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TCA: WE tv’s First Scripted Series ‘The Divide’ “Wasn’t Baked Fully” When Pitched To AMC

By | Friday July 11, 2014 @ 5:01pm PDT

TCA: WE tv’s First Scripted Series ‘The Divide’ “Wasn’t Baked Fully” When Pitched To AMCIs WE tv’s first original scripted drama The Divide the network’s own Mad Men?

The new 8-episode series, written by Richard LaGravenese (Behind The Candelabra) and co-created by LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), does not resemble that AMC drama’s story line or midcentury setting in any way. Rather, the contemporary series explores the personal cost of morality, ambition, ethics, politics, and race in today’s justice system LaGravenese Goldwyn TCAthrough the eyes of Christine Rosa (Marin Ireland), an impassioned case worker with The Innocence Initiative, and Adam Page (Damon Gupton), an equally passionate district attorney and rising political star.

But at today’s TCA panel, producers explained that when they pitched their story to AMC Networks, it was suggested that The Divide could become what Mad Men was for AMC: sibling network WE tv’s first scripted show. Read More »

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Produced By: It’s Not Just The Hair – How To Court The Female Audience

As women’s roles continue to expand in society, so too are their roles growing on television. More than ever, capturing the female audience is vital to a show’s success, and that was the subject of Sunday’s smart and funny “Courting the Female Audience” panel at the Producers Guild‘s Produced By conference.

Mara Brock-Akil“Women are looking for nuance,” said Mara Brock-Akil, creator and executive producer of Being Mary Jane and The Game. “We’re not all beautiful and gorgeous.”

Women are also, it would appear, looking for zombies, or at least one particular set of them. “The Walking Dead is the No. 1  show for women,” said Marc Juris, WE TV president and general manager. Either way, “Female viewers are much more demanding and discerning,” said Matt Warburton, executive producer of Fox’s The Mindy Project. “They care about the quality of a show. For men, fart jokes and an explosion are enough.”

So-called “procedurals” – those ubiquitous, based-on-a-real-story crime dramas – remain popular with older women in particular, the panelists agreed, although moderator Debra Birnbaum, a contributing editor at Variety, said she finds it “hard to deal with” all the genre’s “rape and torture.” Notwithstanding The Real Housewives of Pretty Much Everywhere, reality shows offer some of the best opportunities for female viewers to see real women like themselves dealing with everyday issues that affect their lives. “Reality does a much better job,” Juris said.

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WE TV Greenlights Thriller Drama ‘South Of Hell’ From Jason Blum, Eli Roth & Sonar

By | Thursday May 22, 2014 @ 11:18am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

wetv__130909231827-200x95Ahead of the July debut of its first original scripted series, The Divide, WE tv has greenlighted a second scripted drama, thriller South Of Hell from Sonar Entertainment and Blumhouse Television. The series, given an eight-episode order for a 2015 premiere, comes from two of the top horror producers, Jason Blum and Eli Roth, in their first pairing. A supernatural thriller set in Savannah, GA, jason blumeli rothSouth Of Hell focuses on Maria Abascal, a demon hunter whose power stems from within. The premiere episode will be directed by Roth (Hostel). “As WE tv moves firmly into scripted programming, we are committed to presenting distinctive and engaging stories,” said WE tv President Marc Juris. “That is certainly the case with South Of Hell, a dramatic thriller that introduces viewers to an unforgettable character, supernatural themes and the battle between good and evil.” The premiere episode was written by Matt Lambert. James Manos Jr. (Dexter) is executive producer and showrunner. Blum of Blumhouse Prods (Insidious) also serves as executive producer, along with Gerard Bocaccio, who worked at Blumhouse; Sonar’s former CEO Stewart Till; his replacement, Gene Stein; and Roth.

Related: Stewart Till Exits As Sonar Entertainment CEO, Producer Gene Stein Named New CEO
Read More »

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‘Charlie Sheen’s Bad Influence’ Pilot Part Of WE TV’s 2014-15 Slate

By | Thursday April 10, 2014 @ 9:27am PDT

We_tv_logo_2011 (1)WE tv‘s slate of unscripted original programming for 2014-2015 includes a one-hour pilot of Charlie Sheen’s Bad Influence, a relationship-based competition show in which Sheen puts engaged couples to the ultimate test by challenging how well they think they know their intended. "Scary Movie V" - Los Angeles PremiereThe pilot is currently in production in Los Angeles and was announced today during WEtv’s upfront presentation. The network also greenlighted the new series Match Made In Heaven, Mystery Millionaire and David Tutera’s CELEBrations and renewed the popular shows Kendra On Top, Marriage Boot Camp and the Braxton Family Values spinoff Tamar & Vince. In addition to the network’s growing unscripted efforts, WE tv will debut its first original scripted series, The Divide, this July. The network previously announced the fourth season of Braxton Family Values, second season of SWV Reunited, and the new series Love Thy Sister debuting this summer. Here’s a complete description of its slate: Read More »

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WE TV Renews Unscripted Series ‘Braxton Family Values’ & ‘SWV Reunited’

By | Thursday March 20, 2014 @ 8:36am PDT

wetvlogo1WE tv has given a 26-episode fourth season order to unscripted series Braxton Family Values starring singer Toni Braxton and her sisters, and picked up SWV Reunited for an expanded 10-episode second season. Braxton Family Values centers on the turbulent yet relatable relationships, careers and personal lives of sisters Toni, Tamar, Towanda, Trina and Traci Braxton and matriarch Miss E. The most recent third season delivered an average of 1.4 million viewers, according to WE tv. SWV Reunited follows the dynamic relationship of Coko, Taj and Lelee of the 90s R&B group “SWV – Sisters With Voices” as they attempt to heal old wounds and regain their standing on top of the music charts. It averaged 1.2 million viewers over its initial six-episode run.

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U.S. Adaptation Of British Reality Format ‘Sex Box’ Gets Pilot Order At WE TV

By | Tuesday March 11, 2014 @ 12:13pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Sex BoxEXCLUSIVE: Provocative British reality format Sex Box is getting a U.S. adaptation. WE tv has ordered an hourlong pilot for the project from Relativity TV. In Sex Box, real couples whose relationships are on the rocks enter a soundproof box to have sex and, upon exit, immediately address their issues with a panel of experts. According to the producers, the “in the moment” approach “fosters conversations about intimacy that are completely filterless and emotionally honest.” This marks one of the first major wetvgreen lights for Marc Juris, who took the reins of WE in October as president. “Sex Box is an intriguing and original concept from a top production partner and we’re very excited about its potential, which has already been clearly demonstrated overseas – where it’s a hit,” he said.

Sex Box originated as a reality special on UK’s Channel 4 (watch it below) where it drew an overnight audience of 906,000 last October (1.2 million cumed) and attracted a lot of traditional media and social media attention. It was produced by Clearstory, with Relativity acquiring the rights and pitching it to U.S. networks. WE tv is coming off a solid first season for its newest series, SWV Reunited, which averaged 1.2 million viewers.

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WE TV Ups Theresa Patiri To SVP

By | Tuesday March 4, 2014 @ 3:55pm PST

Theresa_Patiri_SVP_2014 (1)WE tv has promoted Theresa Patiri from VP production management and operations to SVP production and business affairs, effective immediately. Based in the network’s NYC office, Patiri reports to WE tv’s President and General Manager, Marc Juris. In her new role, Patiri is responsible for all production management and business affairs for WE tv’s slate of original scripted and unscripted series and development projects. She also oversees U.S. and international program sales, series syndication, rights and clearances. In her previous role, Patiri oversaw the day-to-day operations of WE tv’s unscripted originals, from production to completion. Before WE tv, Patiri worked at NBC in news and operations.

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Premiere Dates, Renewals & Other Cable News

By | Monday November 18, 2013 @ 2:22pm PST

Premiere dates have been set for TNT’s Dallas and Lifetime’s Lizzie Borden, TV One has announced a renewal for reality series R&B Divas, and WE tv’s Braxton Family Values hit a ratings high in its Season 3 premiere. Dallas Season 3 will debut at 9 PM on February 24. Patrick Duffy returns as Bobby Ewing, now the senior member of the Ewing family following the death of his older brother, J.R. Ewing. Linda Gray and Josh Henderson also star. Lifetime’s original movie Lizzie Borden Took An Ax premieres January 25 at 8 PM. Christina Ricci, Billy Campbell and Clea Duvall head the cast of the film about the woman tried and acquitted in the 1892 ax murders of her father and stepmother. TV One has picked up its reality series R&B Divas Atlanta for a third season and R&B Divas LA for Season 2. Both are slated to premiere in 2014. Meanwhile, WE tv’s Braxton Family Values saw its biggest numbers ever for a premiere, bringing in 1.3 million total viewers for its mid-season debut on November 14 — +27% increase from the season’s March 14 start. The episode also ranked No. 3 among women 18-49 (586,000) and No. 5 … Read More »

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Marc Juris Named WE tv President & GM

By | Thursday October 10, 2013 @ 10:19am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Marc Juris is returning to AMC Networks as the new president and general manager of WE tv. He succeeds Kim Martin, who stepped down last week, and will report to Ed Carroll, COO of AMC Networks. Most recently, Juris was EVP and COO of truTV for nine years until departing the Turner network this past summer. Prior to that, he held a number of positions at AMC Networks, then known as Rainbow Media, including president of music channel Fuse. Earlier, he was SVP Programming and later general manager of AMC, where he developed and spearheaded the channel’s rebranding and its transition to an ad-supported network. That makes two network transformations he has overseen, having also shepherded Court TV’s evolution into truTV. He is taking over WE tv also in a transitional period, as the network, known for its slate of unscripted series, led by flagship Braxton Family Values, is moving into the scripted space, having recently greenlighted its first scripted series, The Divide. “We’re glad to have Marc Juris back at the company,” said Carroll. “Marc possesses a unique blend of programming and marketing expertise and has a proven track record of growing both brands and ratings.” Read More »

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We TV Renews ‘L.A. Hair’ For Season 3

By | Monday September 9, 2013 @ 4:18pm PDT

WE tv has given a third season, 12-episode renewal to its hit original series L.A. Hair, which chronicles the fast-paced, celebrity-studded hair salon owned by stylist Kim Kimble. L.A. Hair was up 66% among W25-54, +40% among W18-49 and +57% among both total viewers and total women over its debut season. L.A. Hair joins the network’s growing 2014 slate which also includes the return of Marriage Boot Camp: Bridezillas and WE tv’s entry into scripted programming with The Divide.

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WE TV Officially Greenlights LaGravenese/ Goldwyn Drama As First Scripted Series, Sets 3 Scripted Projects In Development

By | Tuesday July 23, 2013 @ 11:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s official: WE tv has picked up its first scripted series with a 10-episode order to The Divide, written by Richard LaGravenese (Behind the Candelabra) and co-created by LaGravenese and Tony Goldwyn (Conviction), for a 2014 premiere. Additionally, WE has closed development deals for three additional scripted drama projects from such auspices as Chris and Paul Weitz, RJ Cutler and Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson.

Previous: WE TV Eyes Expansion Into Scripted Programming With Series Order To AMC’s LaGravenese/Goldwyn Drama Pilot

The Divide was originally developed and ordered as a pilot last year by WE sibling AMC, which didn’t pick it up to series but left it in contention. The project’s series order by WE tv had been contingent on finding a showrunner as David Manson, who ran the pilot at AMC, had moved to Netflix’s House Of Cards as executive producer. Veteran John Tinker (The Practice) has now been tapped for the job and will serve as executive producer alongside LaGravenese and Goldwyn. Andrew Sugerman (Shopgirl) will co-executive produce. The series will be produced by AMC Studios, which produced the pilot directed by Goldwyn. Read More »

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WE TV Opening Los Angeles Office

By | Wednesday June 5, 2013 @ 8:15am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

On the heels of New York-based IFC establishing a presence on the West Coast in March, sibling WE tv too is opening a Los Angeles outpost. Promoted from director to senior director, Megan Lawrence will move from New York to LA to oversee WE tv’s unscripted development efforts in the market, reporting to Deirdre O’Hearn, VP, development and talent, based in NYC. She will work out of AMC Networks’ Santa Monica office. WE tv’s production and development is overseen by NYC-based SVP, Lauren Gellert. WE tv’s summer original slate got off to a solid start last week with the launch of the network’s Friday lineup.

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WE TV Greenlights Originals ‘The Lylas’, ‘Pregnant & Dating’, ‘The Ruckers’

By | Wednesday April 10, 2013 @ 11:35am PDT

The femme-centric network today set three new additions to its unscripted original slate of programming. The Lylas follows the musician sisters of pop singer Bruno Mars as they move from Hawaii to LA in search of their own big break and will air Fridays this fall. Pregnant & Dating centers on five single mothers and debuts this summer, airing on Saturday nights. Docu-soap The Ruckers: Southern Royals, set for Thursday nights, follows three African-American socialite sisters in South Carolina.

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WE TV Renews ‘Bridezillas’ & ‘David Tutera’, Orders ‘Bridezillas’ Spinoff Series

By | Thursday March 28, 2013 @ 7:00am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

WE tv has ordered a 10th season of popular reality series Bridezillas, along with a new spinoff, Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas, which follows five bridezillas trying to save their marriages — all while living under one roof. WE tv also has picked up a sixth season of celebrity wedding and event planner David Tutera’s My Fair Wedding With David Tutera, now titled David Tutera Unveiled, which features Tutera planning and executing weddings and other over-the-top soirees. WE tv has ordered 22 hourlong episodes of Bridezillas, nine episodes of Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas, and eight episodes of David Tutera Unveiled for summer. Here is more information on Marriage Bootcamp: Bridezillas: Read More »

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We TV Hires Head Of PR Executive

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 7:02am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

WE tv has appointed Mark Neschis SVP Public Relations. He will be based in the network’s NYC office and report to Ellen Kroner, EVP Communications for AMC Networks. Neschis comes from Wenner Media, where he was corporate communications director, overseeing all communications activities for Rolling Stone, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal. Before that, Neschis was EVP at Robinson Lerer & Montgomery and served as director of television news for The White House press office during the Clinton administration.

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We TV’s ‘Mary Mary’ Renewed For Season 3

By | Wednesday February 27, 2013 @ 8:05am PST

The network has given the greenlight for 10 one-hour episodes of its docu-series Mary Mary, just ahead its second-season finale tomorrow night. Production begins next month in LA on the series, which takes viewers inside the homes, families and life of gospel singers and sisters Erica and Tina Campbell to experience just what being a famous singing sister, mother and wife is really like. “During the current season of Mary Mary, viewers witnessed two incredible births: Tina’s baby boy and Erica and Tina’s hit single, ‘Go Get It,’ which went on to win the duo a Grammy Award”, said Lauren Gellert, WE tv’s SVP Original Production & Development. “It’s exactly this type of dimensionality that WE tv spotlights in women”. Season-to-date, Season 2 has reached 5.2 million total viewers, up 16% over Season 1. Mary Mary is produced by eOne Televison; Erica Campbell, Tina Campbell, Tara Long, John Morayniss, Eric Hoberman and Mitchell Solarek are executive producers. Kate Farrell is exec producer for WE tv.

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WE tv Orders Reality Series Starring Olympic Champion Sanya Richards-Ross

By | Thursday February 21, 2013 @ 7:09am PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: WE tv has greenlighted Glam & Gold, a docu-series starring Olympic gold medalist Sanya Richards-Ross and her husband, NFL star Aaron Ross. The network has ordered six hourlong episodes to premiere this summer. Filming on the series has begun in Austin and Jacksonville. Glam & Gold joins WE tv’s lineup of African American-starring shows including Braxton Family Values, Mary Mary, Tamar & Vince and L.A. Hair.

Glam & Gold chronicles the often intense rivalry between the hyper competitive couple who met in college — four-time gold medalist Richards-Ross, who won two golds in London last summer, and her husband, a two-time Super Bowl champion who signed a three-year, $15 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars last year. Each episode follows Sanya as she juggles appearances, runs a business, and balances life with Aaron and her own family who make up her team including mom Sharon, acting as her agent; dad, Archie, who serves as her manager; her sister, Shari, who is her business partner in The Hair Clinic, an Austin hair salon that Sanya funds and Shari runs; and her cousin Yolandae, who serves as Sanya’s publicist and stylist. Read More »

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We TV Developing Docu-Series With Bruno Mars’ Sisters

By | Tuesday February 5, 2013 @ 9:23am PST
Nellie Andreeva

WE tv has put in development a docu-reality series with singer-songwriter Bruno Mars’ sisters — Jaime Kailani, Tiara, Tahiti and Presley — who make up the pop band The Lylas. Produced by Asylum Entertainment (The Kennedys), the series and chronicle the sisters’ path from Hawaii to LA — where they are living and working together on their debut album — and their relationship as sisters-turned-business partners. “The Lylas are fierce, independent women, leaving their home — and in some cases their relationships and kids — for a chance at pursuing their love of music,” said Lauren Gellert, WE tv’s SVP Production & Development. “Their story is one filled with all of the drama and chaos that comes from making a major life change, with the added spice of doing it alongside your sisters.” The Lylas just released their first single, “Come Back”, and corresponding music video.

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