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Halogen Rides ‘Kony 2012’ Wave

3/19/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

The “Kony 2012” documentary about rebel
leader Joseph Kony’s use of children as soldiers in a twodecade
campaign in Uganda has been seen by millions
of people in a short period of time, thanks to social media
and celebrity endorsements from Oprah Winfrey, Kim
Kardashian, Ryan
Seacrest and other
famous folk.

Halogen TV
hopes to ride on
that tide with the
launch of a documentary
series
about the volunteers
who’ve been
spreading the
word about Kony’s
Lord’s Resistance
Army for the
past six years.

“I don’t know
that we could ever
better strategically
position ourselves
than following the
largest social-media
campaign in history,” Kyle Chowning, Halogen’s
vice president of marketing, said. “That is something we
are trying everything we can to ride the momentum on.”

Roadworthy: The Invisible Children Tour is a 10-episode
series (at 30 minutes each) about six of the young volunteers
who set aside about two and a half months to travel
the country hosting screenings of Kony-related documentaries,
raising awareness of a conflict that had been
going on in Africa for 26 years, according to Halogen.

“This is like Road Rules meets The Real World, all in the
same show,” Chowning said, referring to two MTV reality
shows.

It debuts on Halogen on
Sunday, April 15, at 9 p.m.

The Inspiration Network
s-owned out let
hopes to add new homes
to its distribution because
of the series, which
it is promoting via ads in
trade magazines (including
with ads in Multichannel
News
) and directly to
consumers via social media,
officials said.

Because the network is
only in about 15 million
homes now, the series
also will air on Halogen’s
Web site (Halogentv.com), general manager Becky Henderson
said.

She said the series was more than a year in the works. Invisible
Children’s cause was a good fit for Halogen’s format,
which is to show “empowering entertainment.”

Henderson said surveys of millennials, including the
McCann Worldgroup study, show they respond strongly
to values such as making
the world a better place
and being remembered
for helping friends and
family. “Who’s programming
right now to meet
those felt needs?” she
asked. “We stand up for
injustices, we stand up
for purpose.”

Chowning said the
original plan was to air
the series last September,
but it was delayed
“for various reasons.”
Now, it’s scheduled to
premiere just ahead of
organized “Blanket the
Night” gatherings across
the country on April 20, where volunteers will head out
and hang posters about the “Stop Kony” movement.

Chowning said Halogen has reached out to affiliates,
alerting them to the series and asking them to
get involved.

The network had planned to help facilitate home
screenings or “premiere parties” to show the first
two episodes of the series, thinking maybe 25 viewers
might sign up. “Now, about 800 people want to
do it,” Chowning said.

Henderson said future Roadworthy seasons would
follow other advocacy groups that “hit the road for
a cause.” This documentary, produced by Halogen’s
Tyler Garnett, was conceived as the pilot.

September