Travel Channel Gives Viewers New Destinations


Travel Channel — looking to generate greater continuity and boost viewer awareness of its original productions — will revamp its primetime schedule under various programming strands.

Recently named Travel executive vice president and general manager Rick Rodriguez told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour here that beginning in September, the network will place its various specials and anthology series under headings that would allow viewers to better navigate its primetime schedule from hour to hour and week to week.

This scheduling is also designed to enable Travel to better organize its programming resources, he said.

"These clearly defined strands will allow us to deliver more consistent content and will afford us the opportunity to expand upon the depth and the quality of our storytelling," he said.

Come fall, the network will unveil "Weird Travels," encompassing spooky and scary travel destination shows. Also on tap: "Ends Of The Earth," highlighting remote places around the world; "Hidden," chronicling unique subcultures around the globe; "Kings Of The Road," celebrating classic road machines; "Food Crazy," focusing on the world's most delicious destinations; and the self-titled "Travel Channel's Great Outdoors."

As for new programming, Rodriguez said Travel would bow Get Packing, a reality series in which travelers compete to see who can match the traveling needs of a traveling companion, in September.

In other TCA announcements from the Discovery Networks U.S. stable, Animal Planet will bow several new series this summer and fall, including Animal Kidding, a one-hour hidden camera reality series; and Beverly Hills Vet, in which an Australian veterinarian tends to the needs of pampered Los Angeles pets.

Discovery Times Channel announced a slate of new summer and fall programming, including After Saddam
(premiering July 27), which examines post-war Iraq, and Children of the Secret State
(Aug. 19), focusing on the crisis in California public schools. The MLK Boulevard
(October) will explore the social ramifications in cities surrounding streets named after the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Discovery Channel will present Nefertiti Resurrected
on Aug, 17, a special "Discovery Channel Quest" presentation that attempts to uncover the tomb of the famed Egyptian ruler while examining her legend.

BBC America, which benefits from Discovery affiliate support, will import a new comedy series featuring three African-American comedians as part of its summer original-programming lineup.

3 Non-Blondes, a 30-minute hidden-camera comedy show currently airing on Britain's youth-targeted BBC Three network, will premiere in the U.S. Aug. 10, network executives said.