Discovery looks to expand programme repertoire with SARS doc

MUMBAI: Discovery has set itself the agenda of widening its viewership spectrum by increasing the depth of programming. As part of this aim the channel will air the one-hour documentary The Science of SARS on 27 May at 8 pm .with repeats on 31 May at 1 pm and on 3 June at 10 am.

Addressing a media briefing this morning Discovery Networks India's marketing director Aditya P. Tripathi said that the SARS documentary was an attempt on the part of the broadcaster to cover current topics of interest. He pointed out that last year the channel had aired a series of specials to commemorate the 9/11 anniversary. "In the last couple of years we have expanded our genres. We have action and adventure for the teens, a kids slot as well as a time band dedicated to woman. With this documentary our aim is to widen our horizons by moving beyond and below the headlines to see how important issues affect our society. This documentary is not just scientific. It also examines the sociological impact of the virus.

An advantage with this kind of show is that unlike our other programmes which require years of research Science of SARS can be made in a couple of weeks. We are examining a host of topics that we could do specials on and depending on how events unfold we could have a sequel to Science Of SARS."

The one-hour programme is divided into four parts and examines the efforts that Professor Malik Peiris a microbiologist and head of the team at Hong Kong university who discovered the virus are making to find a cure. It also examines quarantine efforts being made by the government to control the spread of the virus. On cracking the SARS code Peiris was surprised at finding that it was a coronary virus which one associates with the normal common cold. The show visits China and Singapore explaining what a virus is in the first place and how SARS is different. "It replicates itself through RNA rather than DNA" Peries explained. The show also warns that SARS is possibly be the prelude to another influenza epidemic which could be even bigger than what was seen in 1918.

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