Sundance Channel Spells 'Green' F-U-N

Sundance Channel will look to make its weekly eco-friendly programming block more fun and entertaining with a multiplatform marketing and programming initiative that will feature network series personalities such as Isabella Rossellini and David de Rothschild.

The network will debut six new on-air series as part of the third season of “The Green,” its Tuesday night primetime block of environmental-based programming, on Earth Day April 21, as well as five series that will premiere on the Web via, according to Sundance senior vice president of marketing Sarah Barnett.

Hoping to cut through the clutter of eco-friendly content on cable from such competitors as Discovery Channel's Planet Green, Barnett said the network will promote new content for The Green beginning March 30 with an extensive marketing campaign.

The promotion is the most extensive in the programming block's three-year history, Barnett said — although she would not reveal specific cost figures. It will feature cross-network spots and outdoor billboard advertising in New York and Los Angeles.

“Our target audience knows they should be green and are surrounded by information around how to be green,” she said. “What we're saying this year is that green can also be fun.”

Emphasizing that green is fun and powerful, the network's spots will feature the new Sundance Channel's “Faces of Green” personalities, including series stars David de Rothschild (Eco Trip), Josh Dorfman (The Lazy Environmentalist) and Isabella Rossellini (Green Porno).

“These personalities really represent the best of environmental content out there and are really addressing the issues that we hope will inspire, entertain and also cause our audience to make some positive differences in this planet of ours,” she said. “We think that we're going to broaden and reach a new group of people who really want to understand that green programming is about making positive changes but also about great entertainment programming.”

Among the original series that will debut on The Green beginning April 21 include Eco Trip: The Real Cost of Living, which traces the eco-life of an everyday item from production to disposal; Carbon Cops, in which scientists Lish Fejer and Sean Fitzgerald show viewers how to reduce domestic carbon emissions; The Lazy Environmentalist, in which host Josh Dorfman seeks out environmental skeptics to convince them of the benefits of a green lifestyle; and e² design, narrated by Brad Pitt, which explores the pioneers and innovators in sustainable architecture.

On the Web, the network will premiere on April 1 the second season of Rossellini's Green Porno shorts chronicling the sex life of various creatures, said Barnett.

Other Web titles include Yung Yeti, a series of green-themed animated shorts by Cole Gerst; H2.0, an alternative, artistic look at the importance of water; and EcoHeros, which features interviews with inspirational people within the eco-friendly movement.

“We've developed a programming approach of really drawing people's attention to an emotional engagement with what Green programming can be,” Barnett said.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.