TCA: Discovery Renaming Fit & Health To Life

Jan. 15 Change Adds New Shows On ‘Life, Unexpected’
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Discovery Communications is renaming its Discovery Fit & Health Network to Discovery Life Channel on Jan. 15, 2015, the programmer said ahead of a morning presentation tomorrow (July 9) at the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills.

The change is targeting an audiences ages 25-54, especially women, with programming that expands beyond a current lineup of health, medical and factual shows with new series that "explore life's unexpected challenges and the moments that really matter," the network, which is under Discovery group president Henry Schleiff's purview along with several other Discovery brands, said. Jane Latman remains as general manager and continues as senior vice president of development for Investigation Discovery.

Medical anthologies such as Medical Mysteries, Trauma Drama and Medical Incredible will initially be the Discovery Life focus, and similarly titled series Mystery Diagnosis, Medical Detectives and Untold Stories of the ER will carry over from Fit & Health. The channel has more than 10 new series and special in development, it said. Three initial titles it's developing are Families On The Brink, about issues that form into a crisis point; Ripped Kids, about kids who compete for strength on stage, and Tales From The Maternity Ward, about what happens inside busy hospital delivery rooms.

Discovery Fit & Health, currently in 47 million homes, joins a list of Discovery's smaller brands that have been converted in an attempt to get more audience impact. They include Investigation Discovery (formerly Discovery Times), OWN (a joint venture that used to be Discovery Health), The Hub (another J.V., formerly Discovery Kids), American Heroes Channel (which was Military Channel until this past March), Velocity (the former HD Theater) and Destination America (formerly Planet Green), in descending order of their subscriber size. Schleiff is group president of ID, Destination America, American Heroes Channel and Discovery Life Channel.

In a release, Schleiff said: “This transition signifies Discovery’s commitment to providing audiences with the very best non-fiction content on television, and we are excited to unveil a reinvigorated network that aims to attract new viewers while delivering the high-quality and high-stakes programming our current audience loves. Broadening to Discovery Life Channel gives us a chance to make bigger, bolder programming choices while always, central to our brand mission, revealing life at its most critical turning points.” 

The renaming channel's new online site is DiscoveryLifeChannel.com.

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