12:16pm PT by Kimberly Nordyke
Science Channel Sets Alien-Themed Programming for 'Are We Alone?' Month (Exclusive)
Science Channel's "Are We Alone?" month returns in March with a slew of new programming exploring the question of extraterrestrial life.
The lineup will include new episodes of Alien Encounters, examining what would happen if aliens invaded Earth, as well as the new special, Aliens: The Definitive Guide, which Science Channel calls an "Encyclopedia Galactica of non-Earth life forms." Other programming includes specials centering on the planets Mars and Venus.
“'Are We Alone?' month was a big hit for Science Channel last March. We invited viewers to join the search for extraterrestrial life, and it’s clear that everyone enjoys programming of an alien kind,” said Debbie Adler Myers, executive vice president and general manager of Science Channel. “Especially the way our network approaches it -- with a uniquely scientific perspective. This year, Science Channel has four world premieres that use stunning visuals, world-renowned experts and enthralling storytelling that help us to once again own the alien category."
In partnership with the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence Institute, the Discovery Communications-owned cable network kicks off the programming event at 10 p.m. March 5 with Alien Encounters: The Invasion, followed a week later with Alien Encounters: The Offspring.
The two episodes pick up where last year's left off (those shows centered on how extraterrestrials might communicate with Earth and discussed the ramifications). This year, the show will explore what would happen if a swarm of alien spacecraft, hovering in the Earth’s atmosphere, suddenly deposit thousands of mysterious capsules on the surface that begin to multiply as humans scramble to brace for the unknown. Alien Encounters is produced by Karga Seven Pictures.
Meanwhile, Aliens: The Definitive Guide premieres at 10 p.m. March 19, followed by another new episode the following week. The show, from Arrow Media and Handel Productions, will take viewers to remote locations on Earth and throughout the galaxy to gain a better understanding of what mankind currently knows about life beyond our planet, including Earth-like exoplanets.
Along with the on-air programming, ScienceChannel.com and SETI are again teaming up to offer a unique digital component for "Are We Alone?" month.
During the month, Science Channel also will air premiere NASA's Mission to Mars at 9 p.m. March 19. The special focuses on the science behind the Curiosity rover and its journey to the red planet.
Meanwhile, Transit of Venus, which premieres at 9 p.m. March 26, will center on the rare astronomical event that occurred on June 5, 2012, when Venus passed directly between the Earth and the Sun.
Watch a preview of "Are We Alone?" below.