The Military Channel is becoming the American Heroes Channel (and broadening its brand in the process) and IFC is no longer the Independent Film Channel but just plain IFC. (This will not surprise the people who know that the letters in ESPN no longer stand for anything, either.)
The IFC news:
Today at the Television Critics Association, IFC’s President and General Manager, Jennifer Caserta, announced that the TV home of Portlandia, Maron, Comedy Bang! Bang! and other “slightly off” comedies has changed its name from IFC to IFC.
While the network has gone by the name IFC for several years now, it has become a destination for smart and unique alternative comedies. Some have occasionally continued to refer to it by the name that persisted on a piece of paper in the basement of its home office, the Independent Film Channel, but that document no longer exists.
“The name ‘Independent Film Channel’ has been legally retired and IFC as an acronym now stands for nothing,” Caserta said. “Well, it actually stands for a growing number of smart, funny and original alternative comedies, but our viewers already know that. So, starting today, IFC is legally IFC.”
On the heels of its best year ever, with double-digit viewership gains, IFC debuts its newest original comedy TONIGHT. The Spoils of Babylon is a momentous and sweeping tale of forbidden love, betrayal, corruption and bloodshed. The gripping six-part saga features Jessica Alba, Will Ferrell, Jellybean Howie, Val Kilmer, Tobey Maguire, Haley Joel Osment, Tim Robbins, Michael Sheen, Steve Tom and Kristen Wiig with a cameo by David Spade and Molly Shannon and Carey Mulligan voicing a mannequin. The Spoils of Babylon premieres with two back-to-back half-hour episodes tonight at 10 pm ET/PT only on IFC.
The American Heroes Channel announcement:
Discovery Communications, Inc. announced today it will change the name of the Military Channel to American Heroes Channel (AHC). Debuting on Monday, March 3, in 62 million homes, American Heroes Channel expands on the Military Channel’s promise to honor the great defenders of our freedom, while providing a rare glimpse into major events that shaped our world and the trailblazers and unexpected advocates who made a difference. The brand expansion to American Heroes Channel features an expanded mix of programming targeted to an audience of P25-54, with an emphasis on men, and will be supported by on-air, off-air and online marketing elements rolling out starting in a few weeks.
The only network dedicated to the timeless stories in which a challenge appears – be it a situation or a villain – and a hero arises, American Heroes Channel explores compelling and uplifting true stories of the bold men and women who have distinguished themselves by their actions. These are the stories of people and events that transcend time and place: from the heroes of Omaha Beach, to the scientists who worked tirelessly during the Space Race, to the SEAL Team Six takedown of Osama Bin Laden, to a young Marine who saved lives during Hurricane Katrina. These stories bridge the connection between lessons of past and legends of today, and demonstrate – for all generations –how courage and conviction shape the future.
“We see a tremendous opportunity to provide more history-based, narrative-style documentary programming that viewers have come to know and love from Discovery Communications. The American Heroes Channel will be the next great platform for Discovery to engage and entertain an information-hungry audience with a network that provides an exciting intersection of military and history programming,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery Communications.
“Although America is a country born from acts of heroism on the battlefield, true heroism isn’t reserved solely for military,” said Kevin Bennett, General Manager, American Heroes Channel. “We know our viewers love the stories of real-world valor presented by our signature military series, and American Heroes Channel will remain the destination for military fans. However, we’re excited to offer viewers a more diverse voice and storytelling style with American Heroes Channel that captures the best of the Military Channel’s niche appeal while providing viewers with additional insight into contemporary world events and biographical stories.”
American Heroes Channel’s first year will include 17 new series and specials, with four original series and specials launching in the first week. Premiere week programming highlights include:
RAW WAR: THE LOST FILM OF DAK TO
World Premiere Special: Monday, March 3 at 9/8c
RAW WAR presents gripping personal stories through film and photographs from combat cameramen who filmed some of the most significant military engagements in Vietnam. These cameramen risked – and sometimes lost – their lives to capture some of the bloodiest battles of our time. This special reveals an unknown chapter of the Vietnam War through the gripping personal stories behind this newly discovered footage.
AGAINST THE ODDS
World Premiere Series: Monday, March 3 at 10/9c
New Episode Premieres Every Monday at 10/9c
AGAINST THE ODDS showcases awe-inspiring stories of bravery, solidarity and strength on the battlefield. An outnumbered group of soldiers finds themselves in a life-or-death situation. Their enemy is larger, stronger, and determined to win. It’s the real-life “Band of Brothers” as they come together to prove they can’t be beat, doing whatever it takes to overcome the cards stacked against them.
World Premiere Series: Tuesday, March 4 at 10/9c
New Episode Premieres Every Tuesday at 10/9c
CIA: DECLASSIFIED travels back to the Cold War to reveal inside stories of America’s most top-secret missions, drawing from recently declassified documents and insider accounts from the agents tasked with defending American freedoms.
CODES & CONSPIRACIES
World Premiere Series: Sunday, March 9 at 10/9c
New Episode Premieres Every Sunday at 10/9c
This all-new American Heroes Channel series unveils the startling truth and hidden history behind the world’s most iconic, clandestine institutions, top-secret locations, and mysterious symbols.