Discovery and Group Nine Announce Development Deal for Discovery+

Deal includes Companion Programming for discovery+ Documentaries, Original Programming and a First Look Option on 30 Additional New Original Series

Featured Celebrities and Changemakers Include Jane Fonda, Matt Damon, Common, Greta Thunberg and More;

Company Release
December 6, 2021

NEW YORK – (December 6, 2021) – discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service, today announced a development deal for a slate of new original series from Group Nine Media, the no. 1 video publisher on mobile in the U.S. [source: Nielsen DCR, June 2020]. The deal includes content from a range of popular genres on discovery+, including food; nature and adventure; documentaries; and true crime. The slate also includes companion series for high-profile discovery+ original documentaries Introducing, Selma Blair and Chasing Ghislaine.

Group Nine’s first discovery+ slate includes THE SWIM, a feature-length documentary produced by Seeker; ACTION PLANET, a limited series featuring high-profile celebrity activists including Jane Fonda, Matt Damon, Greta Thunberg and others; ACTION PLANET: Meeting the Climate Challenge, a feature-length special on the climate crisis featuring an interview with Vice President Kamala Harris, as well as a first look option on 30 additional new original series.

“These projects continue to build our best-in-class library of real-life entertainment and build on our momentum with younger, digital-first audiences,” said Lisa Holme, SVP of Content and Commercial Strategy for Discovery, Inc. “Group Nine’s ability to create compelling content and bring a loyal audience make them a perfect collaborative partner for discovery+.”

“This huge step in our relationship with Discovery allows us to continue telling bigger and bolder stories with a strategic partner that understands the value of combining great storytelling with the data and insights essential to the development and marketing of a successful show,” said Mickey Meyer, President of Group Nine Studios. “We’re excited to help build the next generation of entertainment alongside a cornerstone of the entertainment industry, while also introducing the Discovery world to an even wider young audience.”

The new discovery+ slate from Group Nine includes the following programs from the video publisher’s brands, with additional series to be announced:

MY PACK LIFE (The Dodo) – original longform series
The Dodo’s new original series will follow Lee Asher, who quit his 9-to-5 job in order to travel the country with his 15 rescue dogs loaded into a converted school bus, promoting dog adoption and the beauty of second chances. Now he’s purchased 25 acres of land in Oregon and is determined to build a modern day Noah’s Ark — The Asher House Sanctuary. He wants to provide a safe space for every single type of animal he can, no matter their shape, size, or species. His only rule? That they’re an underdog… just like him.

THE MESSY HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOODS (Thrillist) – original longform series
Thrillist’s new original series will expand its award-winning journalism to unearth the secret legacies and unsung heroes hidden beneath our national diet. Did you know that something as seemingly simple as your morning bowl of Kellogg’s corn flakes has a deep (and in this case, twisted) legacy? From chocolate to burgers, this series will uncover the truth behind some of America's favorite foods.

SEEN (NowThis) – original midform series
NowThis will premiere five new episodes of NowThis’ GLAAD Award-nominated series SEEN, which will be a companion season to a discovery+ documentary following actress Selma Blair. SEEN will focus on disability inclusion and visibility.

WHO IS? Ghislaine Maxwell (NowThis) – original midform series
NowThis will premiere five new episodes of its existing political biography series WHO IS? The episodes will serve as a companion season to the discovery+ documentary Chasing Ghislaine, which begins streaming November 22.

FOOD CRIMES (Thrillist) – original podcast
Thrillist will dive deep into the world's wildest food crimes in its newest podcast — and surprisingly, there's a seemingly endless amount of weird and dastardly felonies based around food and drink. From the mysterious woman who conned an entire country out of millions by selling “magic” cheese, to the story of a Texas cop who took down a BBQ smuggling ring, the crimes get wilder and juicier. Every half-hour episode will explore the complexities and nuances of each case with key players as they walk us through locations, evidence and suspects. Thrillist will craft compelling stories to shine a light for its audience into food’s dark underbelly.

WE SAID WHAT?! (POPSUGAR) – original midform series
POPSUGAR's new series, starring Grace Helbig and Mamrie Hart, will bring discovery+'s catalogue of incredible entertainment to life in an intimate and irreverent review show on YouTube. Watching highlights from new discovery+ Originals to Discovery classics, Grace and Mamrie dive into ridiculous worlds and real-life entertainment that encompass the Discovery brand. Over a glass (or four) of wine, their garage will be brought to your screens in a celebration of all things discovery+.

Recently aired programming includes:

NowThis’ ACTION PLANET: MEETING THE CLIMATE CHALLENGElooks at climate change through four key areas: public health, environmental justice, clean economy and jobs, and national security. The magazine-style special features a one-on-one interview with Vice President Kamala Harris and NowThis host and correspondent Zinhle Essamuah. Also interviewed are Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, and a host of scientific experts, business leaders, government leaders, and individuals impacted by the climate crisis.

THE SWIM (Seeker) – documentary
Seeker’s THE SWIM follows long-distance swimmer Ben Lecomte as he embarks on a historic 5,000-mile-long swim across the Pacific Ocean to gain awareness on the state of ocean health from pollution. After being the first man to swim across the Atlantic in 1998, THE SWIM follows Lecomte as he journeys six months from Japan to San Francisco. Produced in association with Seeker and Nomadica Films.

ACTION PLANET (NowThis) – limited series
NowThis’ ACTION PLANET explores how some of the world’s most well-known figures are stepping up to make a difference in the world and inspiring audiences to take action. Each episode features an interview with a high-profile celebrity activist talking about organizations — including Matt Damon’s, Jane Fonda’s Fire Drill Fridays, and Adrian Grenier’s Lonely Whale, — they’ve co-founded or support that are making an impact today. Additional high-profile changemakers include Common, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Greta Thunberg.

BAD INFLUENCE (NowThis) – original midform series
NowThis’ series BAD INFLUENCE explores what happens when social media gets too real. ‘BAD INFLUENCE’ journeys into the dark side of the modern internet, exploring our toxic relationship with the people and platforms we follow and offering solutions to make the internet safe for everyone.

LEGENDARY (NowThis) – original midform series
The NowThis series LEGENDARY, now in its third season, explores the crucial players at the forefront of LGBTQ+ culture across generations. The premium series’ quality and popularity amongst NowThis audiences made it a strong fit to double as a companion series/marketing effort for P.S. Burn This Letter Please with its new season. Hosted by Ru Paul’s Drag Race runner-up Peppermint, the third season is a five-part short-form series. This season is all about the fabulous history of drag - spotlighting some of the performers, venues, and shows that blew the doors open for drag entertainers today. The series premiered on discovery+ on June 11th, and on NowThis’ social channels -- driving our huge young audience to the discovery+ streaming platform and the documentary -- beginning on June 12th.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE SCIENCE (Seeker) – original podcast series with video companion
Each week on THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE SCIENCE, Seeker pairs a comedian with a scientist, to break down the scientifically inaccurate elements of popular movies and TV shows. Warning: There will be spoilers.

About discovery+:
discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real life subscription streaming service. discovery+ has the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service at launch, featuring a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a strong leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment, and a slate of high-quality documentaries. For more, visit or find it on a variety of platforms and devices, including ones from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Samsung.

About Group Nine Media:
Group Nine has the most optimistic, fast moving, deeply connected brands in the categories that matter NOW. As the most-engaging media portfolio in the U.S. [Comscore, July 2021], Group Nine’s brands are built for the platforms where young people spend the majority of their time. Group Nine has over 246M followers and an unduplicated reach of nearly 100M in the U.S. alone [platform analytics, August 2021]. Audiences spend over 80 million hours a month engaging with our category-defining brands [platform analytics, March 2021]. Group Nine has been recognized with hundreds of prestigious awards including Oscars, Edward R. Murrow, James Beard, Cannes Lions, Critic’s Choice, among others.



Priyanka Mantha

VP, Communications, News & Strategic Response


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