Cable channel GMC (Gospel Music Channel) has changed its name to UP to reflect a change in programming. UP is available on DIRECTV on channel 338. Now that the channel features more than just gospel music, it is changing its name to reflect its current programming.
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Don’t call it a “rebranding,” said Charles Humbard, the channel’s president and CEO, who started his broadcasting career with his TV-minister dad, Rex Humbard, and was an executive with Discovery Networks.
“We’re `refacing’ or renaming the network to be clear about what we really stand for as a brand,” he said. “For us, the move to UP is a way to very succinctly say something that’s always been.”
The Atlanta-based channel’s focus on “uplifting and faith-friendly entertainment” will continue with an expansion of its mix of original movies, plays and series and reruns of network programs, said Brad Siegel, its vice chairman.
On June 7, UP will introduce “Family Addition With Leigh Anne Tuohy,” its first original reality series. Hosted by Tuohy, who was portrayed in “The Blind Side” movie, the program will follow families through the adoption process and help with a home makeover.
“Bullock Family Ranch,” another reality show debuting in July, is about a Florida couple who have taken in more than two dozen teenagers whose hardships range from homelessness to gang life.
In its recent presentation to advertisers in New York, UP also announced seven new movies that include the holiday titles “Guess Who’s Coming to Christmas,” starring Drew Lachey, and “Silver Bells,” with Bruce Boxleitner.
The programming schedule, which is bookended by the music video blocks “Uplifting Urban,” “Uplifting Pop” and “Uplifting Country,” includes repeats of dramas and sitcoms including “Touched by an Angel” and “Moesha.”
Fans of the channel’s current programming will not see too many changes, only additions.