Cabler brings back reality skein
“High School Reunion” is getting a second life on TV Land.
Cabler has revived the reality skein, which ran for three seasons on the WB, greenlighting six new episodes from exec producer Mike Fleiss (“The Bachelor”), this time aimed at the Viacom network’s target baby-boom audience.
Hourlong skein takes a group of former classmates and brings them together several years after graduation to participate in a reunion in a fantasy location. Production begins early next year for a premiere in the third or fourth quarter.
Fleiss’ Next Entertainment will produce in association with Warner Horizon, where he is now based (Daily Variety, May 9).
While on the Frog, the series focused on a 10-year reunion of alumni in their late 20s and early 30s. As such, the show played especially well to the younger 18-34 and 12-34 demos coveted by the WB. For TV Land, the skein will host 20-year reunions in order to better appeal to the cabler’s older demos.
Nick at Nite/TV Land exec VP of original programming Keith Cox, who shepherded the show while serving as alternative senior VP at the WB, said the concept of “Reunion” has universal appeal, making it ripe for a revival.
“The cast has a built-in history together, which makes for good storytelling, and the idea is relatable,” Cox said. As evidenced in the ratings for TV Land specs like “Still Brady After All These Years,” “We also know boomers love reunions. They love looking back and looking forward. This show does both.”
Deal is not the first time a cable network has resurrected a broadcast franchise: Viacom sib VH1 ushered in new seasons of “The Surreal Life” –also developed by Cox while at the WB — to huge success. Show spawned several celebrity-centered shows for VH1 and was the basis for the network’s signature Celebreality Sunday destination.
“‘High School Reunion’ is an opportunity for us to run with a great franchise,” Cox said. “Good concepts are hard to come by, and the new series on TV Land will present the show to a whole new audience.”
CAA-repped Fleiss’ credits include “The Bachelor,” “The Real Gilligan’s Island” and “Are You Hot?”