Pop 04/13/17

Pop announced a 2017-2018 programming slate that includes 7 new and returning series, and 9 projects in development. Season over season, the net added 58 new national advertisers, expanded its distribution on traditional cable and OTT platforms and saw growth in viewership among A18-49 (+21%) and W25-54 (+13%), according to Nielsen Live+7. “Knowing our target audience, the ‘modern grownup,’ is key to everything we do,” net president Brad Schwartz tells Cynopsis. “We’re targeting people in their 30s and 40s, and TV content from the 90s is how they stay connected to those years. All our content needs to feel oddly familiar to this audience. And that feels unique in the marketplace.”

That’s certainly the case with acquired medical drama ER, found only on Pop, as well as just-announced acquisition The Goldbergs, a period sitcom that airs on ABC. New series include comedy Hot Date, created in partnership with CollegeHumor; drama Clique, focused on an elite clique of college girls, and Swedish Dicks, Private Investigators, a comedy following an aging ex-stuntman and optimistic DJ.

Returnees include Pop hit Schitt’s Creek for season 4, workplace comedy Nightcap for season 2, live late-night feed Big Brother After Dark, and serial killer drama Wolf Creek for season 2. Among the shows in development are 1980s-era comedy Let’s Get Physical, soapy drama Kiss & Cry and unscripted talk/travel show Get In My Van.

“The success of Schitt’s Creek pointed us in the direction of premium content,” says Schwartz. “We’ve turned away from cheap reality shows with people that don’t deserve to be on TV.” Branded content is also a big part of the picture. “Everyone’s trying to figure out how to advertise on television that’s targeted and not skippable,” says Schwartz. “We’ve been making spots that feature the talent in our shows. If you’re DVRing you’re going to stop, because it’s the cast of Schitt’s Creek doing a Zillow ad.”

As for the future, “All of the big cable companies are going to have to kind of pick their horses,” notes Schwartz. “We keep getting into all the bundles, we are growing. People are worried about what channels are going to survive over the next 3-5 years. All we’re doing is getting bigger and stronger.”

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