TV Critics Tour: Planet Green Offers The Sublime To The Ludacris

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Beverly Hills, Calif.—Planet Green, doing its first TV critics tour presentation, Thursday trotted out part of its wide-ranging roster of talent, including ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff, rapper Ludacris and rocker Tommy Lee.

At the presentation, Woodruff offered a poignant anecdote about how the producer for his new show for Planet Green helped save his life when he was nearly killed in Iraq.

The network spotlighted several shows that are part of the program lineup for the new channel, which debuted when Discovery Communications relaunched Discovery Home June 4 as an eco-lifestyle network.

“There is something for everyone on Planet Green,” Eileen O’Neill, the network’s president and general manager, said at the Television Critics Association tour.

Woodruff, who is anchoring a weekly eco-newscast called Focus Earth, and Lee, part of Battleground Earth: Ludacris vs. Tommy Lee, appeared via satellite. Ludacris (below, right), whose real name is Chris Bridges, was actually at the TCA session at the Beverly Hilton.

During his panel session, Woodruff fielded several questions relating to his recovery from the devastating injuries he sustained Jan. 29, 2006 during a roadside bombing in Iraq.

The correspondent credited support and help from his family, friends, ABC and his colleague Vinnie Malhotra, who is executive producer for Focus Earth and was actually with Woodruff when he was wounded in Iraq.

Malhotra immediately gave all the credit to Woodruff.

“Self determination and his tenacity played a huge role in his recovery and the speed of his recovery and where he is now,” Malhotra told the TV writers. “It’s an absolute miracle in so many ways.”

In turn, Woodruff said, “It’s pretty unbelievable that right now I’m sitting here, (and) working together after all we went though. It was Vinnie that was in that tank with me when I was shot. Blood was coming out of my neck and held his fingers over that to stop it from bleeding and really, in that sense, helped save my life.”

Focus Earth, produced by ABC News,premieres this Saturday, while the 10-episode Battleground Earth, where Ludacris and Lee take each other on in competitions relating to taking the eco-friendly course of action, debuts Aug. 3.

Ludacris said he is still trying to maintain an ecologically friendly lifestyle, noting that he’s installed solar panels at his Georgia home and that he just bought a Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid.

At the session, O’Neill also announced that a series that Leonardo DiCaprio is executive producing about the rebuilding of a tiny Kansas town destroyed by a tornado, Greensburg, has been renewed for a second season. It will debut next May on the second anniversary of the tornado hitting the town.

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