Planet Green is making changes and is looking for original commissions and coproductions, says its president and GM, Laura Michalchyshyn. Realscreen met up with Michalchyshyn at MIPCOM, where she elaborated on the significant changes to the network, as well as what she’s looking for.
Since Michalchyshyn has only been at her post since February of this year, she has already implemented significant changes, including creating a New York office where one-third of the Planet Green resides, the rest in Silver Spring. Now comes a remit change for the network. Planet Green was launched as an eco-style network in June 2008, and now Michalchyshyn is expanding the programming mandate to include passionate and forward thinking, inspirational stories and the mavericks who are making changes to the world. Although environmental programming will still live on Planet Green, design, ecology, architecture and food will also have a home there. She also says that there will be a move away from DIY and home programming on the network. ‘I don’t want to do how-to, we’re beyond that,’ she says.
The changing brand is aiming at an audience that is engaged, skews both male and female and is aged 18 to 54.
A good example of the type of programming that Planet Green is looking for is the newly announced World of Wonder docu-series Beekman Farm(w/t), described as a funny ‘fish out of water’ story revolving around a couple reviving an estate and farm in upstate New York, complete with a narcissistic llama, goats, pigs and chickens. The network has greenlit the 10-episode series scheduled to premiere in late Spring 2010.
For a breakdown of what Planet Green’s programming, Michalychyshyn says that a significant percentage of programming, 60%, is original; 25% of the shows are coproductions and 15% are acquisitions. She is looking for series, one-off docs, commissions and coproductions.
At MIPCOM, Michalchyshyn was looking to acquire docs and series for 2010 and 2011. ‘We need 150 hours over the next year, a combination of acquisitions, coproductions and commissions,’ she says. She was also looking to acquire for Reel Impact, the documentary block on Planet Green. Docs already lined up to air include The 11th Hour, Who Killed the Electric Car? and Coal Country.
As well, she’s looking for short form content for the Planet Green website. When it comes to the web she is looking for ‘journalistic focus and added content.’ She adds that there are no parameters.
Planetgreen.com is debuting a season of short-form programming on October 26, beginning with 100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear. The 100 x one-minute series will be joined by food show Organic A to Z; Fast Forward, which revolves around people making a difference, and City Shorts(w/t), which takes a look at how urban centers are changing for the better.