Family Has a Home: TV Network Has Something for Everyone

In a world that thrives on bad news and sensationalized storytelling, it can be difficult to find programming consisting of genuine and authentic shows about family.

Research suggests that 42 million adults are looking for programming with family in mind.

Enter UP TV, a network whose mantra is We Get Family, and is staying true to its brand by ushering in shows that bring adult viewers all the fun, dysfunction and love that defines the modern American family.

“With family as our framework, we are filling a void in the media landscape as the brand families trust most to bring them positive programming,” said Charley Humbard, president and chief executive officer, UP.

That is how UP is finding its niche with families — through its brand. From shows about a single mom to parents with sextuplets to a family with 19 kids, UP is all about relatable and entertaining storytelling.

“We believe family, whether through blood, friendship or community, provides us with the most emotional and memorable experiences in our lives. It’s a journey with highs and lows and everything in between.”

No doubt, with an endless array of choices, it can be difficult to find good, authentic, entertaining stories that viewers can feel great about watching. UP seems to have found its footing through original programming such as Growing Up McGhee, Bringing Up Bates, and Jo Frost: Nanny On Tour, as well as syndicated series such as Parenthood, Gilmore Girls and America’s Funniest Home Videos.

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Family Friday Destination: Try This TV Trio

Family time can be scarce these days, with activities and distractions pulling parents and kids in every direction. But a family-friendly television network, INSP, wants to change that. In an increasingly polluted television environment, they are one network trying to offer a breath of clean air.

Building its alternative one show at a time, INSP recently kicked off “Destination Fridays,” a trio of programs that are appropriate for audiences of all ages. “State Plate,” starring Taylor Hicks (of American Idol fame), is the newest original series to join INSP’s Friday lineup. Each episode features the cuisine of a particular state. During the show, Hicks visits farms, ranches, markets, festivals, and other diverse and unusual locales as he assembles a plate of the most popular foods in each state.

For example, viewers can expect to learn about crab cakes in Maryland, peach treats in Georgia, potatoes in Idaho, and chili in Texas, along with the interesting history and often humorous stories behind each state’s food traditions.

Joining “State Plate” on Fridays is “Handcrafted America.” Host Jill Wagner journeys across the country, introducing viewers to unique, gifted, and entertaining artisans who preserve and build on traditional skills as they make arts and crafts the old-fashioned way – by hand.

“Destination Fridays” kicks off each week with “Cash Cowboys.” The show features Scott Cozens, a journeyman electrician- turned-lawyer, and Sheldon Smithens, a third-generation antiques dealer and auctioneer. Together, the pair rummage through barns, basements, attics, sheds, flea markets, and more in search of hidden treasure, sporting their signature cowboy hats and Western gear. The hook: They will buy anything — from motorbikes to folk art memorabilia — in hopes of turning a profit.

But these cowboys aren’t just about the money; they have a passion for the past, the thrill of the chase, and the surprise of the unexpected gem. From the producers of “American Pickers,” the series has tested well with INSP’s core family audiences, and promises to entertain fans of antique and “picker” shows as well.

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The Cowboy Way Highlighted In New TV Series

Much of cowboy culture focuses on the more glamorous aspects of riding across the range into the sunset. While the lives of real cowboys in America today retain some of those romantic elements, there’s plenty of daily drama and struggle, as well as friendship and fun.

A new series on family-entertainment television network INSP showcases the lives of three cowboys in Alabama who are maintaining the common cowboy code while trying to make a living building a cattle business in South Alabama.

Today’s cowboys have to cope with long hours, injuries, and uncertain income, but the three men featured in The Cowboy Way: Alabama wouldn’t want it any other way.

Their co-ownership of the Faith Cattle Company is based on unconditional support as well as a work-hard-play-hard philosophy.

The show airs in August, and has already been given the green light for a second season, notes Doug Butts, INSP’s Senior Vice President of Programming, in a statement.

“During post-production, it became clear to everyone that we’ve got a great show on our hands,” he says. “These cowboys are the real deal: down-to-earth, likable and very entertaining. They are a band of brothers, and audiences will love them,” he adds.

Bubba Thompson, a skilled carpenter, brings his charm, integrity, and strong work ethic to his cowboy life. Some TV viewers first met him as a runner-up on a southern-style dating show, although he has since relinquished his bachelor status and is happily married.

Cody Harris is a cowboy with a history on the rodeo circuit, where he won several championships in calf roping. Now retired from rodeo competition, he makes room in his cowboy life for work as a rodeo producer, father, and husband to a champion barrel racer.

Chris “Booger” Brown grew up on his family’s farm, and has spent his life as a rancher. The series also highlights his skill as a horseman and a horse trainer, as well as his sense of humor which helps get him and his friends through the tough days of herding cattle and working fields.

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