Discovery Channel Preparing for Doomsday With 'Apocalypse Preppers' (Exclusive)

Discovery Channel is prepping for the end.

The network is debuting a new special, titled Apocalypse Preppers, which takes a look at the "mind-boggling ways" that people are preparing for the end of the world -- which some see as a foregone conclusion, and not just a possibility.

Specifically, the program will put the spotlight on those people who employ survival strategies based on three different eschatological theories:

-- The Black Plague: A disease of healthy people, the dreaded Black Plague once wiped out a third of Europe’s population in the 1340s. Some fear this rapidly fatal illness will not only spread naturally but that it will be used as intentional "biological warfare." Between infected flea bites, skin turning black and open sores, this disease progresses aggressively within a quick 72-hour time frame. Some people plan on resorting to a medieval way of life to avoid a societal breakdown, as most believe antibiotics won’t be enough.

-- Alien Invasion: Some believe that if aliens have the capacity to reach us, they will have the means to destroy us. Between UFO sightings and recent communication between Earth and other planets, the existence of extraterrestrial beings is gradually becoming more acceptable. Viewers will even see the extreme methods preppers engage in to modify their appearances in hopes of confusing the enemy.

-- Robot Rebellion: Some believers think we will be the masters of our own demise once robots prove to surpass the intelligence of humans. They’ll have minds of their own, making 30 to 40 percent of decisions without human control. What they won’t possess, however, is human judgment or the ability to distinguish an enemy from a comrade. Some people are planning to defend against robots by going back to basics with homemade weapons and hideaway fortresses.

Apocalypse Preppers is set to air at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17. 

The special was produced for Discovery by Firecracker Films. Executive producers are Mark Soldinger and Mike Warner for Firecracker and Sean Boyle for Discovery. Tara Hunter is coordinating producer for the network.

Watch a sneak peek, which is exclusive to The Hollywood Reporter, above.