Networks feature special programming

This week is the equivalent of the Super Bowl, the Olympics and the Oscars rolled into one for the stewards of NBCUniversal’s Green Is Universal initiative.

To mark Earth Day on Friday, NBCU has put together its most expansive slate of green-themed programming to date, with 100-plus hours of environmentally themed programming airing through Sunday across 45 TV and digital properties.

The “Earth Week” program slate has been a priority for Peacock programmers ever since the Green Is Universal unit was formed in May 2007. This year, the canvas became even bigger in the wake of the Comcast-NBCU merger that brought cablers E!, Style, G4, Golf Channel and kidvid cabler Sprout into the fold. Coordinating the programming and marketing of Earth Week is more than a full-time job for Beth Colleton, veep of Green Is Universal.

“The Comcast branch gave us the opportunity to do Earth Week better than we’ve done it before. They ran — not walked — to be a part of it,” Colleton says. “Having more brands also allows us to collaborate (across) the brands to send a greater message.”

The Earth Week theme this year is focusing on the importance of reuse and recycling efforts to cut down on consumption of materials, natural and otherwise. That allowed for some creative interpretations.

Oxygen’s “Storibook Weddings” skein will feature Tori and Dean planning a “shabby chic” wedding featuring old chairs and couches for seats and mason jars as candle holders. Richard Blais, a recent winner on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” will visit Sprout’s “Sunny Side Up Show” to teach tykes how to do crafts and art projects with items that would otherwise end up in the trash.

NBC’s “Today” will load up on all manner of green-themed segments, including a contest in which viewers were asked to submit handcrafted items made of recycled materials.

News programming will also put an emphasis on examining the long-term impact of last year’s BP oil spill, coinciding with Wednesday’s one-year anniversary of the oil rig explosion that led to the eco-disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

CNBC will also premiere “Fuel,” a docu focused on America’s energy usage, and “Trash, Inc.,” a look at illegal trash dumping in Beijing.

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