A+E’s FYI Orders 2 Unscripted Pilots Ahead Of July Launch

By | Monday April 14, 2014 @ 12:07pm PDT

fyiA+E Networks‘ new lifestyle channel FYI has picked up two hourlong unscripted pilots as it ramps up for its July 7 launch. You’re The One (working title), hosted by journalist and documentarian Cherry Healey, follows men and women as they embark on a mission to find a lost love. Through social and mass media, communities around the world are mobilized to engage in the hunt, leading up to the final face-to-face meeting. Marry Me … Today (working title) is described as a breakthrough wedding concept for the modern generation. The show partners with website The Knot to follow an ambitious groom-to-be as he surprises his girlfriend with a proposal, engagement and marriage all in one day, using his girlfriend’s online wish list to plan and execute her fantasy wedding.
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Lifetime Films And A+E Studios Board Indie ‘Lila And Eve’ Starring Viola Davis & Jennifer Lopez

By | Monday January 27, 2014 @ 5:00pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

aenetworks-2-2__130325152357A+E Networks‘ Lifetime Films and A+E Studios have partnered with Viola Davis and Julius Tennon’s JuVee Prods. and Sara Risher’s ChickFlicks to produce the independent feature Lila And Eve, starring Davis and Jennifer Lopez. Directed by Charles Stone III from a script by Pat Gilfillan, Lila And Eve is now filming for a festival premiere and theatrical release in late 2014/early 2015. Lifetime network-affiliated Lifetime Films is dedicated to developing, producing and acquiring female-focused indie movies. Its first effort, The Last Of Robin Hood, featuring Kevin Kline, Susan Sarandon and Dakota Fanning, premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, and will be released in theaters in early Summer 2014. When A+E Networks in June 2013 launched in-house production arm A+E Studios, Lifetime Films became a division of the studio. Lifetime network’s Rob Sharenow and Tanya Lopez as well as  Lisa Hamilton Daly and Molly Thompson will executive produce Lila And Eve for A+E Studios alongside Viola Davis and Julius Tennon of JuVee Prods. and Damian Ganczewski. Sara Risher of ChickFlicks and Darrin Reed. Read More »

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A+E Networks Ups Two Key Execs

By | Wednesday January 15, 2014 @ 1:35pm PST

fleury1moody1A+E Networks has tapped Thomas Moody as SVP Programming, Planning & Acqusitions for FYI and LMN and Laura Fleury has been upped to VP Programming and Development, LMN. Jana Bennett, President of FYI and LMN announced the new positions today which are effective immediately. Both will report to Bennett.

Moody has been with A+E Networks since 2001. In his a=enet4new role, he will oversee program planning, strategy and acquisitions for both FYI and LMN. He was previously responsible for developing and implementing the scheduling and acquisition strategies for A&E and BIO. In addition, Moody has also developed and/or served as an executive producer on A+E Networks shows including Hoarders, Private Sessions, Biography, and Celebrity Ghost Stories.

As VP Programmming and Development for LMN, Fleury will oversee all original programming for the network. She has been with A+E Networks for over 15 years. In her previous role, Fleury developed and served as executive producer for Emmy-nominated Beyond Scared Straight, The First 48, Parking Wars, The Killer Speaks, and Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force, among othersShe has also developed and executive produced several series for the BIO channel. Read More »

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

By | Friday December 27, 2013 @ 6:26pm PST

LisaColumn__131015210634-275x198UPDATE, FRIDAY 6:20 PM: Earlier this week, TV industry sages forecast that if A&E wanted the Robertson family to continue starring in the network’s cash cow Duck Dynasty, after the network put patriarch Phil on indefinite hiatus over incendiary comments he’d made in a GQ interview (the family issued a statement saying they were standing with Phil) the network would have to “eat crow” — and forecast A&E would “do it right after Christmas.”

Which, of course, is exactly what happened!  And here’s what the industry is saying about that, via Twitter:

- Thomas Roberts, MSNBC anchor: Just dialing into #DuckDynasty update. Homophobia will not be conquered overnight & certainly not aided by A&E execs.

- Joe Scarborough: As predicted early. Biggest bias in LA is $$$.

- Dan Abrams: But talk about trying to bury the #DuckDynasty news. . after 5p on the Friday before New Years.

- W. Kamau Bell: “Hardest 9 days of my gay hating life.” – Phil Robertson on A&E lifting his suspension from Duck Dynasty.  

- Billy Eichner, creator of Funny Or Die’s Fuse TV game show Billy on the Street: Very excited A&E is resuming Duck Dynasty with Phil Robertson.  We need more ignorant homophobic racists who probably hate women on the air.

- Andy Lassner, Ellen exec producer: A&E has lifted its suspension of Phil Robertson. Family & friends are said to be gathering tonight to celebrate inside his beard.

- Justin Stangel, Late Show with David Letterman exec prod: A&E lifts Phil Robertson’s suspension from #DuckDynasty. Thank God! I can finally leave my Y2K bunker


More to come…

PREVIOUS, TUESDAY, 10:30 AM: Five Things A&E Did Wrong has become the hot parlor game among TV industry execs at holiday get-togethers. Cable news network execs, meanwhile, are giving thanks for the cultural warfare that has erupted, during this traditionally slow news period, over A&E’s decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson for comparing homosexuality to bestiality in a GQ interview even Phil’s family has acknowledged was “coarse.”

Related: Phil Robertson Breaks Silence, Defends Anti-Gay Comments

A&E has been dazedly dog paddling since the interview came out and its hit show suddenly stopped quacking like all those other homespun reality series on TV and began Bible-thumping like the religious parable duckdynastyit actually is.

In case you’re one of the many who spend the holiday season hiding under a flat rock: A conservative Christian group has hit 210,000 signatures and counting on its petition demanding A&E immediately reinstate Phil, one retailer has reversed its decision to yank Duck Dynasty products off its shelves because of customer blowback, and a big-box retailer can’t keep up with customer demand for Duck Dynasty merchandise. Conservative possible presidential candidates are taking Phil to their bosom, and he invited the Daily Mail to his church on Sunday to witness him preaching:  ‘Jesus will take sins away. If you’re a homosexual, he’ll take it away. If you’re an adulterer, if you’re a liar, what’s the difference? If you break one sin, you may as well break them all.”

Related: A+E Shocked To Learn Bible Thumping ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Talks Like Bible Thumper

“A rookie mistake.” That’s how one TV industry veteran who’s put in time dealing with rogue reality stars described A&E’s handling of its Duck Dynasty nightmare.  Read More »

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UPDATE: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Clan: “We Cannot Imagine The Show Going Forward Without Our Patriarch”

By | Thursday December 19, 2013 @ 7:15pm PST

4TH UPDATE, 7:15 PM: The Robertson family is standing firmly behind its patriarch and is willing to pull the plug on the biggest reality show on television. In a strongly worded post on its DuckCommander.com website, the family reacted to A&E Network‘s decision yesterday to suspend Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson over his pointed comments about homosexuality and religion in a GQ profile. The Robertsons made it clear that Duck Dynasty would only continue if Phil is in it because “we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm.”

Related: 82K Sign Petition Demanding Robertson’s Return To ‘Duck Dynasty’

Duck_Dynasty-312x380We want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. The family has spent much time in prayer since learning of A&E’s decision. We want you to know that first and foremost we are a family rooted in our faith in God and our belief that the Bible is His word. While some of Phil’s unfiltered comments to the reporter were coarse, his beliefs are grounded in the teachings of the Bible. Phil is a Godly man who follows what the Bible says are the greatest commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Phil would never incite or encourage hate.We are disappointed that Phil has been placed on hiatus for expressing his faith, which is his constitutionally protected right.We have had a successful working relationship with A&E but, as a family, we cannot imagine the show going forward without our patriarch at the helm. We are in discussions with A&E to see what that means for the future of Duck Dynasty. Again, thank you for your continued support of our family.

Related: A&E Shocked To Learn Bible-Thumping ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Talks Like Bible-Thumper

3RD UPDATE, 1:30 PM: Conservative special-interest groups wasted no time jumping on PTC_logo110916212735-150x150board A&E‘s Duck Dynasty disaster train. “Declaring God’s perspective on God’s design for human intimacy has now become a career-ending offense in America,” bemoaned the American Family Association — Donald Wildmon’s group, which puts out a journal that reviews the content of primetime TV shows, based on profanity, sex, violence, homosexuality, substance abuse, “anti-Christian” content, or “political correctness.” Meanwhile, the Parents Television Council took the opportunity to again lobby for a la carte network signup: “No matter your feeling on Mr. Robertson’s comments and A&E subsequent decision to suspend him, there is no doubt that millions of fans of the show are upset with A&E’s decision on this case,” PTC said. “Now imagine if those consumers had the ability to make a free market-based economic decision to no longer subscribe to A&E today. In a free market, consumers can ‘vote with their wallets’ rather than have to resort to postings on social media to make their feelings known. Conversely, in a free market, those who agree with A&E’s decision could actively seek out more of their programming and pay for it.”

Related: Petition Launched Demanding A&E Return Phil Robertson To ‘Duck Dynasty’ Read More »

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A+E Networks’ Bio Renamed FYI As It Converts Into Lifestyle Network

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 11:03am PST
Nellie Andreeva

FYI_LogoA+E Networks‘ long-gestating plan to convert Bio Channel into a lifestyle cable network has been made official today with the announcement that Bio will be rebranded as FYI next summer. (this is the network’s new logo on right)

One of Nancy Dubuc’s top priorities after becoming president and CEO of A+E Networks earlier this year has been revamping the group’s emerging networks: Bio, LMN and H2. As part of her turnaround plans, Dubuc tapped BBC executive Jana Bennett, who helped usher TLC into mainstream programming in the early 2000s, to run LMN and Bio. Bennett will now oversee FYI as president of FYI and LMN. The hire indicated Dubuc’s desire to add a lifestyle brand to her cable portfolio, led by History, A&E and Lifetime. Since she put the plan into motion in the spring, the lifestyle cable space opened up surprisingly when NBCU rebranded Style as male-focused Esquire. In preparation for Bio’s transformation, the network quietly started re-airing A&E’s house-flipping shows. It also had been actively developing new projects to fit Bio’s new identity, with 30 potential series in the works. Read More »

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A+E Networks Bolsters Legal Department With Two Executive Appointments

By | Monday December 9, 2013 @ 1:14pm PST

DJP-LEGAL-BADGE__131206235351A+E Networks announced today that Henry Hoberman has been named EVP and General Counsel and Douglas Jacobs was been appointed to a new role as EVP and Senior Counsel. Both will report to President and CEO Nancy Dubuc and their appointments take effect on January 13 next year. As general counsel, Hoberman will oversee all legal and business affairs teams for A&E and will spearhead all production and talent contracts, among his duties. The new General CounselDoug JacobsHoberman-12 will also oversee the legal and business affairs work for acquisitions made by the newly formed A+E Networks Studios and A&E IndieFilms. In his role as Senior Counsel, Jacobs will be in charge of content compliance and risk management for A+E, including vetting for Constitutional issues, as well as Standards & Practices and rights management, among others duties.

Related: Fired ‘Storage Wars Star Scores A Win Over A&E In Lawsuit
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Michael Feeney Upped To EVP, Corporate Communications, A+E Networks

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 1:19pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

The longtime A+E Networks communications chief, one of Nancy Dubuc’s most trusted executives, has been elevated to EVP Corporate Communications. Michael Feeney continues to report to Dubuc, A+E Networks’ President and CEO. Feeney has been overseeing … Read More »

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A+E Networks Renew Carriage Agreement With Time Warner Cable

By | Thursday November 7, 2013 @ 8:26am PST
Nellie Andreeva

Time Warner Cable is coming off a bruising renewal with CBS that led to a lengthy blackout and major loss of subscribers. The long-term, multi-platform agreement covers A+E’s A&E, Lifetime, History, LMN, Bio, H2, History … Read More »

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‘Bonnie & Clyde’ Miniseries Set For Dec. 8 And 9 On A&E, Lifetime & History

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 11:05am PDT

The four-hour two-part Bonnie & Clyde mini is set to air Sunday, December 8th and Monday, December 9th at 9 PM simultaneously on A&E,  Lifetime and History. Emile Hirsch (Into The Wild) and Holliday Grainger … Read More »

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Obama Names A+E SVP To WWI Centennial Commission

By | Thursday August 8, 2013 @ 2:07pm PDT

The Chief Historian at A+E Networks is going to help America commemorate The Great War. President Obama today appointed Dr. Libby O’Connell to the World War I Centennial Commission.  The exec has been at A+E since … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Kris Kristofferson Pic ‘Joe’s Mountain’ Gets Backers; A+E Nets Takes Over AETN All Asia; More

Breakthrough, Dutch Features Board Kristofferson Pic ‘Joe’s Mountain’
Toronto-based Breakthrough Entertainment has joined with Dutch Features Global Entertainment to co-executive produce Joe’s Mountain, starring Kris Kristofferson. Dutch Features will team with Breakthrough to secure European distribution partners for the film to be directed by Chuck Rose, who also wrote the script. The producers say they are in discussions to cast Helen Hunt opposite Kristofferson, who plays a former ladies man who becomes a local celebrity when his dreams of future events start coming true. His powers are put to the test when he meets a younger woman and her dying son and embarks on a road trip to find a mysterious lake that will change their lives. Production will take place in Canada. Henry Boger produces.

A+E Networks Assumes Full Control of AETN All Asia Networks
A+E Networks has concluded a transaction with Astro Overseas Limited to assume full ownership of AETN All Asia Networks, the Singapore-based company formed as a joint venture in 2007. AETN All Asia Networks will be rebranded as A+E Networks Asia. “The transition to full ownership of A+E Networks Asia is a first for our company and marks an important milestone,” said A+E president and CEO Nancy Dubuc. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent launch of Lifetime and H2 in the region. A+E Networks Asia also operates History, Crime & Investigation Network and bio in the region. Read More »

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A&E’s ‘Bad Ink’ To Debut In August

By | Wednesday July 10, 2013 @ 12:10pm PDT

Bad tattoos and bad times in Sin City are coming to A&E. The channel’s new Bad Ink series is set to debut on August 11, A+E Networks announced today. The series will premiere with a double shot … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Corus, Telefilm Canada Pact; ITV Cooks With Gino D’Acampo; Izabella Wiley Joins A+E; More

Corus, Telefilm Canada Create Fund For Family Movies
Corus Entertainment and Telefilm Canada have launched the Family Feature Production Fund to encourage the production of Canadian English-language live-action family movies for theatrical release. The fund will provide financing for as many as two films a year with budgets between $3.5M and $5M. The pilot initiative will be open to Canadian feature producers with a fully developed film script and a comprehensive plan for market viability. Corus and Telefilm will jointly evaluate the applications with Corus contributing financing, a broadcast commitment and marketing support from its portfolio of networks which includes Movie Central, W Movies and YTV.

ITV Series Will Follow Chef Gino D’Acampo Around Southern Italy
ITV Studios Daytime has been commissioned by ITV to produce Gino’s Italian Escape, a six-part series set in Southern Italy. The half-hour program will be presented by chef Gino D’Acampo who is known to local auds for his participation on ITV’s This Morning show. ITV Studios Global Entertainment, which is handling world sales, has also brokered a deal with Hodder & Stoughton for a cook book to accompany the series. For the lifestyle, travel and cooking series, D’Acampo will cross Southern Italy in search of the region’s best kept secrets. This is ITV Studios Daytime’s first factual commission for ITV primetime and will air in September.

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A+E Networks CEO Nancy Dubuc Sets Her Top Management Team

By | Monday June 3, 2013 @ 11:30am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Officially, Nancy Dubuc has been president and CEO of A+E Networks for two days, but she’s already putting her stamp on the company, setting top executives for each of the brands and launching an in-house studio. Under the plan, Bob DeBitetto, General Manager of A&E Networks and BIO, will transition to a new role of head of A+E Studios with a title of President, Brand Strategy, Business Development. He will be succeeded at the helm of A&E by his top lieutenant, David McKillop, EVP Programming, who is adding a general manger title. Dirk Hoogstra, who was promoted to EVP Development and Programming for History and H2 just three months ago, will now add the title of General Manager for the two channels. And as Dubuc moves away from day-to-day oversight of the networks to focus on her role as CEO, Lifetime’s EVP programming Robert Sharenow also is adding general manager responsibilities. Additionally, A+E Networks has officially tapped veteran BBC executive Jana Bennett to run LMN and Bio as president.

Related: BBC’s Jana Bennett To Run Bio And LMN Under Dubuc’s Plan

“These are the people who have led their teams to some of the biggest successes on television over the last two years, including Hatfields & McCoys, The Bible, Vikings, Duck Dynasty, Bates Motel, Storage Wars, Dance Moms, Client List and Steel Magnolias,” >Dubuc said. “I have had the honor to work with Bob, David, Rob and Dirk for a many years, and am thrilled that we are continuing this journey together. And I couldn’t be more excited that Jana is joining A+E Networks. She is an experienced industry veteran who knows how to build and grow brands and create long-running franchises.”

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‘Duck Dynasty’ Season Finale Shatters A&E Viewer Records, Season 4 Is A Go

By | Thursday April 25, 2013 @ 12:31pm PDT

The Season 3 finale of A&E Network‘s Duck Dynasty was watched by 9.6 million viewers last night, a record for the series and the network. Wednesday’s season ender was up 48% over the 6.5 million who watched the Season 2 finale on December 5, 2012. With a 4.3 rating, it was the highest-rated show on both cable and broadcast Wednesday, easily beating American Idol’s 3.2. Last night’s one-hour episode garnered 5.6 million viewers in adults 25-54, 5.5 million adults 18-49 and 2.6 million adults 18-34 to become the most-watched series telecast in A&E’s history in all demos. That is a 41% rise in 18-49 over last season’s finale and a 47% rise in 25-54. With those kind of numbers, it is no surprise A&E also announced today that production on a fourth season of Duck Dynasty is scheduled to start shortly. Despite a stand-off between the Robertson family cast and producers over money, the West Monroe, LA-based family all have existing deals and are expected to show up for filming of Season 4. As for their salary demands (an increase to as much as $200,000 an episode), a new agreement is being hammered out. Read More »

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Nancy Dubuc Elevated To President & CEO Of A+E Networks, Abbe Raven To Chairman

By | Monday April 22, 2013 @ 12:59pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Nancy Dubuc‘s meteoric rise continues. Seven months after she was named President, Entertainment and Media, A+E Networks, taking creative oversight of the entire cable group, Dubuc has now been named president and CEO of A+E Networks. She succeeds Abbe Raven, who is being elevated to Chairman, A+E Networks. The promotions come as A+E networks continue to deliver blockbuster ratings, most recently with History’s The Bible and Vikings and A&E’s Duck Dynasty.

Effective June 1, 2013, Dubuc will oversee the day-to-day operations of the company with the brand groups and business divisions reporting to her. Raven will be in charge of A+E Networks’ long-term business and revenue opportunities, as well as public policy initiatives, and serve as corporate strategic adviser. Raven will report directly to the company’s Board led by Anne Sweeney, president, Disney/ABC Television Group, and Steven Swartz, president & COO, Hearst Corp. Dubuc will report both to Raven and the Board. “Abbe and Nancy have enjoyed one of the most successful partnerships in our business. Together, over the last several years, they have built some of the strongest brands in media, Sweeney and Swartz said jointly. “We look forward to the company’s next chapter as Abbe becomes chairman and Nancy steps into her expanded new role as president and CEO and leads the company into the future”. Read More »

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Hot TV Clip: First 6 Minutes Of ‘Bates Motel’

By | Monday March 11, 2013 @ 10:41am PDT

Ahead of A&E‘s Bates Motel panel at SXSW, where Carlton Cuse just described the show as “One part Friday Night Lights, one part Lost, [and] one part Twin Peaks“, … Read More »

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Amazon Prime Lands A+E Networks Shows

By | Friday January 4, 2013 @ 7:36am PST

Here you go, fans of Pawn Stars, Storage Wars and Dance Moms: A+E Networks programming — including some unscripted series that Netflix dropped last fall — will be available to people who pay $79 a year for Amazon’s PrimeRead More »

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