08/05/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

"Shark Week" On Discovery Channel

They never set out to be television stars, any more than they sought Hollywood fame in those Steven Spielberg movies.

But sharks remain among the most enduring (if unlikeliest) members of TV's A-list. Just consider Shark Week, the summer programming event on Discovery Channel since 1988. Once again, sharks are in the spotlight as Shark Week promotes respect and appreciation for these remarkable animals (with excitement also part of the mix).

Jeff Hasler, Discovery's senior vice president of development and production, said plans for Shark Week undergo a vetting process with "a lot of debate" that eventually settles on six or seven program ideas that make the cut. The new programs, mixed in with reruns, air nightly through Friday and then throughout the day Saturday.

"I think you combine a really compelling animal with a kind of a cultural zeitgeist moment, and it's something that people look forward to every year," Hasler said.

Read more on Los Angeles Times