Family of nets funding 200 series, specials

Amping up the showmanship, the newly repositioned Discovery staged an upfront presentation Wednesday that ran nearly as long as Discovery’s sprawling “Planet Earth” series.

There were a couple of news nuggets thrown into the three-hour marathon at the Rose Theatre in Columbus Circle, to go with already announced highlights such as Oprah Winfrey’s network (the former Discovery Health) and Discovery Times morphing into true-crime Investigation Discovery.

Among the new offerings not covered at a similar L.A. presentation earlier this month:

  • Jennifer Lopez is starring in a reality series for TLC that will follow her creation of a fragrance line. Her balancing of her career and being the mother of twins will be the focus of the show (a logical fit for the network that airs “Jon & Kate Plus 8″ about a couple raising sextuplets and twins).

Lopez came onstage for brief baby banter, extolling the joys of motherhood but also signaling the restarting of her movie, music and merchandising efforts.

  • ABC’s Bob Woodruff will host a weekly environmental skein produced by ABC News for air on Discovery’s new Planet Green network. Planet Green launches June 4.

Discovery Channel CEO David Zazlav opened the event by announcing the company’s family of nets is funding 200 original series and specials, a new record.

Another attention-getter was the rebranding of Animal Planet as a more aggressive and edgy net. G.M. Marjorie Kaplan came out amid dry ice to proclaim its new aim: “We will give you everything from the maternal instinct to the killer instinct,” she said.

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