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New Reality for TV Land

Mar 16, 2008  •  Post A Comment

TV Land, in the process of broadening its focus from classic TV, has greenlit a slate of new reality shows aimed at its target audience of baby boomers.
In the shows, boomers get shots at rekindling old loves, trying new careers, having a really good day and winning money.
TV Land, which had been one of Viacom’s laggards, perked up in the fourth quarter: Ad sales rose as older viewers turned to cable when the Writers Guild strike took their favorite broadcast shows off the air. The network also benefited from adding movies to its schedule, in addition to reruns of classic TV shows.
Earlier this month, the network launched “High School Reunion,” an original show aimed at viewers in their 40s and 50s. Unlike the network’s previous attempts at original programming, it didn’t make a connection to classic TV.
The show drew a 0.4 ratings among adults 25 to 54, up 105% from the same time period a year ago, and drew viewers with a median age of 46. Ratings were steady for the show’s second episode last week.
“We’re very encouraged by the turnout,” said Keith Cox, executive VP for original programming at TV Land. Casting has begun for a second season of the show, which is likely to be renewed.
The network sees a void of programming for viewers 40 to 54 years old.
“All these new shows really speak to what’s going on in their lives,” Mr. Cox.
The new slate includes “Now or Never,” which gives empty-nesters a chance to move and pursue new careers. Mr. Cox said the first couple in the show take the opportunity to change their lives, sell their house and move to Florida as the husband ditches his job at a funeral home. The series is produced by RDF USA.
“First Love, Second Chance” gives long-lost sweethearts a chance to reunite years later. The show is produced by Granada Entertainment.
In “Make My Day,” a person’s family and friends set up a day of fantastic surprises followed by a battery of hidden cameras.
“It’s a positive ‘Punk’d,’” Mr. Cox said. The surprises could range from meeting celebrities to running into old acquaintances.
Michael Davies is the executive producer with Sony Pictures Television and Monkey Kingdom.
TV Land also is looking to get into the game show genre with “What’s in the Box?” Contestants ask 20 yes or no questions to figure out what’s hidden and win a cash jackpot.
Bunim-Murray produces, and the network is looking for a big-name comedian to host, according to Mr. Cox.
Before those shows air, most likely in the first quarter of 2009, TV Land will roll out its previously announced series, including the 35-and-over beauty pageant “She’s Got the Look”; “Family Foreman,” featuring former boxing champ George Foreman; and “The Big 4-0.”

9 Comments

  1. This channel is changing and not for the better. Who wants more scripted reality shows. Who cares about how people live and celebrate. Bring back the classics. Just go to their message boards to see how disappointed their long time viewers are. Of course they have just changed the boards probably to try to discourage posting.

  2. Poster Diane is right on target! TVL is thumbing their nose at their core audience and the new forums are a way to isolate their complaints to the trash bin. Also, almost all of the positive spin about these ABYSMAL reality shows come straight from the tvl PR dept. TVL’s claim of great ratings for High School Reunion came from them and not Nielson!

  3. I was on Make My Day when it was going to be a show on the Wb awhile back. I am wondering if I’m going to get to see my episode or if these are brand new episodes or both.
    Make My Day has potential to be a great reality show in a sea of awful ones so I am actually looking forward to this (and would be even if I hadn’t been on it.)

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