David Wisnia has been appointed President of Business Operations for TVGN, a CBS Corp and Lionsgate partnership. He will oversee TVGN’s operational strategy, including ad sales, content distribution, corporate strategy and business development, finance, and business and legal affairs. Wisnia’s appointment is effective immediately, and he will report to TVGN’s Board of Directors working alongside Brad Schwartz, TVGN’s President, Entertainment and Media. Wisnia succeeds Dennis Miller, who had been a consultant to Lionsgate for TVGN, and later served as the interim president during the network’s recent transition of partnerships from One Equity Partners to CBS.
TVGN has picked up Alan Thicke’s faux-reality series Unusually Thicke and will premiere it on Wednesday, April 16 at 10 PM ET/PT. The series stars the Growing Pains patriarch and his real-life family including wife Tanya and teenaged son Carter. Also showing up in the 14-episode run: Thicke’s son Robin, David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget, Jon Stamos, Bill Maher, Tom Green, Magic Johnson, and Wayne Gretsky, according to Toronto-based Peacock Alley Entertainment, which is producing. Canadian press has said the first season also will include cameos by Jay Leno, the entire cast of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother, and Minnie Driver.
TVGN’s First Development Slate Includes ‘New Kids On The Block’ Series, ‘Celebrity Celebrity’ Game Show
Seven months after CBS Corp. acquired half of TVGN, partnering with Lionsgate, the cable network is announcing its first development slate. The projects on it indicate that TVGN does not plan a major change of course, keeping its focus on celebrity, pop culture and television. Corporate synergy with CBS already has done well for TVGN, which has seen triple-digit ratings increases from its broadcasts of Big Brother After Dark and The Young & The Restless. Following the recent premiere of docuseries Mother Of All Talent, about mother-daughter kids talent agents, and the upcoming debut of Tequila Sisters, about a Miami-based tequila business clan, TVGN has unveiled a development slate featuring seven other unscripted projects. It includes a series featuring New Kids on the Block, produced by band member and star of CBS’ Blue Bloods Donnie Wahlberg, and a game show based on the Celebrity Celebrity parlor game produced by Scandal‘s Joshua Malina.
Corporate synergy is again on full display, with a show about CBS’ Watch! Magazine and two series from Lionsgate TV — a magazine based on celebrity tweets and posts, and a show about the cutthroat Hollywood tour business. TVGN also is paying homage to its roots as a TV guide service with a show about the stories behind television’s biggest hits. “We have commissioned a slate of original projects that capture compelling and exciting stories of Hollywood, fandom and obsession,” said Brad Schwartz, TVGN’s President of Entertainment and Media. Here are details about TVGN’s projects in development:
Rock The Boat: New Kids On The Block: Obsessed fans take the vacation of a lifetime when they board a cruise for a weeklong party on the high-seas with America’s favorite bands. The first group to headline this all-new series franchise is New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), one of the hottest bands in music history.
The veteran exec has held senior posts at Bravo, Style Network and Nickelodeon, and now Nicole Sabatini will oversee brand and marketing strategies for TVGN as SVP Marketing. Based in LA starting next week, she also will lead …
TVGN, the CBS and Lionsgate co-owned cable network formerly known as TV Guide Network, today announced two new unscripted series and two celebrity-driven shows which it will add to its lineup in the fall. The network recently began telecasting the soap The Young And The Restless weeknights at 7 PM and Big Brother After Dark at midnight. The new programs include a reality series about a mother/daughter Staten Island-based talent agency for toddlers, another about an affluent Hispanic family living in Southern California, a behind-the-scenes look at Wendy Williams preparing to play prison matron Mama Morton in the Broadway production of Chicago, and a talk show starring country singer/Celebrity Apprentice winner John Rich. Here are the network’s descriptions of the new projects:
CBS is not wasting any time putting a stamp on TVGN. Just three weeks after CBS Corp. acquired half of the cable network to form a partnership with Lionsgate, TVGN has named a new president, Fuse’s Brad Schwartz. His full title will be President of Entertainment and Media and his main responsibility is to oversee programming for the network, which is expected to ramp up its original slate and undergo a creative overhaul. “This partnership is all about improving a property that has tremendous potential it has yet to realize,” said CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves. “The key to that improvement will be growing the quality of the programming offered to the more than 80 million viewers who have access to TVGN.”
TVGN has been without a permanent president since January when Mike Mahan stepped down as President of TV Guide, the company that encompasses the TVGN and TVGuide.com. (He has since joined dick clark prods. as president of parent company DC Media). For the past three months, Dennis Miller, strategic adviser of TV Guide co-owner Lionsgate, had served as interim president. He now has been named President of Operations and will continue to manage affiliate sales, finance and operational strategy, working closely with Schwartz in ad sales, which will report to both of them. Schwartz comes from a music/pop culture cable TV background. He most recently was SVP of Programming and Operations for music channel Fuse. He previously served as General Manager of a suite of eight CTV music and pop culture cable networks in Canada, including MTV Canada, MuchMusic, MTV2 and MuchMore, and Director of Global Marketing Partnerships at MTV. Here is the official release: