An increasing number of television viewers are turning away from rude gestures during half-time shows, lewd early evening sitcoms and dark, extreme crime dramas in search of more wholesome viewing options. Fortunately, some in the entertainment industry seem to have heard and heeded the loud sound of remote buttons clicking and are now promoting family-friendly programming options.
“Demand is growing for programming that is positive and truly watchable for everyone in the family, no matter what their age,” says Dave Shull, senior vice president of programming at DISH.
In response, the satellite television provider recently launched a monthly package dubbed “Heartland Package,” which groups together uplifting, wholesome networks like the Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movie Channel, GMC TV, RFD TV, RURAL TV and PixL. “We heard from a significant number of subscribers that there was a desire for this type of programming as an alternative to some of the edgier content that might not be appropriate for all age levels.”
The emphasis on programming that everyone can enjoy – from grandparents to tots – has been brewing for years. Viewers who remember fondly family-friendly programs of yesteryear, like “The Waltons,” “Little House on the Prairie” or “Seventh Heaven,” may feel left out in the cold by many contemporary sitcoms and dramas. Channels like Hallmark, Hallmark Movie Channel, GMC TV and PixL, which focus on family-friendly movies, and RURAL TV and RFD-TV, which blend shows on down-home-style cooking, music programs, raising livestock and farming, have emerged as a more wholesome viewing alternative.
Rural programming has a potentially huge viewing audience; more than 51 million Americans live in rural areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Recognizing the potential of the market, DISH now offers a range of stations that appeal to viewers looking for wholesome, family-friendly entertainment, including:
* Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel – Hallmark programming has become synonymous with positive, meaningful and original entertainment. Both stations feature Hallmark’s signature original productions, with the movie channel focusing on the popular Hallmark movie features.
* RFD-TV – The first 24-hour TV channel dedicated to the interests of rural Americans, the channel launched in December 2000, and offers programs on agriculture, equine and rural lifestyle, traditional country music and entertainment.
* RURAL TV – The sister channel to RFD-TV, the newly launched RURAL TV adds live news and daily market coverage into the entertainment mix, with a focus on the business and policy issues of rural America.
* GMC TV – The Parents Television Council certifies every program on this channel as safe for viewing by families. The channel features gospel music and entertainment that emphasizes uplifting stories appropriate for the whole family.
* PixL – This first 24/7 family-friendly premium channel offers original movies, miniseries and series aimed at inspiring, amusing and entertaining. Programming features big-name film and TV stars.
“The heartland isn’t just a central geographic location in the country,” Shull says. “The name also recognizes that Americans across the county represent the strong commitment to family and hard work that is the core of the American persona. It’s exciting to see the entertainment industry embracing the American heartland with wholesome, unique, original and relevant programming the entire family can enjoy.”
To learn more about DISH’s Heartland Package, log on to www.DISH.com or call (800) 823-4929.