Scripps Nets Revises HDTV Plans

Scripps Networks is changing its high-definition game plan.

Rather than offering distributors one service aggregating content from across Food Network, Home & Garden Television, Do It Yourself and Fine Living, the programmer plans to launch two distinct HD services next year, anchored by programming from its two principal services.

HGTV in High Definition is scheduled to bow in January, while Food Network in High Definition is slated to roll out in next year’s second quarter, according to Scripps officials.

Scripps Networks president John Lansing said the company is more than doubling the original number of hours it will produce in HD to more than 1,000 -- a total that can feed both networks.

"Once we started looking at the unique offerings of our networks as an overlay to what is currently being offered to viewers in a hi-def format, we shifted our strategy," he said in a prepared statement. "HGTV and Food Network are such distinct networks and such powerful brands each in their own right that we would be leaving a real opportunity on the shelf by combining everything into a single lifestyle channel."

The enhanced HGTV service will not only feature some 400 hours of HD programming -- including Extreme Homes of Europe, My First Place, Small Spaces/Big Style and Offbeat America -- but an additional 100 hours of HD fare from DIY.

The HD Food service will feature an additional 400 hours of original content, including Food Vacation shot on location in Italy, Alton Brown's Good Eats and Giada's Italian Holiday with Giada Delaurentis.

Programming from Fine Living will also be incorporated into one or both of the new HD networks, as will select international acquisitions from production companies in Spain, France, Germany, England and other nations.