International luxury goods group LVMH and investment firm Europ@web will make a strategic investment of $122 million in Oxygen Media.LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton will take a minority stake in Oxygen, a privately owned company, and a seat on its board of directors. Europ@web is the Internet investment company recently established by Groupe Arnault, the private holding company that controls LVMH. “Bernard Arnault, LVMH’s chairman and CEO, and his colleagues are highly regarded for the global scope of their vision and their growing commitment to the Internet and other new technologies,” said Geraldine Laybourne, Oxygen’s chairman and CEO. The investments by LVMH and Europ@web investment are part of Oxygen’s private financing, which also includes investments from Oprah Winfrey’s Harp Entertainment Group, American Online, CVM(an entity formed by Marcy Carsey, Tom Werner and Caryn Mandabach) and Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures. Oxygen also announced Wednesday that L.A. yoga instructor Steve Ross will host and co-exec produce “Inhale,” the new cable network’s daily hourlong exercise show. Veteran producer/director Staness Jonekos, president and founder of film and video production company Krystal Prods., will co-exec produce.
* * *Fox’s the Health Network and Newsweek have formed a long-term partnership to produce health news programming for television. The first co-produced series will be “Health Point,” a half-hour weekly magazine series that reviews and profiles topical health issues and stories. Health Network has ordered 52 episodes of the series. The partnership will also include the production of “Health Point Specials.” The first joint production is titled “Medical Milestones of the 20th Century,” which could evolve into a series of its own. The two companies will work together to create polls, surveys and other integrated media projects in areas including health, wellness, fitness and lifestyles.
* * *Disney Channel has ordered 20 episodes of the new original comedy series “Louis and Ren.” David Brookwell and Sean McNamara (“The Secret World of Alex Mack”) will exec produce the series, produced by their production company Brookwell McNamara Entertainment in association with Disney Channel. Comedian David Steinberg will serve as creative consultant. The series, which follows the comedic adventures of Louis, a typical 13-year old kid, and his over-achieving older sister Ren, will go into production in February. The kid net has additionally ordered 25 episodes of animated series “Rolie Polie Olie” (bringing the total episode count to 65), as well as 26 additional episodes of “The Famous Jett Jackson.” The third season of the series will go into production in March and will begin airing in June.
* * *Home & Garden Television will provide uninterrupted live coverage of the 111th Tournament of Roses on Jan. 1, beginning at 11 a.m. The network’s coverage will be hosted live from the parade route in Pasadena by HGTV’s gardening experts Paul James and Rebecca Kolls and veteran TV host Robb Weller. Before the live coverage begins, HGTV will air two original specials about the history and making of the Rose Parade.
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