“The More You Know” is making a comeback.
The long-running NBC public service announcement series, best known for its interstitials during network programming, is being rebooted for the digital age as a conversation series, to be hosted on NBCUniversal’s streaming platform Peacock, and TheMoreYouKnow.com.
Musician John Legend; NBA star Steph Curry; NBC News anchors Al Roker, Dylan Dreyer, Kate Snow and Savannah Sellers; and the cast of the NBC comedy Grand Crew will be the initial batch of participants in the PSA series.
While the network PSAs clocked in at 30 seconds or under, each episode of the new campaign will be 5 to 9 minutes long, featuring more depth and discussion.
“My number one goal with this new format is, let’s get people talking about the important issues and spark a dialogue that leads to change,” Hilary Smith, executive vp of corporate social responsibility for NBCUniversal, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview.
Among the topics on tap are the environment and climate change, criminal justice reform, food insecurity and racial stereotyping.
Legend and Curry will discuss their efforts to fight childhood hunger and providing kids with a quality education, with Legend also tackling criminal justice reform and Curry discussing his support for early childhood development; Sellers and Snow will discuss mental health and the personal impact therapy had on their lives; Dreyer and Roker will address climate change, and the steps people can take in their own lives to make a difference; and the Grand Crew cast will “discuss the importance of dispelling racial stereotypes by boosting diverse representation in media.”
The decision to center the campaign around Peacock stemmed from the abundance of space that digital video allows for. While the PSA campaign had long lived on TV (everyone recognizes the jingle, as well as the star trailed by a rainbow), on Peacock the conversations can stretch a bit longer, and provide more for viewers to think about.
“[Peacock] really afforded us more inventory than we have traditionally had on air,” Smith says. “Sometimes it’s hard in -30 seconds or -15 seconds to boil down the complexities of everything… This is more about exploring different perspectives, and giving people ideas and inviting them in and it really works with the topics that we’ve chosen, from mental health to the environment and to food and clothing insecurity as well.”
That being said, Smith notes that there are 30 second PSA spots being developed that will push viewers to Peacock or The More You Know website for the full conversations.
“The More You Know is probably one of the most iconic and well known public service campaigns, and outside talent often request to be a part of it,” Smith says, noting that Curry, who has an overall deal with NBCU, wanted to raise awareness for his Eat.Learn.Play Foundation.
“We’re proud to continue our strategic partnership with NBCUniversal to collaborate on the relaunch of the legendary The More You Know,” said Curry and Erick Peyton, Co-Founder & CEO of Unanimous Media, in a statement. “The More You Know is a powerful program that we have long admired, and we hope this new series sparks important conversations on the timely issues featured within.”