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Inspiration Lights Up Halogen Network

10/26/2009 12:20 PM Eastern

Inspiration Networks has rebranded its religious and lifestyles i-Lifetv service as the Halogen Network, in an effort to reach a younger, more socially-conscious viewer.

The new multiplatform service — which was scheduled to debut Saturday, Oct. 24 — features original and licensed programming that moves away from Inspiration’s more religious-tinged fare toward a more entertainment-based channel targeted to 18-to-34-year-old viewers who want to make a difference with their lives, according to Halogen general manger Rebekah Henderson.

“Our research looked at who [the 18-to-34-year-olds] were and found that they were people that cared about their community, country and environment and wanted to make a difference,” she said. “We thought, 'What if we could create a brand on television that speaks to these longings, while entertaining and inspiring them to do the things they say they want to do?’”

The network replaces Inspiration’s 11-year old i-Lifetv religious/lifestyles channel and takes over its 13 million households, per deals reached with i-Lifetv distributors. It’s unclear whether Halogen will charge a monthly license fee similar to i-Lifetv’s nearly 5 cents per subscriber.

“i-Lifetv has been a pioneering, lifestyle network …but our research and feedback from consumers and our distribution partners demonstrated that it was time for a new vision,” INSP chief operating officer Bill Airy said in a statement. “Halogen targets an underserved demographic group, meeting the needs not only of the market but also of our distribution partners.”

Halogen launches with a slew of original and exclusively licensed content that reflects a wide span of genres including comedies, dramas, documentaries and magazine shows. Among the original shows debuting on the channel include Tainted Love, which explores sex trafficking in the U.S.; Noble Exchange, which showcases the beauty and culture of countries around the world; Jump Shipp, a documentary/reality pilot which stars motivational speaker Josh Shipp as he looks to inspire someone stuck in a dead-end career; and Alumni, a dramatic reality series that follows five recent college graduates as they search for meaning and purpose in the face of real-world challenges.

Henderson said that unlike other networks, Halogen will allow viewers to watch pilots to help determine whether the network should green-light them as series.

“We want this network to be a voice for the viewer and a platform for them,” she said. “There are so many people out there that are doing great things, and we want to highlight them.”

On the new-media side, the network launched its Web site (halogentv.com) several months ago. Various blogs promote the upcoming programming, according to Henderson.

Eventually, the site will offer Web-exclusive programming and social media tools, with mobile content extensions expected to launch next year, she said.

Halogen will be available to operators in both standard-definition and high-definition, with a companion VOD service launching in early 2010, Henderson said.

September