Ion Life will add eight shows to its lineup in 2009, its second year of operation as a digital multicast, lifestyle programming network.
In addition to a six-pack of off-U.S.TV acquisitions, the network is adding two shows making their U.S. premieres: reality half-hours Say Yes and Marry Me (chestnut Park Media) and Design U (Canamedia). The first features "once in a lifetime" marriage proposals, while the other brings out the inner designer.
The other six being added are Home Team (Litton). Bringing It Home (M Entertainment), Green Matters and Explore (both from Planet Pictures), Home Delivery and Living Better (both NBCU, which has a stake in Ion).
Design U, Bringing It Home, and Green Matters, all 13-episode half-hours, and Home Team, an 18-episode hour, all debut in January. Explore (13 half-hours), debuts in February, while Home Delivery (15 hours) and Living Better (22 half-hours), debut in April.
They join an Ion Life lineup that includes FoodWise, Yoga, Urban Peasant and Girls Gone Fishing.
Ion owns stations reach 94 million households and use the excess digital spectrum on those stations to program digital multicast nets including Ion Life and kids channel Qubo. It is also looking to launch an urban-targetted channel with BET founder Bob Johnson.
Ion has been looking for some help from Washington to convince more cable operators to carry its programming, arguing it is the sort of programming the FCC and Congress should be encouraging.