CBS to flood TV Guide Network with reality shows
Two weeks after new TV Guide Network owner CBS Corp. (NYSE: CBS) moved soap opera "The Young and The Restless" to TVGN, the network said Wednesday that it plans to launch "Tequila Sisters" and three other reality shows this fall.
In March, CBS announced a deal with Lionsgate to run TVGN through a 50-50 joint venture. The broadcaster, which has been demanding increased retransmission-consent fees from cable and satellite providers for its owned-and-operated stations, now packages TVGN in distribution deals that include Showtime Networks.
While TVGN was once dedicated to running a scrolling schedule of TV listings, the network, which counts about 80 million subscribers, has transformed into an entertainment network. Its fall schedule will include "Mother of All Talent," a reality series based on a mother and daughter from New York's Staten Island who have built a talent agency for kids. "This comedic yet aspirational series will capture what it takes to find and manage children in showbiz, while also contending with overly ambitious stage parents," the network said in Wednesday's announcement.
TVGN said it will also launch a reality show about talk show host Wendy Williams, a program that shows some of its corporate synergies with CBS and Viacom (NYSE: VIA). Her daytime program, "The Wendy Williams Show," is syndicated mostly on The CW stations, which are owned partially by CBS, and is rerun on BET. Sumner Redstone, the chairman of BET owner Viacom, is also the executive chairman of CBS.
Country music performer John Rich will also host a primetime show this fall on TVGN, which the network described as "one part talk, one part reality and all parts Nashville." The Big & Rich star used to host a reality show on Viacom's CMT called "Gone Country."
TVGN said "Tequila Sisters" is "docu-soap" series which will follow the life of an affluent Hispanic family in Southern California. "The show follows Mexican-born family patriarch and tequila entrepreneur Bill and his wife Lori, as they raise four beautiful daughters--Jen, Lauren, Jackie and Catherine--while fighting to pass along traditional values of family and marriage when faced with the seductions of Hollywood lifestyle."
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