Discovery puts two new series on sked

Smash Lab hits the air tonight, Bone Detectives starts digging Fridays, and a two-hour spotlight on The Rock is coming in February.

Discovery Channel has two new shows – one about breaking things down and another about digging things up – hitting its sked this week, and the net’s announced new upcoming specials as well.

Smash Lab puts a team of maverick engineers and designers to work breaking things down to see how they work and find out if there’s any untapped potential that can be applied in new ways. Can a car airbag be re-engineered to stop a helicopter from sinking in the sea? The show sets out to investigate such tasks as protecting a building from a massive explosion using only truck bed liner paint. It premieres tonight, Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the 9 pm ET/PT time slot.

Bone Detectives peers into the world of mummies and entombed skeletons as archaeologist Scotty Moore (pictured) seeks to solve their mysteries. Most of the ancient tombs on Moore’s map are protected by lush vegetation, inhospitable terrain, ever-changing weather, dangerous wildlife and man-made obstacles. The 10-episode series, premiering Friday, Jan. 25 at 9 pm ET/10 pm PT, may reel in viewers with a thing for Indiana Jones.

The first new special on the sked is the two-hour docudrama Behind the Great Wall, which will interweave dramatization and interviews with the world’s foremost authorities on the Great Wall and the Ming Dynasty. The film premieres Sunday, Jan. 27 at 9 pm ET/PT.

On Feb. 10, the net will premiere two back-to-back specials on the 20th century’s harshest maximum security prison: Alcatraz. Dungeons of Alcatraz premieres Sunday, Feb. 10 at 8 pm ET/9 pm PT. Alcatraz: Living Hell premieres Sunday, Feb. 10 at 9 pm ET/10 pm PT.