Whether they arrive at their lifestyle destination with an established following, or build a passionate fan base by sharing their passions, star talent is an integral factor in the lifestyle programming equation. This approach has been a cornerstone of the roster at E!, where viewers can get up close and personal with their faves via shows such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians and its voluminous spinoffs including Revenge Body With Khloe Kardashian, which returns this summer.
“Because celebrities are willing to share what their lifestyles are in our shows and how they improve themselves—and I think Instagram has had something to do with that too—that has become a bigger portion of our programming,” says Amy Introcaso-Davis EVP, development and production. “The way celebrities can connect with audiences now just makes it a closer connection.”
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Given the genre’s continued draw, it’s not surprising more and more programmers are planting markers in new lifestyle territory, expanding their existing terrain or both—across all platforms.
A+E Networks fortified its burgeoning “HomeMade” block of home improvement, DIY and decor programming with home makeover series Working the Room, which debuted in May and follows interior designers as they rescue overwhelmed clients to makeover rooms in need of transformation. Produced by A+E Networks, Sotheby’s Home, Propagate and Reach TV, three episodes of the series aired across A+E Nets’ platforms beginning May 9 on FYI and on A&E Saturday mornings beginning Saturday, May 11. Bespoke six-eight minute episodes also aired on short-form outlet Reach TV. “We’re excited to see these mini episodes gain traction in a totally new format for viewers,” says Lynnwood Bibbens, co-founder of Reach TV.
Netflix came to the party with Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, which became a cultural hit and elevating the service’s lifestyle lineup including original home improvement series Amazing on the Inside, Somebody Feed Phil, Chef’s Table and new series Street Food, which shares stories chefs cooking up culinary delights on the streets of nine Asian countries.
While already ensconced in the lifestyle domain, E! is hanging a new shingle featuring Kardashians mainstay Scott Disick at one of his day jobs, revamping high-end properties. Premiering Sunday, August 4, Flip It Like Disick brings E! into the real estate vertical.
“We jumped at it,” Introcaso-Davis tells Cynopsis of the reaction when Disick approached E! with the concept. “He really is a beloved character on the network.” She says the show is not being positioned as a Kardashians spinoff, but rather its own brand. “It’s a much more formatted show; it really is its own thing,” she says.
The network is also re-embracing dating shows with the comedic Dating: No Filter. “It’s the first dating show we’ve done in a while,” Introcaso-Davis says. “It’s an area we haven’t explored for a while and I think we’ll be looking at other dating shows for sure.”