Exclusive: How UpTV Thrives Among Its Racy Competition

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 5:25 PM

UpTV is one of the few networks out there that focuses on family-oriented programming. But it has some racy competition. Networks like FreeForm, HBO, and Showtime have no issue airing TV-14 and, in many cases, rated R content. So how does UpTV stay competitive? 

Charley Humbard, CEO and founder of UpTV, isn't concerned. He's got a formula that he knows works for his audience, and he hasn't strayed from it.

"Our audience we like to call the 'Uplifters,'" Humbard explained to Townhall. "Our audience consists of - the target is women 25-54 - and they in their homes value home, family, faith, and traditional television...So, shows that affirm [their] values, shows that affirm family. But first and foremost, obviously, it has to be great entertainment."

One of the shows that follows that formula to a T is "Heartland," a drama about a ranch family in the Rockies. 

"You have a story of a family—multi-generation family—who goes through many good things that families across America do everyday with relationships, work issues, crises that happen, and it really speaks to how this family sticks together, how they show love for each other even in the hard times, and the things they use to make decisions," Humbard beamed. "And how they lean in to their faith to make decisions—you know, family values around that."

The program just happens to soon be airing its 12th season. That's a feat almost unheard of in television...unless you're "The Simpsons."

Of course, Humbard admitted UpTV isn't the only one doing it right. He named a few other shows that could just as well fill a slot on his network, including the massive hit "This Is Us."

"I like shows like that, that are held together by love and family, but yet at the same time they all face really difficult relationship things week-in and week-out," he explained.

Humbard's viewers have rewarded him - not only with good ratings, but sometimes with love letters! He shared an excerpt from one sweet note he received from a fan who uses Up's streaming service, Faith and Family. It read, “Love, love, love this service. I watched a movie last night. I haven’t been in church in a long time, I’m going to go back and give it another try.” 

"We’re really a network for your heart," he explained. "Our focus is on really helping your heart to understand things and to maybe look at things a little differently or remind you of things you should be doing through our storytelling."