At an intimate gathering at NYC’s Ace Hotel – one of many TVGN is hosting to promote its Upfront programming slate – president, entertainment and media Brad Schwartz said the emerging net puts itself smack “in the middle of fandom culture,” with a perspective that delivers on the excitement of being a TV fan. “Our programming celebrates entertainment and celebrity in a fun, vibrant tone,” said Schwartz. “We’re fans, too!”
Joining returning series that include Popsugar Now and The Story Behind are new originals Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block, featuring hard-core fans on a cruise with the band; The Sorrentinos, centered on Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and his “16th second of fame”; recently launched, “softly scripted real-life Modern Family” Unusually Thicke; and special event Watch! TV, a behind the scenes peek at high-end photo shoots.
In development (working titles) are Sing It On, a “real-life Pitch Perfect”; Soap Town, following former soap opera stars as they attempt to produce a new show for themselves, and travelogue Jet to the Set.
Schwartz emphasized the momentum of the network, kicked off by cross-company synergy from owners CBS and Lionsgate. Big Brother After Dark, plucked from Showtime, has been a hit, along with same-day airings of CBS soaps and same-week repeats of prime time shows. From Lionsgate comes exclusive cable premieres of major movies.
As for the decision to hold smaller meetings to tout programming, Schwartz said the network “prefers a two-way conversation with advertisers, so we can listen to their challenges and tailor solutions for them.”