There’s no shortage of ways to watch TV nowadays. Phones, tablets and computers double as streaming devices, while programming comes from a multitude of services.
Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+ reign as some of the industry giants, but new services continually pop up, giving TV-watchers more options than ever.
Those who are hooked on reality TV — whether it be true crime, food, home improvement, love and relationships, nature, science and technology, adventure or something somewhere in between — have another option as of the beginning of the year.
Discovery+ launched Jan. 4 as a non-fiction subscription streaming service with shows from channels like HGTV, Food Network, TLC, OWN, Animal Planet, History Channel, Travel Channel, A&E, Science Channel and — of course — Discovery Channel. That means episodes of popular shows like “Chopped,” “House Hunters,” “90 Day Fiance,” “Dr. Pimple Popper” and “Duck Dynasty” are available. There’s also a whole host of documentaries from Investigation Discovery for all those true crime fanatics like myself. And nature fans will be pleased to see a selection of episodes from the BBC’s “Planet Earth.”
The service boasts the “largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service, including more than 50 original titles and over 150 hours of exclusive content. The service will premiere more than 1,000 hours of original content in year one,” according to its website.
Honestly, just scrolling through the alphabetical list of content has me a little overwhelmed with how many options there are, but that’s probably a good thing.
But even with loads of content, a new streaming service like discovery+ likely wouldn’t survive long without plenty of its own original content. Netflix seems to have that figured out, as the No.1 subscriber-based streaming service in the world with 195 million subscribers as of October 2020, and more than 400 original titles. Netflix leads its main competitors — Hulu, Amazon Prime and Disney+ — in both subscribers and original content. Amazon comes next with 150 million subscribers and upwards of 300 original titles, followed by Hulu hovering around 100 original titles, and Disney+ with just over 40, including “The Mandalorian,” set in the Star Wars universe. It should be noted Hulu is a subsidiary of Disney.
Discovery+ is coming into the market swinging, with more than 50 original titles, including previews of 10 series set to debut on Magnolia Network. For HGTV enthusiasts who have enjoyed Chip and Joanna Gaines’ “Fixer Upper” over the years, Magnolia Network is the couple’s new network, set to go live later this year.
Many original titles are continuations of already popular shows, like “90 Day Bares All,” “90 Day Diaries” and “90 Day Journey” giving “90 Day Fiance” fans even more content with their favorite couples.
“Chopped Challenge” brings the high-stakes energy of the “Chopped” kitchen into the homes of Judges Maneet Chauhan, Scott Conant, Amanda Freitag, Marc Murphy, Marcus Samuelsson and Geoffrey Zakarian, who put their own skills to the test with mystery basket ingredients.
While many fans of the HGTV classic “House Hunters” love to throw in their own couch commentary while watching couples find their dream home, celebrities apparently like to do the same. Led by comedians Dan Levy and Natasha Leggero, “House Hunters: Comedians on Couches Unfiltered” features unfiltered color commentary on past episodes of the home-buying show with celebs like Seth Rogan, John Mulaney, Ali Wong, Chelsea Peretti and Blake Griffin.
For those “Say Yes to the Dress” fans who wonder how the prestigious New York City Kleinfeld Bridal boutique is getting by during the pandemic, “Say Yes to the Dress: In Sickness and in Health” features fan favorites Randy Fenoli and Hayley Paige on a quest to help brides save their special days in spite of COVID-19.
Dr. Sandra Lee returns for “Dr. Pimple Popper: This is Zit” to recount some of her favorite pops over the years for those (like me, I’ll admit it) who get satisfaction out of the gross art of pimple popping.
True crime fans can delve deeper in the famed JonBenet Ramsey case or journey across the country with Investigation Discovery homicide detective Lt. Joe Kenda.
Dame Judi Dench takes viewers on a trip to the lush rainforests of Malaysia, while former soldier-turned-TV host Ant Middleton takes on the feat of a lifetime — climbing Mt. Everest.
Ad-supported subscriptions are $4.99 a month, with an option to watch ad-free for $6.99 a month. Viewers can stream on their TVs via Amazon Fire Stick, Android TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku or Samsung Smart TV; on both Apple and Android phones and tablets; on the web with Chrome OS, MacOS and Windows PC; or on Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.
No matter the genre, if you’re someone who likes unscripted TV, discovery+ might be your new best friend.