Reality TV vet LMNO Prods. is stepping up its development efforts, hiring two new execs and signing deals with talent ranging from Boyz II Men to the Three Redneck Tenors.
Company, known for programs such as “Boot Camp,” “The Littlest Groom” and “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” has named Jennifer Mayer Kulp VP of development and brought in Lisa Pollack as director of development.
“We’ve been constantly trying to identify new areas and try to stay fresh,” said LMNO topper Eric Schotz. “That means bringing in new people and fresh blood. It’s good to have Jen and Lisa bring different eyes to the table.”
LMNO’s upcoming projects include the Animal Planet two-hour “Bear Whisperer,” starring Steve Searles — a well-known bear wrangler in Mammoth Lakes.
“We’re filming him 24/7, a la ‘Cops,'” Schotz said. “Whenever he gets a call from the police department, we follow him.”
Company is also producing “Meteorite Men” for Discovery Science, following two men who search the country for meteorites — which can be worth as much as $1 million from collectors.
At Discovery Health, LMNO is behind series including “Fit to Live,” “Miracle Babies,” “National Body Challenge” and “100 lbs. Overweight.”
LMNO also sold the documentary “Marathon Love” to Discovery Health. Shingle has chronicled the story for 15 years and is also out shopping the TV movie rights.
LMNO is in the midst of seasons seven and eight of “Over Your Head” at HGTV, and its “Wedding Central” debuted Aug. 3 on WE TV.
As for talent alliances and development, LMNO has pacted with Atlanta mediator Ellen Malow to develop a new kind of courtshow for firstrun syndication. Also down South, the shingle has struck a deal with Atlanta’s elite law enforcement unit to produce “Atlanta S.O.S.”
British psychic Tony Stockwell will front a new take on the unsolved mystery genre, with a paranormal twist, while forensic psychologist Keith Ablow is at the center of project that takes therapy to the streets.
Motivational speaker Pam Peeke is the star of “Fit to Live,” and Paul Dostie is at the center of “Cadaver Dog,” having trained canines to search for missing crime victims (that one’s headed for Discovery ID).
Also in the works: a project with Atlanta’s Delphi U., which trains psychic mediums.
As for Boyz II Men, Schotz and his team are putting together three different concepts to take out for cable or broadcast. The production company is also high on the Three Redneck Tenors, who gained national attention via their appearance on “America’s Got Talent.”
Schotz said he sees a potential variety show project or music-based series for the Tenors, who are all classically trained opera singers — but with mullets.
“Everyone’s looking for the next thing,” Schotz said. “These guys had tremendous crossover appeal when they were on NBC, and they’re sold out in Vegas and across the country.
“Something like this is not on the air — comedy and music combined,” he added.
Schotz said he also sees a potential scripted project for the Tenors as well.
“Can we put them into the sitcom world?” he said. “We’ll develop it out in two parallel lines. The beauty of this is you can sell in more than one location.”
Schotz said that’s actually true of several of LMNO’s talent deals, which is why the company has been aggressively pursuing people’s stories.
“We’re tying up rights to people or brands,” Kulp said.
Kulp joined LMNO from Rocket Science Laboratories, where she worked on projects such as Spike TV’s “Bullrun.” She also spent time as a creative exec at Comedy Central, developing “Mind of Mencia” and “The Showbiz Show With David Spade,” among other projects.