TLC Restocks Slate With Familiar Faces

Apr 19, 2009  •  Post A Comment

TLC, in the midst of a ratings rebound, is renewing 10 of its current series.
The returning shows range from the long-running “What Not to Wear” and “A Baby Story” to the brand-new “Toddlers & Tiaras.” Also renewed was “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” which wrapped its fourth season with its highest rated episode ever.
Since new President Eileen O’Neill took over the network last summer, it has had seven straight months of year-over-year growth among women 18 to 34, reversing the declines of 2007 and 2008. TLC ranked 23rd among advertising-supported cable networks in total viewers in primetime during the fourth quarter.
Ms. O’Neill said she and her team focused on series they could work with and on “making shows that had potential to get stronger.”
For example, “Say Yes to the Dress,” one of the renewed series, blossomed in its third season after it was given a regular timeslot behind “What Not to Wear” and the production team shifted the focus toward the bride and the emotions surrounding picking a wedding gown.
“We really improved on some things that were on the schedule prior to recent management, and we’re pretty happy with what the results are,” Ms. O’Neill said.
Two of the relatively new shows, “Toddlers & Tiaras” and “18 Kids and Counting,” have become the tentpole of a Tuesday night schedule that is working, joining Monday night and Friday night in the success column, she said.
Returning Shows
The shows being renewed are “18 Kids and Counting,” going into its third season in July, from Advanced Medical Productions; “A Baby Story,” going into its 12th season this fall, from True Entertainment; “Home Made Simple,” going into its sixth season in the fall, from Discovery Studios; “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” whose fifth season starts May 25, from Figure 8 Productions; “Little People, Big World,” with season five in the fall, from Gay Rosenthal Productions; “Moving Up,” starting a fourth season in August, from BBC Worldwide Productions; “My First Home,” entering its fourth season in the fall, from Authentic Entertainment; “Say Yes to the Dress,” with a fourth season starting this fall, from Half Yard Productions; “Toddlers & Tiaras,” with a second season starting in June, from Authentic Entertainment; and “What Not to Wear,” whose seventh season starts in May, from BBC Worldwide Productions.
During Discovery Communications’ upfront presentations over the past few weeks, TLC has announced 19 new shows, including “The Little Couple,” “Table for 12,” “Eat, Drink and Be Married” (working title), “Wedded to Perfection,” “Wild Weddings,” “Freakin’ Fabulous With Clinton Kelly” (working title), “Making Over America With Trinny and Susannah,” “The General,” “Restorer Guy,” “Stager Invasion,” “Cake Boss,” “Mom Inc.,” “The Police Women Project,” and “Ultimate Cake-Off.”
“We’d like to be able to announce more a year from now are being renewed,” Ms. O’Neill said. “That’s what we’re focused on: growing the programs that have worked for the network and introducing new ones we’re hoping will grow quickly.”


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