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- Lionsgate and CBS are looking to rebrand and compete with networks like E.
- Pop culture and celebrities are key.
- Expect a lot of docu-series.
TVGN’s rebranding and relaunching itself as the culture center of all things Pop. Built on the fan experience, the network looks to compete in the media market.
CBS Corporation and the Lionsgate movie studio are relaunching the TVGN network as Pop on January 14, 2015, with new, original programming. Originally the TV Guide Network, CBS transformed the channel into a more pop culturally relevant front with popular sitcom reruns and entertainment based programming such as The Insider. Not quite a successful relaunch, CBS and Lionsgate are looking to rebrand and reimagine how fans interact with celebrities.
First, the network will “pop” off with a New Kids on the Block (NKOTB) series titled, Rock the Boat, and will focus on diehard fans enjoying time with the band on the annual celebrity cruise. Lasting nine episodes and covering several days, the idea is to highlight what it’s like to be a fan for decades. The same night will feature The Story Behind, which goes behind the scenes of popular shows like Everybody Loves Raymond (first episode), Home Improvement, and Beverly Hills 90210 among others.
Additionally, Unusually Thicke starring Alan Thicke, will be returning for a second season. Will Robin Thicke show up? Only time will tell. Also returning will be summer hit Big Brother: After Dark, and PopSugar Now/Live with ET, which provides look into the world of celebrities, fashion, and all things pop culture.
And the ladies of drama are up to no good. Queens of Drama focuses on leading ladies looking to revive their careers. Starring Vanessa Marcil, Donna Mills, Lindsay Hartley, Crystal Hunt, Chrystee Pharris and Hunter Tylo, the series sounds a bit like TV One’s Hollywood Divas.
Meanwhile, Sing It On looks to fill the Glee and Pitch Perfect television gap by focusing on real-life college a cappella groups and how to create a success.
And there’s Schitt’s Creek—a formally wealthy family suddenly finds themselves without any of the upper class perks and must adjust. The series stars Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy and Annie Murphy.
Pop wants to be the network you turn on when looking for a more candid look inside celebrity. With a bit of E! Entertainment flair, the network plans on highlighting celebrities doing unusual situations, like inventing a product, or being honest in tales about their lives.
According to network:
Pop will give fans a dedicated channel that loves being a fan as much as they do. A channel that respects talent over celebrity. A channel filled with optimism, passion, funny and excitement. A channel that understands the fun doesn’t stop when the credits roll… it’s really just the beginning.
With that in mind, the network is looking to make a splash. Currently in development are four new shows with celebrities involved.
First is Losing It—a television series based on the Yahoo web series—where celebrities discuss what it was like to lose their virginity. Stories will be recreated using puppets, animation, live action, and claymation.
Intent on being funny, the show plans to engage and entertain the audience by having the celebrities sit down and really discuss what it was like to lose their virginity. John Stamos Productions and Warrior Poets co-produce the series and executive produced by Morgan Spurlock, John Stamos, Ethan Goldman, and Jeremy Chilnick.
On a similar note, Step by Step‘s Christine Lakin is looking for celebs to describe their Worst Ever encounter. The concept is based on her and Alec Ledd’s live show in Los Angeles and will allow fans to really connect with celebrities on a human level.
After all, if celebrities can have a terrible break up, audition, family dinner, sexual encounter, interview, or date, then a fan can’t feel too bad, right? Thank You, Brain! is producing Worst Ever and executive produced by Christine Lakin, Alec Ledd, Krysia Plonka, and Tracey Baird.
Next up is radio personality Elvis Duran in the docu-series Elvis Duran Project, where fans are able to go behind the scenes of his work at New York’s Z100 and play life, as well those of his employees. Superstar guests and platinum selling artists are expected to stop by the radio show and enticing fans to see what their favorites are really like.
The audience can also expect to roadtrip with fans and experience music festivals and live events with one of radio’s top personalities. Executive produced by Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver, Elvis Duran, David Katz and Mitchell Stewart for Left/Right, the series looks to really let fans in on what’s like to be known.
On a different take, Celebrity Inc pairs celebrities with inventors to create the ultimate product and launch. Each episode will showcase a different celebrity will work with Edison Nation, LLC to find the most talented inventors. In turn, the inventors will pitch concepts to the celebrity after working on the product for a week.
Once the celebrity selects the best product, the pair will launch the celebrity-endorsed product in stores nationwide and online. Bungalow Media + Entertainment, LLC’s Robert Friedman and Back Roads Entertainment’s Colby Gaines will be executive producing. If the concept seems familiar, think about ABC‘s megahit Shark Tank with celebrity endorsement instead of financial backing.
CBS and Lionsgate hope the partnership will combine CBS’s experience with programming, production, and marketing across networks with Liongate’s ties in motion pictures, television, and digitally delivered content.
The partnership offers insight in creating a media storm since CBS produces well-known first-run, syndication series like Entertainment Tonight with Liongate’s critically acclaimed media properties like Orange is the New Black and Hunger Games. The ownership structure allows the two companies to gain a better foothold in the popular culture market with Pop’s launch on January 14, 2015.
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