Less than a week after E! President Suzanne Kolb told striking writers on Fashion Police that their guild is the real enemy, the WGA has organized a rally in support of the picketers. In an email to members today, the guild said the action is set for 11:30 AM-12:30 PM Thursday at E!’s headquarters on LA’s Miracle Mile. Writers on the series hosted by fellow WGA member Joan Rivers went on strike in April claiming E! owes them more than $1M in back wages.
The long-rumored E! reality series starring Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte is now a reality. Network president Suzanne Kolb made the announcement today during the E! Entertainment portion of the TCA press tour. Titled What Would Ryan Lochte Do?, the six-episode series from Intuitive Entertainment will feature the “vivescent” Lochte, Kolb said, adding that E! brass wondered “How deep is the pool of Ryan Lochte? It turns out, very deep.” The episodes will feature the swimmer partying and training as he prepares for the 2016 Rio Olympics while building his fashion line, making media appearances, dealing with his close-knit and outspoken family and friends and looking for the right girl. Mechelle Collins and Kevin Dill are executive producers for Intuitive along with and Erika Wright of Wright Entertainment and Sports.
E! also announced Playing With Fire, an hourlong series on the NY culinary scene. Both series are scheduled to premiere in April.
Jen Neal has been named EVP, Marketing for E! Entertainment. Neal will oversee all marketing initiatives for the channel, reporting to E! President Suzanne Kolb. She replaces James Hitchcock who was named EVP marketing in October, succeeding Kolb in …
EXCLUSIVE: E! Entertainment, which has been ramping up its first scripted development slate, has bought an hourlong project from Hollywood PR veteran Howard Bragman. Inspired by Bragman’s real-life experiences, the untitled project centers on 30-years-old Jake Levy, a rising star publicist who, after hitting his peak at his NYC firm, makes a drastic move and launches out onto his own. Bragman co-founded leading entertainment PR agency Bragman Nyman Cafarelli in 1989. Sixteen years later, following BNC’s acquisition by Interpublic Group, Bragman left to launch his own boutique PR firm Fifteen Minutes.
E! continues to lock in key talent. The cable network has signed a multi-year extension with E! News anchor and managing editor Giuliana Rancic. The move comes after closing new deals with late-night host Chelsea Handler; Ryan Seacrest, E! News managing editor and producer of the hit Keeping Up With The Kardashians franchise; as well as the Kardashians themselves. Under the pact, Rancic will continue to anchor and serve as managing editor of E! News for the next three years, through 2015, and co-host the network’s Live From the Red Carpet specials and weekly series Fashion Police. The deal also includes a first-look component on series, specials and other scripted and non-scripted projects. Rancic’s reality series with her husband, Giuliana & Bill, airs on E! sibling Style.
When she took over E! Entertainment after the NBC Universal-Comcast merger, NBCUniversal’s cable maven Bonnie Hammer made introducing scripted programming to the the channel — known for its celebrity news and reality programs — a priority. A year later, at its upfront presentation tomorrow E! will unveil its first slate of scripted projects in active development. The slate features hourlong projects from John Wells, Kevin Spacey, Michael De Luca, Phillip Noyce, Emily Whitesell and Josh Reims. Like the rest of E!’s lineup, its scripted shows take on pop culture. That includes Dorothy, a contemporary tale inspired by The Wizard Of Oz, the John Wells-produced Anne Of Hollywood, the story of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII reset in present-day Hollywood (the project was originally set up at ABC earlier this season), and The 400, about the rise of the Vanderbilt dynasty. Rounding out the slate are a legal thriller (Juror #9), a detective procedural (Amy Devlin Mysteries), a show about a group of executive assistants and the more eclectic Fascination Street, set in two different time periods and centering on brothers investigating the disappearance of their band’s lead singer, King David, a modern-day Mr. Smith, and the Spacey/De Luca-produced Upstarts, about Silicon Valley’s digital gold rush of the late 1990s. “Our strategy is centered on telling compelling stories that reflect pop culture relevancy in unique and irreverent ways, and these scripted series will complement E!’s already diverse mix of reality, topical, news and comedy franchises,” said E!’s president of entertainment programming Lisa Berger. “The response from the creative community has been incredibly positive and we are excited to be in business with such high-caliber writers, producers and directors.” Berger shepherds E!’s scripted development with SVP scripted programming Kevin Plunkett, the network’s first ever scripted executive who was hired in October. E!’s first scripted series will make its debut in 2013. Here are details about E!’s scripted projects in development:
Kardashian Family Signs 3-Year Deal With E! For 3 More Seasons Of ‘Keeping Up With The Kardashians’, Other Reality Shows
Reality TV’s First Family, the Kardashians, have closed a big new three-year deal with E! for their signature series Keeping Up With The Kardashians. The pact includes orders for seasons seven, eight and nine …