The Week That Was


With 13 cable networks parading their wares at Discovery’s upfront stage show, advertisers had a lot to digest. Here is a synopsis of key announcements from the biggest channels:

Discovery Channel: Helped in large part by its pricey Planet Earth miniseries, the channel’s total audience was up 23% in prime during the first quarter, to an average 1.36 million total viewers. It will continue to roll out science/nature fare in the coming year, including key new series 10 Ways To Save the Planet, a look at solutions to environmental threats. Other new shows include Last Man Standing, a globetrotting competition for six top-notch Western athletes, and Josh Bernstein’s Adventure, an exploration show with the nature enthusiast.

TLC: Up 15% over last year in prime during first quarter, TLC also is sticking to its bread and butter: lifestyle fare for adults 28-42. Key new shows include Shut Up! It’s Stacy London, a primetime talk show about fashion, and Kleinfeld’s Bridal, a look behind the scenes at the famous New York bridal store.

Animal Planet: The channel will beef up weekend programming this year. A new season of Meerkat Manor will run Fridays, Saturdays will be reserved for theatrical films, and Sunday nights will feature wildlife specials with Terri and Bindi Irwin, the widow and daughter of late naturalist Steve Irwin. The network is also launching a show inspired by PetFinder, the Website it bought last year.

Travel Channel: New series focus on hosted tours of cities in the U.S. and abroad. They include On the Wright Bus With Ian Wright, Weekend In…With Samantha Brown and Life’s a Trip With Andrew Anthony.

Discovery Health: A new slate focuses on family and well-being. The Mommy Docs follows three former school friends who are now partners in an ob-gyn practice and rearing young children of their own; Jon & Kate Plus 8 tracks a family with 2-year-old sextuplets and 6-year-old twins.