Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. announced it has given JWM Productions access to film a new Discovery Channel reality series that will explore underwater shipwrecks and the artifacts contained within.

Production on the 11-episode series -- which will be filmed in high-definition format -- is scheduled to begin immediately and will follow Odyssey's 2008 Atlas Search expeditions. 

"This series will give our viewers a front row seat as Odyssey's archaeological and forensics teams search for sunken treasures and unravel the mysteries of long-lost shipwrecks," said Discovery Channel president John Ford.  "This compelling 11-part series will show viewers the intense drama of underwater detective work and we are excited to have JWM creating this series for our audiences around the globe."

Each episode of the series will follow the Odyssey Marine Exploration team as they take to the high seas to hunt for underwater archaeological sites and shipwrecks that were buried beneath the ocean's surface.  In addition, the show will give viewers a glimpse at forensic analysis of the artifacts and underwater video shot with Odyssey's Remotely Operated Vehicles.

The team will also have several hurdles to overcome, including everything from dealing with inclement weather to bureaucratic roadblocks.

"Odyssey is recovering not only treasures, but fascinating shipwreck stories from the bottom of the world's oceans. And our job is to deliver these stories, discoveries and adventures to Discovery's viewers in a way that brings them right into the action,” said JWM Productions president Jason Williams.  "We're looking forward to an exciting season with unparalleled coverage of Odyssey's operations."

Previously completed Odyssey explorations include the 2003 discovery of the SS Republic -- a Civil War era shipwreck -- and recovery of over 50,000 coins and 14,000 artifacts from the nearly 1,700-foot deep site; and the May 2007 recovery of over 500,000 silver and gold coins from a Colonial era site code-named "Black Swan."

Odyssey currently has several shipwreck projects in various stages of development around the world.

"We have the most experienced team of shipwreck explorers in the world manning our ships, and on a regular basis they make amazing discoveries in the deep ocean - things that have never before been seen by human eyes. We're proud of the exploration and archaeological work our team accomplishes in the challenging offshore environment, and for a long time we've been looking for the right format to share the excitement of our expeditions with viewers around the world," said Odyssey's CEO Greg Stemm. 

The untitled series is currently slated to premiere next year.