A&E Greenlights Reality Series ‘D.O.A.’ From Dick Wolf

By | Thursday April 17, 2014 @ 11:45am PDT

A&E logo1A&E Network has given the green light to unscripted series D.O.A. (working title) from Law & Order executive producer Dick Wolf and Left/Right Productions. The series follows an elite team of detectives who will re-examine controversial murder cases in which unresolved questions linger long after the verdict. Production begins this spring on eight hour-long episodes. The team includes Chicago homicide detective Michelle Wood, Miami PD detective Joe Schillaci, and retired NYPD detective and supervisor and Kevin “Spider” Gannon. The three will begin their investigation at a reconstructed crime scene and work the case interviewing first-person players and forensic specialists. The question is whether they agree with the original verdict or if the wrong person is behind bars. This marks the latest reality play for Wolf, who has also cracked the reality space with TNT hit Cold Justice, which wrapped its second season last month. The network in February ordered six more episodes to air this summer. Wolf’s Law & Order: SVU, the longest-running drama series currently on TV, is now in its 15th season.

Related: Could It Be Curtains For The ‘Law & Order’ Franchise This Season With End For ‘SVU’?

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A&E Greenlights New Docuseries ‘The Herbert Brothers’

By | Tuesday April 1, 2014 @ 9:22am PDT

A&E logo1The Herbert Brothers (working title) follows five brothers who launched an advertising empire after creating the No. 1 Super Bowl commercial. A&E Network has ordered the new nonfiction series from Zig Zag Productions. Production is underway on eight … Read More »

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A&E Network Ups Scheduling Exec Mark Apter

By | Wednesday March 19, 2014 @ 11:27am PDT

MarkApterA&E Network has promoted Mark Apter to the post of SVP Program Planning & Acquisitions, where he will lead the network’s scheduling team. The 15-year A&E veteran, based in NY, had been VP Scheduling & Acquisitions since 2010 and … Read More »

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A&E Promotes Drew Tappon To SVP Development & Programming

By | Monday March 17, 2014 @ 9:10am PDT

200px-A&E_logo_2008.svgA&E Network has elevated Drew Tappon to the post of SVP Development & Programming, from his current position as VP Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming. David McKillop, EVP & General Manager, A&E, announced the appointment today. Tappon will be responsible for the development and production of A&E’s nonfiction, alternative and reality series and will report to McKillop. He is based in A&E’s New York City headquarters. “Drew is a talented and well-respected executive who has brought enormous energy and experience to A&E’s unscripted programming team,” said McKillop. “I am certain that he will continue to reinforce A&E’s standing as a leader in providing premium content and contribute to the growth of the network.”

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A&E Developing Fallen Angels Drama From ‘Immortals’ Duo & Producer Michael London

By | Wednesday February 19, 2014 @ 11:39am PST
Nellie Andreeva

michaellondonEXCLUSIVE: A&E Network has put in development a high-concept drama from Immortals writers Charley & Vlas Parlapanides and producer Michael London. The project’s title, The 36, stems from the mystical Jewish concept of the Righteous 36, which stipulates … Read More »

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A&E’s Latest Mark Wahlberg-Produced Series ‘Breaking Boston’ Gets Premiere Date

By | Tuesday February 18, 2014 @ 11:22am PST

A&E_logoBreaking Boston will premiere Thursday, March 13 at 10 PM on A&E Network, which already is home to producer Mark Wahlberg‘s family restaurant series Wahlburgers. The new docu-drama will center on four working-class women coming of age in hardscrabble Boston and was inspired by the tough, hard-as-nails female characters in Wahlberg‘s Oscar-nominated movie The Fighter. A&E ordered the pilot in November 2012 and picked up the series last May. “These are real women telling their original stories of trying to break out of what’s expected of them,” said Wahlberg who himself was raised in Boston and just earned his high school diploma at age 42. “The odds are difficult, but I believe they can make it.” The series is from 44 Blue Prods, Wahlberg’s Closest to the Hole Prods, Leverage Entertainment and Bill Thompson Prods. Wahlberg, Stephen Levison and Thompson are executive producers. Executive producers for 44 Blue are Stephanie Drachkovich and Jennifer Colbert. Lily Neumeyer and Devon Graham are exec producing for the network. Read More »

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Shelly Tatro Joins A&E As SVP Development

By | Monday February 10, 2014 @ 9:00am PST
Nellie Andreeva

tatroFormer VH1 executive  Shelly Tatro has joined A&E Network of SVP Development & Programming. Based in New York, she will oversee the development and production of A&E’s nonfiction, alternative and reality series, reporting to EVP and general manager … Read More »

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A&E’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ Down 21% From Season Bow; ‘Wahlburgers’ Debuts With 3.3M Total Viewers

By | Thursday January 23, 2014 @ 4:02pm PST

il RobertsonDis family Robertson? A week after A&E Network‘s Duck Dynasty posted its first year-to-year declines, Episode 2 of Season 5 continued the downward trend. The adventures of the Robertson clan drew 6.7 million total viewers, down an … Read More »

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‘Shipping Wars’ Star Roy Garber Dead At 49

By | Saturday January 18, 2014 @ 9:06pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

RoygarberRoy Garber, star of A&E Network‘s popular reality series Shipping Wars, has died of a heart attack in Texas. He was 49. Shipping Wars has been a staple on A&E since its January 2012 debut; the show’s fifth … Read More »

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‘Duck Dynasty’ Returns To 8.5 Million Viewers, Down 28% From Season 4 Premiere

By | Thursday January 16, 2014 @ 10:23am PST

duckDid the controversy surrounding Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson take a toll on the show’s appeal? A&E’s flagship reality series clocked 8.5 million viewers Wednesday night, snapping a streak of ratings records and posting its first season-to-season drop. Among adults 18-49, the premiere averaged 4.2 million viewers, down 33%. Those are still huge numbers for a cable series, but the Season 5 opener was down from the show’s Season 4 debut, which drew nearly 12 million to become the No. 1-rated nonfiction series telecast in cable history. It edged the Season 4 finale, which was watched by 8.4 million.  More recently, the one-hour Duck Dynasty Christmas special logged nearly 9 million viewers.

The two back-to-back episodes were the first appearance on A&E of the Robertson family since patriarch Phil’s controversial comments about gay men and blacks in a GQ interview that caused A&E to suspend him. After the rest of the family indicated they would not do the show without him, and religious organizations and a legion of conservatives stood by him, A&E reversed its decision, lifting Phil’s suspension. Read More »

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A&E Lifts Phil Robertson’s Suspension; ‘Duck Dynasty’ To Resume Filming In Spring

By | Friday December 27, 2013 @ 2:10pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson ReturningUPDATED: Facing a firestorm of criticism that has shown little signs of subsiding, A&E parent company A+E Networks just issued a statement (read it below) announcing that the flagship A&E reality series Duck Dynasty will resume filming in the spring with the entire Robertson family — including patriarch Phil Robertson. The company put him on an “indefinite hiatus” on December 18 following the controversial comments he made in an interview to GQ. Duck Dynasty had been on a scheduled hiatus when the bombshell comments were made public. It had been slated to resume production in the spring, so today’s decision, which A+E said was made “after discussions with the Robertson family, as well as consulting with numerous advocacy groups,” reverts to the show’s original filming schedule. The groups whose cooperation A+E sought are said to include GLAAD, which blasted Robertson’s initial anti-gay comments, and NAACP.

Related: GLAAD Reacts To Phil Robertson’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ Return, Warns A+E Not To Choose Profits Over African American & Gay People

Duck Dynasty has nine of the 10 episodes for the upcoming fifth season with Phil in the can. It will film the final 10th episode before proceeding with production on the following cycle.  a&enetworksIn its statement today, A+E referred to the December 19 statement by the Robertson family in which they admitted that “some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible” but stressed that “Phil would never incite or encourage hate.” In the same statement, the family stood firmly behind their patriarch, indicating they would rather walk away from the show then film without Phil.

Related: Phil Robertson’s ‘Duck Dynasty’ Return Has TV Industry Abuzz

The stakes in the stand-off were high, with both A&E and the Robertsons poised to lose tens and possibly hundreds of millions of dollars, though the family had already amassed a fortune, emboldening them to make a stand. Since the controversy erupted, Phil Robertson has been defiant, reiterating his stance on gay relationships at a Bible study group. He has drawn massive support from conservatives, both politicians and regular folk, with a petition asking for his reinstatement amassing more than 250,000 signatures as of this morning. Cracker Barrel’s attempt to pull some items carrying the Phil Robertson brand Duck Commander created such strong backlash that the stores quickly restocked the items. The controversy pitted religious believes vs. tolerance and equality. It exposed the deep divisions in the country, and A+E said it wants to come out of it “promoting unity, tolerance and acceptance among all people” with a campaign across all of its networks that the company hopes the Robertsons will be part of. The brouhaha further raised awareness for Duck Dynasty, already a monster hit, some two weeks before its fifth-season premiere, which would likely shatter more ratings records. Here’s A+E’s statement:

Phil Robertson Duck DynastyAs a global media content company, A+E Networks’ core values are centered around creativity, inclusion and mutual respect. We believe it is a privilege for our brands to be invited into people’s home and we operate with a strong sense of integrity and deep commitment to these principals.

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UPDATE: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Petition Signed By 250,000; Phil Gives Wife Xmas Wedding Ring

By | Friday December 27, 2013 @ 8:20am PST

UPDATE, 8 AM: PhilRobertson__131219004947-275x393After hitting its goal of 200,000 signatures on its petition calling for A&E Network to immediately reinstate Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson in just a few days, the organization that calls itself Faith Driven Consumers set a new goal of 250,000.  Which it hit the night after Christmas. Christmas, not coincidentally is the day the extremely press-savvy Phil decided to illustrate one of his comments to GQ and a subsequent church group meeting that “If you’re a man, find yourself a woman. Marry them and keep your sex right there…Common sense says we are not going to procreate the human race unless we have a man and a woman. From the beginning Jesus said, ‘It is a man and a woman.’” In a photo tweeted Christmas Day by his granddaughter, Phil is seen pointing to an apparently new wedding ring on the finger of his wife, Miss Kay, with the caption: “After 50 years of marriage Papaw Phil finally gave Mamaw Kay a wedding ring for Christmas ??”

A&E Network yanked the star of its reality hit over comments he made about homosexuality in the January edition of GQ, specifically his having compared homosexuality to bestiality.  The petition demands A&E cease its “discriminatory censorship of Mr. Robertson and to treat people of faith with equality, fairness, and true tolerance.” Read More »

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A&E Greenlights Magic Reality Series

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 2:08pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

AndrewMayneRemember the good ratings for David Blaine’s ABC magic special a couple of weeks ago that we felt would spur more magic programs? A&E Network picked up Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne, a new unscripted series featuring magician Andrew … Read More »

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‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Miniseries Draws 9.8 Million Viewers Across Three Networks

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 10:45am PST
Nellie Andreeva

bonnieandclydeThe opening part of four-hour miniseries Bonnie & Clyde last night delivered 9.8 million total viewers and 4.2 million adults 25-54 viewers in simulcast on Lifetime, A&E and History. That is a respectable showing though it fell short of … Read More »

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Hot TV Teaser: A&E’s ‘Those Who Kill’

By | Friday December 6, 2013 @ 11:11am PST

EXCLUSIVE: A&E Network’s upcoming drama Those Who Kill doesn’t debut until March, but this weekend there’ll be sneak peek shown during the network’s two-part Bonnie & Clyde miniseries. Why wait until then to see Chloë Sevigny as police detective Catherine Jensen in the series from Imagine TV and Fox 21. … Read More »

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A&E’s ‘Longmire’ Officially Renewed For Third Season

By | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 9:49am PST
Nellie Andreeva

It took awhile but A&E and Warner Horizon finally closed a deal for a 10-episode third season of the network’s most-watched drama series ever, Longmire. The announcement comes after Longmire executive producer John Coveny tweeted back in August, shortly after the series’ second-season finale: “The call just came: SEASON 3 for is a GO!.” In its second season, Longmire averaged 3.7 million total viewers with the season finale episode August 26 delivering a season high of 4.4 million total viewers. “Longmire has become one of the most compelling dramas on television with a devoted audience and we are so proud of the show,” said A&E GM David McKillop. Read More »

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A&E Unveils New Logo, Tagline

By | Wednesday October 9, 2013 @ 7:35am PDT

A&E Network announced today it will roll out a new brand identity and new tagline: “Be Original” on December 11, during its Duck Dynasty Christmas special. In its announcement, the network noted its programming is 100% original in primetime — compared to, say, USA Network (11% original), TNT (20% original), FX (14% original) and TBS (7% original). “As the A&E brand continues to evolve, it has become increasingly important to let both the consumer and trade know what A&E stands for,” said Guy Slattery, EVP Marketing, A&E Network. “Our new tagline embodies who we are and not just what we do,” chimed in David McKillop, General Manager & EVP of A&E Network. “From Duck Dynasty to Bates Motel, we are 100% original with the most unique characters and content in television. ‘Be Original’ is much more than a tagline, it’s a rallying cry for our programmers and marketers to always take creative risks, perpetually innovate, inspire and engage the next generation of viewers.” Wish we had a buck….

Anyway, see if you can remember which networks had these taglines: Read More »

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A&E Sets U.S. Version of French Series ‘The Returned’, Carlton Cuse In Talks To Adapt

By | Friday September 27, 2013 @ 1:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: Hit French series The Returned (Les Revenants) is getting an American remake. A&E Network has nabbed rights to the supernatural/suspense drama, which will be developed as a co-production between A+E Studios and FremantleMedia North America. There is no writer in place but I hear the network is in discussions with Carlton Cuse, executive producer/co-showrunner of A&E’s breakout hit Bates Motel to take on the adaptation.

Created by Fabrice Gobert, Les Revenants was inspired by the 2004 feature film by the same name directed by Robin Campillo (English-language title They Came Back). It focuses on a small town that is turned upside down when several local people who have been long presumed dead suddenly reappear, having not aged and unaware of their own fatality. As they attempt to resume their lives, strange phenomena and gruesome murders begin to occur. “The Returned takes an incredibly unique approach, filled with suspense and twists and turns, to the subject of the living dead,” said A&E’s EVP and general manager David McKillop. Added FMNA CEO Thom Beers, “Having seen Fabrice Gobert’s original version and the success the series has had in France, we’re thrilled to be partnering with the team at A+E to bring this enigmatic thriller to U.S. audiences.” Read More »

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A&E Special/Backdoor Pilot ‘Marriage Test’ To Air September 21

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 8:08am PDT

Jay McGraw and Dr. Phil McGraw are executive producers on The Marriage Test, a 90-minute special that explores the troubled relationships of four couples who agree to live together under one roof for seven days of in-depth … Read More »

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