The Discovery Channel Gets Weird

Paul Rosolie is a wildlife filmmaker, author and naturalist with a focus on the western Amazon.

Dec 3, 2014 at 2:43 pm
click to enlarge Eaten Alive
Eaten Alive

Paul Rosolie is a wildlife filmmaker, author and naturalist with a focus on the western Amazon. He’s worked on tropical conservation projects, won a short film contest hosted by the United Nations and — as viewers will see Sunday — been eaten alive by an anaconda.

Eaten Alive (9 p.m. Sunday, Discovery) follows Rosolie in the Amazon Rainforest, where he effectively captures a green anaconda, dons a snake-proof suit, douses himself in blood and goes head-first into the belly of the beast.

Some are worried about the well-being of the snake and other rainforest inhabitants that encountered Rosolie and the film crew — PETA has publically spoken out against the stunt. But Rosolie claims it serves a greater purpose: to bring attention to the Amazon.

Spoiler Alert: Both Rosolie and the snake make it out OK. Despite Discovery packaging the show like a live Wallenda spectacle, the entire stunt was filmed months in advance. Between show previews and interviews with Rosolie, it appears the true mystery that remains is how he gets out of the giant anaconda. Cue the rhino scene from Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

On the topic of gross-out humor, Discovery has just the lead-in for Eaten Alive. Tune in at 8:45 p.m. for a special episode of Naked and Afraid — one of the most brutal survivor shows on TV — starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. Naked typically involves one man and one woman with wildlife/survivor skills, who are dropped in a remote environment with nothing but one item from home (a knife, fire-starter, pot to boil water) and they must try to survive in the buff for 21 days. This time around, we get the dudes from all things Apatow.


Christmas in Rockefeller Center (8 p.m., NBC) – The annual lighting of the tree, followed by A Saturday Night Live Christmas.

Modern Family (9 p.m., ABC) – When Alex reveals she has a boyfriend, Claire and Phil worry she’s finally cracked and created an imaginary beau. Is his name George Glass? Elsewhere, Gloria and Jay are stuck going to parties they’d rather avoid and Mitchell lets a troubled coworker (Kristen Johnston) crash with him and Cam.

American Horror Story: Freak Show (10 p.m., FX) – Well, we’ve lost one freak (au revoir, Ma Petite!) but gained a new one (shall we call her Penny the Painted Lady?), and all the recent camp shakeups cause Ethel to question Elsa. In the Mott household, Gloria makes a last ditch attempt to protect Dandy when Dora’s daughter (Gabourey Sidibe) comes looking for answers.

South Park (10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Kyle wants to play videogames with his brother but Ike and his friends are more interested in gamer commentaries. In the Marsh household, Stan racks up a hefty bill playing freemium games, forcing Randy (or Lorde?) to perform for extra cash.


Peter Pan Live! (8 p.m., NBC) – Marnie flies! Girls’ Allison Williams stars as the boy who wouldn’t grow up, with Christopher Walken portraying Captain Hook.


Saturday Night Live (11:30 p.m., NBC) – James Franco: Naked, afraid and live as this week’s SNL host. Nicki Minaj performs. Think all this anaconda talk is boosting her record sales?


Brooklyn Nine-Nine (8:30 p.m., Fox) – The Pontiac Bandit is back! Doug Judy (Craig Robinson) returns, back in custody, but his intel on a drug dealer may keep him out of jail yet again.


Regarding Susan Sontag (Premiere, 9 p.m., HBO) – Filmmaker Nancy D. Kates explores the life of writer, activist and cultural critic Susan Sontag and her passionate views, from photography and media to war and illness.


New Girl (9 p.m., Fox) – The roomies head to their respective homesteads for the holidays only to get stuck at the airport. Merry LAX-mas!

The Mindy Project (9:30 p.m., Fox) – December may be holiday season, but to many single girls, it’s engagement season and Mindy is curious about Danny’s proposal plans. Julia Stiles guest-stars.

Sons of Anarchy (Series Finale, 10 p.m., FX) – It’s the end of the road for Sons. In this final ride, Jax tries to come full circle to carry out his father’s wishes for the club.

CONTACT JAC KERN: [email protected] or @jackern