Greens come in way more than one shade, so the folks at the Discovery Channel and TreeHugger are hoping to reach as many of them as they can through a new partner-based, 24/7 network dubbed Planet Green.
Calling itself the “first and only 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network,” Planet Green launches Wednesday, June 4. The synergy of the TV/Internet partnership promises to deliver a greater range and depth of green information than either medium could provide on its own, according to Eileen O’Neill, president and general manager of the Planet Green network.
“We didn’t want to be a passive network,” O’Neill said during a blogger conference call this week. She describes the new effort as “Discovery meets Bravo meets PBS.”
One particular strength of Planet Green will be how it can appeal to TV viewers with a wide range of interests, including those who wouldn’t necessarily consider themselves environmentalists of any stripe, O’Neill said. What makes the network different is that it will be able to deliver both entertainment and an opportunity to learn much more, if the mood strikes.
Graham Hill, founder of TreeHugger, described how shows on Planet Green will be able to provide Web links to a variety of guides and resources, with the potential to bring Discovery Channel-size audiences to green learning online.
“There are lots of different ways to communicate,” Hill said.
“The entertainment factor is kind of the big carrot, but we absolutely have to have substance with our style,” O’Neill added. Entertainment, she said, “kept coming back as the best way to engage viewers in green TV.”
Planet Green will feature a variety of original green programming, often featuring well known personalities like Emeril Lagasse or Ed Begley Jr. Other celebrities come on board both in front of and behind the camera, as does Leonardo DiCaprio with the network’s series on Greensburg, Kansas, a tornado-devastated community that’s rebuilding in a green and sustainable fashion.
“We wanted certain personalities for the relatability factor, but we also wanted passion,” O’Neill said. “This network is designed to lean forward.”