Discovery Home Channel going Green

wci-chop-2.jpgHere’s a story that has caught me a little off-guard today. According to the New York Times, Discovery Communications will make the announcement today to move the Discovery Home network to a Green Channel. I admit I was surprised when I 1st read this, then as I started writing about the branding change it seemed to make sense.

The home improvement market is over-saturated(network-wise) you got Discovery Home, DIY Network, HGTV, TLC, and all the other shows on various networks, and let’s face it . . . most of the info is not very good, presented poorly, based on lowest common denominator, and always looking for the cheap way to do things(my thoughts). Too much of the same ol’ smae ol’, over and over. What I find really maddening is, it seems every show is produced by the same person. Here’s some of the reasoning for the new branding be the Discovery people:

In addition to satisfying the interests of viewers, Mr. Zaslav said that advertisers now have distinct green budgets in the same way that they have online budgets.

Mr. Zaslav said that the Discovery Channel and its offspring, which includes the Animal Planet and the Learning Channel, have always championed environmental causes like wildlife preservation. However, the new cable channel would specifically promote an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

He noted that the channel would be in more homes — 50 million — than the media baron Rupert Murdoch’s anticipated business news channel, which is expected to start later this year.

Here’s to hoping that the new network doesn’t produce every show in the same way. A 20-something with no real experience in the required field shows us the before and afters of the new green laundry room;

Shows the before laundry room (slow pan by camera) 3 times, and here’s the after (slow pan by camera) 4 times. With the happy couple proudly displaying their wheat-germ detergent, and their fresh and clean hemp undies. I shudder to think.

Kidding aside. It’s apparent the sustainability movement is picking up serious momentum. Discovery Communications wouldn’t make this move unless they thought the viewers were there, enough viewers to have the channle make money.

From my perspective. I am still not getting a lot of request to focus on the sustainability/green movement in residential landscapes. The mantra continues to be . . . low maintenance, we want low/no maintenance, or at the higher end, service contracts are invloved in the design/build process.

Something else I thought was interesting from the NY Times article was this:

For the last two weeks, the main Discovery Channel has gained acclaim and viewers for a documentary series, “Planet Earth,” which it produced with the British Broadcasting Corporation and began showing two Sundays ago.

Asked if the rebranding of Discovery Home suggested that some of the company’s other 14 domestic channels might also be rebranded, Mr. Zaslav said he was looking closely at the portfolio.

Where Discovery Home was concerned, he said he wanted to differentiate the channel by featuring topics like home improvement, cooking and gardening. The channel’s current lineup includes shows with titles like “Cookin’ in Brooklyn,” “Toolbelt Diva” and “Garden Police.”

“The channel is doing well economically,” Mr. Zaslav said, “but it’s not serving this higher purpose.”

To hear corporate types talk about higher purpose brings out the cynic in me. Higher purpose, was does that mean to the bean counters at the network?

Finally the bigger question for me . . . what in the world is going to happen to the Garden Police?

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. where is Holmes on Homes??????

    A Canadian production, not sure it is anywhere on American TV at this moment.

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