Eight months after Nancy Dubuc brought in BBC executive Jana Bennett to lead LMN and Bio and transform Bio into a lifestyle brand, the company has set July 7 as a launch date for Bio’s successor, FYI, and its inaugural slate of six series and two pilots. The series run the gamut of tried-and-true lifestyle areas: food, home/home renovation and personal makeover, with the network touting its programming as being younger skewing and upscale. Pilots include one featuring actress Jennifer Esposito and her gluten-free bakery. The project was first piloted by E!, which passed on it. Here is the slate:
A+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.