WE springing for original projects

'Princess,' 'Wore' on net slate

WE: Women’s Entertainment has picked up Granada TV/NBC Prods.-produced “American Princess,” breathing new life into a show that had been sitting on the shelf at the Peacock.

NBC greenlit and shot the skein in spring 2003, but never put “Princess” on the schedule. Kathy Hilton reality skein “I Want to Be a Hilton” may have put similarly themed “Princess” at a disadvantage when execs bought the skein early last year.

“Princess” was later set up at Peacock-backed PAX, but fell through the cracks there when the broadcaster made move to reposition itself as an outlet for infomercials. Granada then shopped the show to several cable networks, with WE licensing rights to the skein.

Selling the show reps a victory for both NBC, which will score coin for having co-produced the show, and Granada, which will finally get to see the show premiere.

Debuting Aug. 14, show mixes elements of “America’s Next Top Model” and “The Princess Diaries” as a group of regular Janes is sent to England for a sort of royalty boot camp.

WE also greenlit “I Can’t Believe I Wore That,” a four-part retrospective that explores fashion faux pas from the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s and today. Specs premiere in December.

Net exec VP-general manager Kim Martin said the new skeins rep cabler’s renewed commitment to original programming.

“When I joined the network six months ago, my primary goal was to increase our original offerings,” she said. “These originals join a lineup of already popular shows and continue to position WE as a premier destination for relevant, fun and engaging programming designed for today’s busy women.”

Martin recently greenlit original skeins “Kiss and Tell,” “Daddy’s Little (Spoiled) Girl” and “The Secret Lives of Women” and announced the acquisition of “Cutting It.”

Before that, she launched WE’s first live events with “Live on Wisteria Lane,” a post-“Desperate Housewives” finale spec; “Live From the Ladies Room,” featuring Oscar commentary from Sandra Bernhard; and the exclusive BBC1 coverage of the wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

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