June 9, 2008 —
Wednesday evening marked the debut of Planet Green, the Discovery Channel's $100 million gamble that the renewed zeal for environmental protection and carbon cutting will translate into ratings and advertising revenue. The later seems like a fairly simple proposition considering that the past two years have seen green marketing grow into a fairly ubiquitous presence on the airwaves. Planet Green already boasts some big sponsors like General Motors, which signed an exclusivity agreement to be the only automotive advertiser on the network. The question remains though: will the viewers come?
The Discovery Channel seems to be hoping that big names will provide the draw. Perhaps taking advantage of the prevalence of concerned environmentalists in Hollywood these days, Planet Green is producing an initial 100 hours of original programming featuring the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Emeril Lagasse, Ludicris, Adrian Greiner, Ed Bagley Jr., and a host of other notables.
As is the case with most cable start-ups, Planet Green isn't available everywhere, and there will be plenty of reruns as it fills out its programming schedule. Here are a few of the network's first offerings:
- Alter Eco: Adrien Greiner hosts this eco-makeover show in which ordinary Americans learn how to green their lives.
- Living with Ed: A reality show starring one of America's most devoted environmentalists, Ed Begley Jr. and his wife Rachelle. Ed's home and lifestyle take living green to just aboutt the furthest extreme imaginable.
- Hollywood Green: Think of it as the "Access Hollywood" celebrity environmentalism.
- Mean Green Machines: A show that looks at the present and future of green vehicles.
- Greensburg: In 2007, a tornado virtually destroyed the town of Greensburg, Kansas. In this 13-part Leo DiCaprio produced series, the citizens attempt to rebuild their town to be more environmentally friendly.