Mark Burnett launching first faith-based broadcast network
Mark Burnett is looking to make broadcast TV great again. The reality TV uber-producer is launching what’s claimed to be the first 24-7 faith and family broadcast TV channel.
Dubbed Light TV, the channel from Burnett, his wife and producing partner Roma Downey, and MGM, will debut in several major markets next month, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Dallas.
The network will feature “wholesome family and faith-based entertainment programming,” drawing on MGM’s library of content.
“The demand is greater than ever for family friendly entertainment,” Downey says. “This is the last unclaimed vertical. As we have already seen from the success of The Bible series and our 20 million social followers this audience is looking for inspiring and uplifting programming that they can watch in a trusted and safe environment on any platform.” Burnett added the platform will reach “the enormously, underserved family audience.”
Burnett and MGM were recently embroiled in a nationwide controversy over their refusal to release unaired footage from Burnett’s The Apprentice NBC series that may have included former host Donald Trump making sexually disparaging and racist comments. Burnett released statements last month saying he did not support Trump’s candidacy, while leaving MGM to claim there were “certain provisions” that prevented them from releasing any such tapes. When Trump looked certain to lose the election based on the polls, there was also plenty of speculation he might launch a network of his own.
MGM titles airing on Light TV will include Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader, Rocky, Hoosiers, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, All Dogs Go To Heaven and Mr. Mom.