Discovery Communications may be standing firmly behind its flailing Oprah Winfrey Network as it tries to find its footing. It’s Planet Green network -- not so much.
The Silver Spring-based media company announced Wednesday that Planet Green is dead. Or, more accurately, being recycled, into a network that will be called Destination America -- “the first and only network to celebrate the stories of America’s past, present, and future.”
The switchover from green to “red white and blue” – yup, Discovery went there -- happens on Memorial Day in the nearly 60 million homes that have access to the channel.
Destination America will be the first network, Discovery says, 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.”
On Destination America, Discovery said, “barbeque isn’t just good cooking but an expression of our roots.”
And “a job is never just a job – it’s our ingenuity made real.”
And, “places like Alaska are more than untamed beauty – they’re a living symbol of our need to press ahead and walk where no one has tread before.”
Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said Wednesday of the new network, “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.”
Added Henry Schleiff, president and general manager of the new network:
“Americans may be divided by politics, but we are united by our love of country. As a network inclusive to all, Destination America will celebrate this connective spirit by curating the common ground among us: the pluck of the worn saddle, the promise of exploring new territory, and the diversity that has made this nation great.”
The new network’s slate of programs reads like a 1950s tourist brochure:
-“Fast Food Mania” celebrate the country’s “favorite fast food treats and search for the most unusual fast food items and outposts -- from the original Wendy’s restaurant in Columbus, OH, to yuzu spiced fried chicken at KFC in Japan.” The show will be hosted by Jon Hein, who hosts “The Fast Food Show” on Howard Stern’s Sirius/XM station.
- “Super-Duper Thrill Rides” explores the best and most extreme roller coasters in the U.S. – and the non-Destination America areas colloquially known as “the world.”
- “United States of Food” celebrates, Discovery says, “eats” that people across the nation can’t get enough of, including, bacon, steaks, burger, and the world’s largest BLT – you know, the stuff that’s killing us.
- “Cheating Las Vegas” takes a peek inside the world of modern casino gaming “scams” including counting cards and marking decks to computer hacking and malicious spyware.
- “Ghost Town Gold” followers pickers to the “last frontier of American archaeology --- the old ghost towns, abandoned mining camps and industrial graveyards of the Wild West” in search of collectible artifacts.
- And, to help jumpstart the new network, “BBQ Pitmasters” is moving from TLC to the channel, premiering on June 3 with a sneak peek on May 30.