New York -- The Weather Channel is planning for 2013-14 to
be a season of transformation for the network, which will include 20 primetime
series, up from eight in 2012.
Network president David Clark detailed five of those new
series at Weather Channel's upfront presentation on Wednesday morning. They
include Secrets of the Earth, which premieres May 23 and uses computer
graphics and expert scientists to reveal new aspects of the planet; Weather
That Changed the World, launching June 6, which explores how weather
impacted historic events like the sinking of the Titanic and the Hindenburg
disaster; and August's Storm Warriors, which shows how people use
incredible machines to work in the world's worst weather environments.
On tap for September is Strangest Weather on Earth
which explores what causes phenomenon like raining frogs and volcano smoke
rings, and Freaks of Nature which searches for people who have the
ability to perform feats that would harm or kill the average human. Clark also
announced the next edition of its Coast Guard series, Cape
Disappointment, which follows rescuers at the headland in on the Columbia
River in Washington.
Those join returning series like Coast Guard Alaska, Deadliest
Space Weather, Forecasting the End, Hurricane Hunters, Lifeguard!
and Prospectors that helped Weather Channel grow its ratings 10% with
adults 25-54 in 2012.
Weather.com will also be investing in original video content
with three new Web series premiering online this summer: Brink (June 3),
which follows eco-heroes fighting to save embattled species; The Bucket List
(July 1), which shows the most stunning natural places on Earth; and The
Explorers (Aug. 5), which profiles people who have battled the most extreme
weather on the planet. Each series will release six, two- to four-minute
episodes on its debut date.
The network is developing a new flagship morning show to
launch in the fall. The project, temporarily dubbed Weather. Set. Go.,
will look to use Weather Channel's talent to build a multi-hour destination to
help viewers prepare for their day. Weather Channel is also investing in its
"Local on the 8s" infrastructure to present on-camera meteorologists
with more locally relevant forecasts.
Additionally, Weather Channel and Twitter announced a
partnership to combine video and promoted tweets for marketers to drive reach
and target by location, device and more.
The Weather Channel held the upfront, its first
in five years, over breakfast at the Mandarin Oriental. On-camera meteorologists Jim
Cantore and Maria LaRosa cohosted the event, which opened with a performance by
The Human Weather Choir.