News

Planet Green Sprouts First Slate of Shows

4/11/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

Discovery Communications will put Planet Green, its 24-hour eco-lifestyle network, into orbit June 4, with programming featuring talent as diverse as Entourage’s Adrian Grenier, Emeril Lagasse and Tom Brokaw, officials said last week.

The giant programmer is rebranding Discovery Home Channel as the new green network, which at launch will reach 50 million homes with more than 250 hours of original green-lifestyle programming.

A diverse group of celebrities and personalities “will share their passion for the planet” through a variety of series and specials, according to network officials.

Viewers will get a sneak peek at Planet Green’s offerings later this month through a series of video-on-demand premieres and the official launch of PlanetGreen.com.

Planet Green’s original programming will attempt to mix up-to-date information on green living with pop culture icons and personalities.

For example, in one series rapper/actor Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and rocker Tommy Lee will battle to see who can out-green the other as their entourages hit the tour route.

Beginning April 17, viewers will get a look at what’s to come on Planet Green with VOD premiere episodes of series such as Wa$ted, Mean Green Machines, Renovation Nation and Greenovate.

Simulcast in HD, Planet Green will offer a roster of original series beginning in June that includes: Emeril Green, in which the noted chef shares his philosophy on top-quality foods; The Green Life, where Grenier shows viewers how to live the “green life”; Greensburg, about the rebuilding of a town leveled by a tornado; and Supper Club With Tom Bergeron, where the host of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars invites viewers to be a fly on the wall at a Hollywood dinner party.

In the third quarter, Planet Green will premiere Battleground Earth: Ludacris vs. Tommy Lee, where the two stars are pushed to the limit as they attempt to keep their high-wattage acts on an eco-friendly course.

And following the response to Discovery Channel’s Global Warming: What You Need to Know with Tom Brokaw, the award-winning journalist will do a series of specials for Planet Green.

Discovery Communications’ mothership service, Discovery Channel, also had a major announcement last week. In the wake of its success with the Emmy-wining Planet Earth series, Discovery Channel is once again partnering with the BBC Natural History Unit to co-produce the eight-part documentary Frozen Planet.

The ambitious new project is set to air in 2012 and will be shot entirely in high definition using cutting edge technology — the Cineflex, manufactured by Axsys — to allow for undisturbed observation of animal behavior. The project will chronicle the eco systems and animals of the Arctic and Antarctic, which is extremely timely given that both Polar Regions are on the frontline of climate change research.

The Arctic and Antarctic remain the greatest wilderness on Earth, and much of these regions and animal behaviors have never been filmed before, according to Discovery Network. Until recently the Russian Arctic has been closed to filmmakers, and most of Antarctica’s most spectacular scenery has never been recorded, the network said. Almost all polar wildlife feeds in the sea, and yet the whole under ice world remains unseen.

Discovery Channel was the BBC’s co-production partner for Planet Earth, which won four Emmys — including one for best non-fiction series — and was a ratings hit.

Following each episode of Frozen Planet, three minutes of exclusive behind-the-scenes footage will show viewers exactly how filmmakers secured the series’ most memorable images. Additional behind the scenes stories and video, and in-depth information about our planet and its animals and habitats, will be available in the Frozen Planet Web site on Discovery.com. The site will also include a news feed, photo gallery and informative games and puzzles.

September