Oxygen Media has officially unveiled its half-hour hidden camera reality series Celebrities Undercover (see the trailer below), which will premiere March 18 following the debut of another new series, Chasing Maria Menounos. In June, the network quietly gave a green light to Celebrities Undercover (then Secret Celebrity) executive produced by talk show host Wendy Williams under her first-look deal at Oxygen. Each episode features two celebrities concealing their true identity with the use of prosthetic makeup to find out what unsuspecting fans and friends really think of them. In the series premiere, Williams goes undercover as a member of her own audience, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians star Kim Kardashian disguises herself at a group job interview as a fan hoping to become her new assistant.
Oxygen Slates Hidden Camera Series ‘Celebrities Undercover’ Produced By Wendy Williams & Featuring Kim Kardashian: Video
Investigation Discovery announced its new anti-Valentine’s Day special is the Wendy Williams-hosted 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, a one-hour special on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14 — part of the network’s anti-Valentine’s Day celebration. “Some say ‘breaking up is hard to do,’ but it sure wasn’t for the people who have felt love turn vengeful,” said Henry Schleiff, Group President of Investigation Discovery, Destination America and Military Channel (soon to be renamed American Heroes Channel). “Wendy is the perfect host for this darkly funny special Valentine’s gift from ID that’s better than any box of …poison chocolates!” Three stories of damning dismissal featured in the special:
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that Oxygen has quietly given the green light to Secret Celebrity, a reality series produced by T Group Prods, which Wendy Williams executive produces as part of her first-look deal with the cable network. Per Oxygen’s description when the project was announced in February as being in development, Secret Celebrity features stars in disguise as they surprise unsuspecting fans, friends and family. I hear celebrities who already have filmed episodes of the show include Nick Lachey, Ice-T & Coco and LuAnn de Lesseps, who just signed on to return to The Real Housewives Of New York on sibling Bravo. T Group’s Jenny Daly executive produces with Williams and Gunnar Wetterberg.
Wendy Williams just announced the formation of her own production company and now has a client. Oxygen Media has signed Williams to a development deal in which her company will find, develop and produce original programming. She will also serve as an executive producer on Oxygen’s new in-development project Secret Celebrity, which is part of the network’s plan to expand its schedule of original programming from two to three nights a week. Williams will also appear as a guest judge on the modeling competition series The Face, which premieres February 12.
In addition to Secret Celebrity, which features celebrities in disguise who surprise unsuspecting fans, Oxygen said today in advance of its upfront event that it has a new pilot, This Week The Award Goes To…, a comedic talk show that offers up over-the-top awards to pop culture figures. It joins a 2013 lineup that includes returning series I’m Having Their Baby, the network’s highest-rated new series last season, and tattoo competition series Best Ink with new host Pete Wentz.
Here’s the network’s description of the new projects:
Talk show host Wendy Williams and her manager-husband Kevin Hunter have formed Wendy Williams Prods, a production company that will focus on development and production of reality, game and talk shows for the cable and broadcast markets. Lionsgate-owned Debmar-Mercury, producer-distributor of Williams’ nationally syndicated The Wendy Williams Show, will be a partner in the new company, which has tapped veteran producer Lisa Knapp as SVP Development. Williams will serve as executive producer of the projects developed through her company and may also have an on-camera role in some. “This is a dream come true,” she said. “As anyone who watches my show knows, I am a huge fan of all reality and game shows, and know a thing or two about talk.”