The end of “Queer Eye” and a potentially controversial U.S. remake of a Blighty gameshow format were among the slew of programming announcements cablers unleashed late last week at the semi-annual TV Critics Assn. press tour.
While A&E’s ambitious program development slate and NBC U’s new Chiller channel grabbed the major headlines, other news emerged from cable’s portion of the press tour. Here’s a look at a few of the stories that broke last week:
- GSN gave a series order to the 12 Yard Prods./Channel 4 format “Without Prejudice?” Basic premise of the skein finds a panel of average Americans awarding a lump of cash to one of five players — based on little more than looks and how they answer a few rounds of questions.
Project had been shopped to broadcast nets last year, but some expressed reservations about a format in which money is awarded based on appearances. David Young is exec producing.
Other projects in development at GSN include “Grand Slam,” a Q&A format being spearheaded by Michael Davies via Sony Pictures Television; “Indecision,” a format from Phil Gurin (“The Weakest Link”); and “Carry Your Weight,” a quizzer created by Corbin Bernsen (“The Mole”) and exec produced by Burt Dubrow and Jean Wiegman, along with Bernsen.
GSN has also ordered a sixth season of “Lingo,” making it the cabler’s longest-running original.
- Bravo quietly announced that “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”–which helped transform the net from a sleepy arts-focused cabler to a pop culture-focused player — will end its run this summer after four seasons. Ten episodes are in the works.
In addition, Bravo officially renewed “Project Runway” for a fourth season and said it was developing a new skein for “Runway’s” Tim Gunn dubbed “Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.” Skein will essentially offer the Gunn eye for all guys and gals in need of a makeover.
Meanwhile, cabler tapped Jaclyn Smith to host new haircutting competish “Shear Genius.”
- “Queer Eye” regular Thom Filicia will host the just-greenlit Style network skein “Dress My Nest,” in which favorite clothing becomes the inspiration for the design of a room. Skein bows March 28.
- Sundance Channel unveiled plans for “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” a 13-part documentary series that will air as part of the cabler’s environmentally focused programming block “The Green.”
- WE gave the go-ahead to “Wife, Mom, Bounty Hunter,” a reality skein featuring Sandra Scott, owner of a bail bonds company in Arizona. Skein’s from World of Wonder Prods.