Mainer’s cave-diving ‘Monsters Underground’ show gets bumped up to Discovery Channel, premiere date announced

Former Portland doctor Casey Onik, a scientist on the "Monsters Underground" team, explores a cave during an episode of the show. (Photo courtesy of Destination America)

Former Portland doctor Casey Onik, a scientist on the “Monsters Underground” team, explores a cave during an episode of the show. (Photo courtesy of Destination America)

In the days before “Monsters Underground” was scheduled to premiere on the cable channel Destination America — Aug. 22 — I received word from the channel’s publicist that it was a no-go, and that she’d be able to announce a new premiere time as soon as details became available.

While it certainly sounded like the show’s debut was just being delayed a little bit, whenever a program is hauled off the air at the last moment, it does make you worry.

“Monsters Underground,” as you may know from reading about it here in the Bangor Daily News, is a reality show following a team of cave-diving cryptid hunters led by Bill Brock, of Durham, Maine, and including former Portland doctor Casey Onik.

Among the fantastical creatures Brock, a longtime Bigfoot researcher, seeks out in the show are the bat-like Olitiau in Arizona and the one-eyed sloth-like Mapinguari in California.

Well, now it appears the scheduling change was a good thing for the “Monsters Underground” team. Instead of a premiere on somewhat more fringe channel Destination America, the show will debut on Thursday night on the more mainstream Discovery Channel, with two episodes to air at 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., respectively.

Click here for a taste of what’s in store.

The publicist was not able to say at this point when future episodes will air, but the channel change will result in a big jump in potential exposure for the show right off the bat. Discovery is the reportedly the second most-widely distributed cable channel in the United States — behind TBS — and reaches 409 million households worldwide.

Destination America, which is in the Discovery family of sub-channels, reaches about 60 million U.S. viewers, by comparison. Even if the move to Discovery is temporary, it should serve to create legions more fans of the show than if it premiered on just about any other channel.

On Thursday night, Buck’s Naked BBQ at 50 Wharf St. in Portland will hold a viewing party for the premieres of “Monsters Underground” and an associated “Temp Tales: Crittah Gittahz” cartoon by the guys from the well-known O’Chang Comics team. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.