TV Networks Honor Earth Day and Night


PBS airs Frontline's "Poisoned Waters" in recognition of Earth Day. Photo via PBS

If you've watched anything on NBC this weekend, you've noticed the green peacock and eco-messages: "Green Lives Here." It's the second annual Earth Week with 100 hours of "green-themed" shows, PSAs, etc. How's it going to green the Miss USA pageant? Contestants share "go green" testimonials and will compete for a crown made with eco-friendly precious gemstones. Meanwhile, PBS is addressing global warming day and night, from kid's shows to its worthwhile specials and series all evening. What to watch if you're in front of a TV:
With a history of devoting programming to environmental change, PBS brings new and repeats of "green" episodes together on Wednesday night, April 22. In primetime, Frontline airs "Poisoned Waters." There's a special Journey to Planet Earth on "The State of the Planet's Oceans," Jean-Michel Cousteau's "Ocean Adventures" and "Sea Ghosts." Also Nature covers penguins, frogs, the Kalahari, and "The Loneliest Animals." Nova plays "Extreme Ice" and "Last Extinction," and the channel repeats Planet Forward, the new online-centric special about alternative energy.

The Next Green Gen, Earth Day's theme

By day, the eco-games begin as PBS Kids re-brands the morning and afternoon shows with the fourth annual "Share the Earth Day." It features the earth-friendly premiere of Curious George, Sid the Science Kid trying to figure out why dirt is so dirty, Super Why! investigating water conservation, Maya & Miguel planting a garden, and Cyberchase studying the effects of pollution.

PBS also features a web-based channel with exclusive material such as The Greens, created by WGBH in Boston in association with TED, about a family's exploration of sustainability and there's EEKOWORLD, an environment where kids create their own creatures and monitor them in the virtual wild.


Future Earth's vision of Manhattan in "Journey to the End of the World" Photo via MSNBC

Though lots are jumping aboard Earth Day, NBC News dives in with "Green Matters Here" while Access Hollywood calls it "Green Stars Here." MSNBC premieres "Journey to the End of the World" on 4/26 at 10 p.m. A four-part "Future Earth" series in partnership with French and Netherlands production companies,follows the Tara Expedition to the North Pole on a high-tech sailboat to explore how the Arctic is melting.

Nightly News features the "Sea Change" report by environmental correspondent, Anne Thompson, about the oceans, leading to the UN's oceans conference in May. Today goes with green-themed segments like "Who Knew? Earth Day Trivia." CNBC will green "Mad Money" (will Jon Stewart comment again?) and shows "The Carbon Challenge," exploring countries and corporations shrinking their carbon footprint.

Green shows across NBC's platforms includes Oxygen's "Pretty Wicked," with eco-friendly makeovers. Bravo's encore green episodes of "Project Runway" and "Top Design." Sci Fi telecasts "Earth in Peril" movies. USA Network focuses on Green Rockers. And the Weather Channel covers alternative energy, organic food, green building, sustainable lifestyles, the Everglades restoration, and the Amish go solar resurrecting defunct Forecast Earth series which can also be viewed online.

Green or not Green?

From Deal or No Deal to Telemundo, NBC tries to green but is most effective with its news and online. Planet Green it's not. NBC's iVillage ("Green Connects Here") online service features tools on ways to cut consumption and use less but NBC also launches iCue this week, with over 200 videos from the NBC News archives, offering an environmental science collection on topics from climate change to carbon footprints to alternative energy and the history of Earth Day.

So what are ABC, CBS, and endless cable channels doing for Earth Day?

More on the environment and television:
A Farm for the Future: What Television Should Be Like?
Tune in to Planet Green on June 4
Sundance Channel Sees GREEN
Nominations for Hollywood's Greenest
MTV Celebrates Earth Day with Special Programming

Tags: Carbon Footprint | Earth Day | Global Climate Change | Oceans | Television | Water Conservation

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