Pedaling Along With Bill Nye
April 9, 2008 5:32 PM
In keeping with the spirit of upfront season, Tuesday’s Discovery Communications slate announcement at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills included lions, bicycle-powered blenders and Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
Discovery’s new slate, covered here, included standouts like a singing competition show called “The Singing Office” on TLC, “Dave Salmoni: A Year With Lions” on Animal Planet and “Stuff Happens” on Discovery’s newest channel, Planet Green, set to launch June 4.
The Daily Blink met up with “Stuff” host Bill Nye during the reception. Mr. Nye is best known for his Emmy Award-winning series “Bill Nye, the Science Guy.”
Mr. Nye had set up camp next to the Planet Green bar, which was using bicycles to charge batteries to power blenders.
Mr. Nye said “Stuff Happens” is about “surprising connections between our actions and the environment, and the choices you can make, especially as a consumer, to make life better for everyone in the world.”
“To change the world!” he added, with a flourish.
One noteworthy episode he discussed was about the demand for bacon, in which South American sardine farmers are selling fish feed to North American farmers.
“So that when you eat bacon, you’re eating meat that was fed fish. Now, I don’t know how much you know about pigs, but they don’t do a lot of fishing,” he said.
As a result, he said, penguins are suffering because of the harvesting of their food supply.
Speaking of “Bill Nye, the Science Guy,” Mr. Nye gave us a tip that that series could be on the shelves in DVD form sometime before Christmas.
The party was hopping as other Discovery talent and execs mingled, including “L.A. Ink’s” Kat Von D and boyfriend Nikki Sixx, “Entourage’s” Adrian Grenier, promoting his show “The Green Life,” and “How Stuff Works” CEO Jeff Arnold. Discovery bought “How Stuff Works” earlier this year, and the Web site is using Discovery programming clips to help punctuate its articles.
Discovery Channel President-General Manager John Ford said his favorite program coming up on the slate is “One Way Out,” a show where escape artist Jonathan Goodwin breaks out of specially designed traps.
The upfront also saw a slew of rebranding from last year. Discovery Home is changing to Planet Green, Discovery Times rebranded itself earlier to Investigation Discovery, the Science Channel and Animal Planet have new logos and branding, Discovery Health is prepping its transition to the Oprah Winfrey Network. Even Discovery will be sporting a new logo.
“The digital networks are all distinguishing themselves, and for Discovery it’s not so much a rebranding as it is a tweak,” Mr. Ford said.