Upfronts 2013: Weather Channel Announces Five New Series

Network Planning New Morning Show, Enhanced Local Forecasts for Fall 4/03/2013 9:20 AM Eastern

New York -- The Weather Channel is planning for 2013-14 to be a season of transformation for the network, which will include 20 primetime series, up from eight in 2012.

Network president David Clark detailed five of those new series at The Weather Channel's upfront presentation here Wednesday morning. They include Secrets of the Earth, which premieres May 23 and uses computer graphics and expert scientists to reveal new aspects of the planet; Weather That Changed the World, launching June 6, which explores how weather impacted historic events like the sinking of the Titanic and the Hindenburg disaster; and August's Storm Warriors, which shows how people use incredible machines to work in the world's worst weather environments.

On tap for September is Strangest Weather on Earth, which explores what causes phenomenon like raining frogs and volcano smoke rings, and Freaks of Nature, which searches for people who have the ability to perform feats that would harm or kill the average human. Clark also announced the next edition of its Coast Guard series, Cape Disappointment, following rescuers at the headland in on the Columbia River in Washington.

Those join returning series like Coast Guard Alaska, Deadliest Space Weather, Forecasting the End, Hurricane Hunters, Lifeguard! and Prospectors that helped Weather Channel grow its ratings 10% with adults 25-54 in 2012. will also be investing in original video content with three new Web series premiering online this summer: Brink (June 3), tracking eco-heroes fighting to save embattled species; The Bucket List (July 1), showing the most stunning natural places on Earth; and The Explorers (Aug. 5), profiling people who have battled the most extreme weather on the planet. Each series will release six, two- to four-minute episodes on its debut date.

The network is developing a new flagship morning show to launch in the fall. The project, temporarily dubbed Weather. Set. Go., will look to use Weather Channel's talent to build a multihour destination to help viewers prepare for their day. Weather is also investing in its "Local on the 8s" infrastructure to present on-camera meteorologists with more locally relevant forecasts.

Additionally, the network and Twitter announced a partnership to combine video and promoted tweets for marketers to drive reach and target by location, device and more.

The Weather Channel held the upfront, its first in years, over breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental. On-camera meteorologists Jim Cantore and Maria LaRosa cohosted the event, which opened with a performance by The Human Weather Choir.

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