The AmericanLife TV Network — previously known as the Nostalgia Channel first and GoodLife TV Network later — was originally launched in 1985 to serve the viewing needs of baby boomers, showing mostly reruns of series from the late 1950s, 60s and early 70s like The Honeymooners, The Bob Newhart Show and Mission: Impossible. In 2001 the Unification Church purchased the network and maintained the baby boomer programming, but a new approach is set to take over the network this fall as ComStar Media Fund — an organization led by televangelist Robert A. Schuller and GodTube.com founder Chris Wyatt — purchased the cable channel this past May. Baby boomers or not, the American Life Network (ALN) will now be devoted to family-values programming.
Commented Wyatt, “For too many years, baby boomers and their children have been assaulted by programming that exemplifies anything but family-values. When was the last time you sat down with your family and didn’t have to cringe at vulgar language, lewd storylines and inappropriate commercials? We are developing new, original programming by leveraging our relationships with the world’s top artists, directors, producers, brands and the advertising community, with an obvious focus on family-values based programming.”
Wyatt added, “We are not creating another religious network but rather a family-values channel. We’ve tapped into a huge underserved market and have the opportunity over time to increase distribution to exceed 40 million homes.
— Press Release
So, basically, it could be summed up as “Expect to see 7th Heaven reruns next.” ALN currently has 12 million subscribers and, to be honest, I had never even heard of this channel, it’s probably somewhere in that limbo zone of cable between the Game Show Network and the Golf Channel.
The old flower logo was created, and introduced in 2007, by a man whose vulgar language would make messieurs Schuller and Wyatt cringe: George Lois. The logo was surprisingly feminine, both for Lois and for the channel which didn’t really have women-focused programming. You could replace American Lifetime Network with Lifetime and it would probably make more sense. A little sidetrack: The logo shown at the top of the page is an old version; from a couple of other tiny images not worth sharing here, the flower was simplified without a stroke and the typeface got changed to something less rounded.
And so we come to the new look and logo. No amount of pixie dust and shines can hide the horrific typographic work that has been produced for this logo. There is no saving grace to be found anywhere: The “A” is angled and cropped weirdly, the “L” has too differing thicknesses, the “N” has been awkwardly mutilated on its right side, the “network” text is smaller but not by much than the “American Life” text, and in case you are not turned off enough by it all, there is sometimes a triangle to the left of the “A.” Family-values? How about some logo-values folks? This new identity really makes it hard to switch from some UFC bashing or Sopranos swearing.