HGTV Builds Green House
House Project Part of Bigger Environmental Picture for Cable Net
One of the more obvious arenas for going green is in your own backyard. To that end, Michael Dingley, senior vice president of programming and creative strategy for HGTV, is exploring a number of new and existing series to bring green initiatives home to consumers.
In perhaps the most publicized of these ventures, HGTV is building a 2,300-square-foot, entirely "green" house near Hilton Head, S.C., and will give it away in a national marketing and sweepstakes promotion set for 2008.
Most of HGTV's plans, however, involve small measures viewers can take every day.
"We want to up awareness, to show people what they can do right now to make a difference," Mr. Dingley said. "We know there are different entry points for people who want to be green. It might be as little as changing your light bulbs."
The green reality series "Living With Ed" has been renewed for a zsecond season, Mr. Dingley said, with actor and activist Ed Begley Jr. and his wife, Rachelle Carson, moving into the realm of assisting others, both "celebrities and regular folks, to make their homes more environmentally friendly."
HGTV also is adding green episodes to some of its regular series, such as "Landscape Smart," and plans to add the how-to series "Red Hot and Green," launched from the special of the same name, set to debut in June 2008. "Red Hot and Green" promises to show viewers "how to go green in your home without sacrificing style."
While the network remains committed to raising public awareness, at least some of HGTV's environmental programming remains firmly in the hands of viewers.
"One of the things we want to see is if green is a very long-term trend, or just a fad," Mr. Dingley said. "We're testing the waters for '07 and '08 to see what the appetite is for green, and [to see] if people watch. So far response has been very strong. We think marketing and consumer awareness could ebb and flow, and once we get more of a temperature change on what the consumers want, we might not go so heavy. But we think it's important in our market, and social awareness is a commitment we have."
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