A&E launches new outreach program

Its "Real Life. Change" program is geared towards inspiring viewers to pledge to make changes in their own lives, with A&E donating a dollar to assorted causes for every pledge.
February 17, 2011

The A&E Network has launched a new outreach program, geared towards inspiring viewers to make changes in their own lives.

The “Real Life. Change” initiative drives viewers to a website ( where they will be able to pledge to make positive changes within their own lives, with the potential to connect with others aiming to make similar changes. For each pledge, A&E says it will donate $1 to a charity supported by the network and its programming, as selected by the viewer.

Among the charities listed are the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Animal Welfare Institute, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America,, Environmental Defense Fund, Mental Health America, Oxfam, Shape Up America!, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Support Police, The Innocence Project, The National Center for Victims of Crime, The Partnership at and the Wounded Warrior Project. At press time, the Beta version of the website boasts “2301 changes made” and US$2301 pledged thus far.

A&E will also feature the initiative in PSAs featuring network talent. The network is also inviting advertisers to take part.

“Viewers witness the power of ‘Real Life. Drama’ every week by watching real people make positive transformations in their lives on A&E series like Intervention, Hoarders and the new series Heavy,” said Robert DeBitetto, president and general manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel.   “‘Real Life. Change’ gives inspired audiences a platform to make positive changes in their own lives and the lives of others.”

The new program echoes The Recovery Project, an outreach campaign launched by A&E in 2008 out of the success of the GRB Entertainment-produced Intervention.

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.