toothpaste, no way to trim back any unwanted body hair. “I went into this really nervous about that,” confessed Bennett Murphy. “I was like, man, not only am I gonna be making out with someone maybe who hasn't brushed their teeth in a while or hasn't been able to keep their self clean like they're used to, I'm not gonna be able to go into it confident as well. And it was really cool for me to be able to kind of shake away from that a little bit to kind of lose that standard that might be a bit unnatural, unrealistic, and I feel like it allowed for better relationships.”

Naked and Afraid of Love starts streaming August 22nd.

The Program: Prison Detox

“This series shines a light on the worst drug epidemic in American history and how one town is changing lives,” shared TLC president Howard Lee about The Program: Prison Detox, created exclusively for Discovery+. “The series is raw, it’s emotional, and it’s real.”

“We started the program in 2017,” explained Sheriff Robert Gentry, who co-created the revolutionary rehab program in Sevier County, Arkansas that’s at the heart of the show. “We've had 150 go through and we're very proud of our 72% success rate. If you do the math, we've helped a lot of people just coming through the jail.”

Among the people being helped by the program in this introductory season is Barry Talley. “I've tried to do this for my kids, I've tried to do this for my mom and dad, I've tried to do this for my wife,” he shared about his past failed attempts at taking his life back from addiction. “I finally realized, for the first time in my life, that I've got to do this for me. It ain't got nothing to do with anybody else, other than I'm just tired of living that life, and this program's given me the second chance and the tools to do it.”

“Our hope in bringing these stories of these amazing trustees in this small town that's trying to deal with it… is to show that it is possible, number one, to treat addiction for being addiction, and to understand that addiction drives criminal behavior,” executive producer Lori Rothschild Ansaldi concluded. “If you cure the addiction, you will affect the criminal behavior. The other thing is really understanding what it really looks like to be inside of addiction and how it's not perfect. Just because you get through a three-month program, just because you're out in your nine-month program, even if they're truly successful through those nine months, addiction and the recovery of addiction is a lifelong process.

The first three episodes of The Program: Prison Detox start streaming August 25th exclusively on Discovery+.

Kendra Sells Hollywood

“I just decided to actually pursue real estate without anyone knowing about it,” promised Kendra Wilkinson, who has gone from calling the Playboy Mansion home to selling mansions in one of the most expensive zip codes on Earth. “One thing led to another and I'm back on TV, documenting this part of my journey.”

HGTV executives saw Kendra share her new real estate license on social media and saw the potential for documenting a first-time real estate agent navigating the tough Hollywood market. “We want to see this journey which we’ve never done, with somebody starting off in real estate, let alone L.A. real estate and luxury real estate,” explained Betsy Ayala, SVP of programming and production for HGTV and Discovery+. “She’s gonna give us the full tour, totally uncensored.”

“I’m doing this for my children,” Kendra, the 36-year-old single mom of two, added. “There’s such a strong message behind this, the show, and you have to watch it to see it… It’s the best TV I’ve ever made, ever.”

Kendra Sells Hollywood premieres this November.

Well Done With Sebastian Maniscalco

“When the pandemic postponed Sebastian’s tour schedule, the idea for Well Done With Sebastian Maniscalco was born,” revealed Courtney White, President of Food Network. “The series blends Sebastian’s signature curiosity and humor with an exploration of all kinds of food.”

“I’m a huge Top Chef fan, so I watch that every season it comes out,” comedian Sebastian Maniscalco shared, who stays on top of who’s hot in the food world through TV shows with celebrity chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis. “I wanted to do a show that kind of fit my style and I didn’t really pattern it after any show that I’ve ever seen before. I wanted to host a show, learn some things, do some comedy, and have fun with some of my friends and meet some really interesting people in the food space.”

Sebastian swore that even though his shirt looked like pajamas during the Zoom call, they weren’t pajamas. “I’ve just been so inundated with live shows and live entertainment, I really have no time at all to put all my energy into a cooking show,” the host shared about his longtime interest and why he felt held back. Born out of helping a friend promote his restaurant supply business directly to consumers during the pandemic, this show was born. “I’m looking forward to it again if we have the opportunity.”

Well Done with Sebastian Maniscalco started streaming on August 12th and a second season will kick off on November 16th.

More on the Way

That was a look at just 6 of the many new and continuing programs Discovery+ subscribers can enjoy this fall season. The streamer also made a few announcements for the future. Lily Topples the World, a SXSW award winning documentary film, will debut on Discovery+ on August 26th. Coming in 2022, a documentary series about the hosts of the Smartless podcast (Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett) will chronicle their live tour with exclusive behind-the-scenes access. Celebrity guests featured include Vice President Kamala Harris, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler, Ricky Gervais, Bryan Cranston, Paul McCartney, Tina Fey, Awkwafina, W. Kamau Bell, Stacey Abrams, Billie Eilish and Megan Rapinoe.