Discovery Communications is giving up on the planet and focusing on the great continent of America. Well, sort of. The cable network conglomerate is rebranding its unsuccessful Planet Green network, and the revamped cabler will be Destination America, "the first network to celebrate the people, places and stories of the United States, emblazoned with the grit and tenacity, honesty and work ethic, humor and adventurousness that characterize our nation."
The mom-and-apple-pie network will be headed up by Henry Schleiff, whose leadership at the company's true-crime network, Investigation Discovery, has made it easily the most profitable property in the Discovery suite and one of the top-rated networks among women 25-54.
The company is emphasizing the apolitical nature of its new cable venture as the 2012 presidential election season heats up.
Destination America will launch May 28 and is likely to be a major part of tomorrow's upfront presentation in Manhattan. Here's a quick sampling of the network's launch slate:
- Super-Duper Thrill Rides, an hour-long series about roller coasters.
- United States of Food, a celebration of America's obsession with meat.
- Cheating Las Vegas (working title), an inside look at all the ways gamblers try to beat the house.
- Ghost Town Gold (also working), an example of what appears to be a mini-boom in gold-related programming—with a plot focused around two American archaeologists who unearth ghost towns.
“Discovery was founded by a true pioneer of cable who pursued his own American dream and, in this spirit, we’re proud to present the first network that showcases the essence of American innovation and hard work at its core," Discovery Communications president and CEO David Zaslav said in a statement.