Discovery Converts ‘Planet’ to ‘Destination’

4/09/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

New York — America will
have its own cable channel
beginning Memorial Day as
Discovery Communications
(DCI) rebrands environmentally
themed Planet Green
as Destination America, the
company said in its upfront
presentation last week.

The renamed network, to
celebrate the people, places
and stories of the United States,
launches May 28 in Planet
Green’s 59 million homes,
channel president and general
manager Henry Schleiff said.

Four-year old Planet Green
— itself a rebranding of the former Discovery
Home — did not attract a large and broad
enough audience with its focus on green lifestyle
programming, Schleiff said. Planet Green
averaged 156,000 viewers in primetime during
first-quarter 2012, well below Discovery-owned
and operated networks Discovery Channel (1.3
million viewers), TLC (1 million viewers) and
OWN (335,000 viewers).
(For more from Schleiff , see
Viewpoint, page 33.)

In its place, Destination
America will target adults
25 to 54 with a food-heavy
initial summer programming
slate that includes a
new season of BBQ Pitmasters;
Fast Food Mania, with
host Jon Hein; and United
States of Food
, with chef
Todd Fisher. An hour-long
special about extreme roller
coasters premieres June 16.

Elsewhere in DCI’s stable,
Discovery Channel will premiere
four new shows, including
competition series Top Engineer; Mark
Burnett’s Alaska
; Fast and Loud; and a Discovery
Networks International-produced reality
series One Car Too Far.

Animal Planet jumps into the reality competition
waters with a new fishing-themed series
dubbed Top Hooker, part of a slate of 11 new series
and specials slated for 2012-13.

TLC will continue to build on its female and
reality-based lineup with 55 new and returning
series to air in 2012-13, including religiousthemed
series in Breaking Amish, about Amish
men and women living outside the very private
Amish community, and Preacher Ladies, about
Atlanta-area churches’ first ladies.

Schleiff -helmed Investigation Discovery
will premiere three new series this summer
including Deadly Affairs, hosted by soap legend
Susan Lucci. ID has a slate of 12 new series
set for 2012-13 in addition to 22 returning
series — the largest new original lineup ever
for the growing network.

Male-skewing Velocity, the ex-HD Theater, is
adding 250 premiere hours, including Patrick
Dempsey miniseries Road to Lemans.