Channel looking for ratings resurgence

Discovery Networks is continuing to reverse the course set forth by former topper Angela Shapiro-Mathes, who moved programming in the direction of general entertainment.

Company named Nancy Daniels to senior VP of production and development at TLC on Tuesday, looking inhouse for an L.A.-based development topper to help TLC return to its home-and-lifestyle-themed roots — and hopefully restore its ratings luster in the process.

Daniels’ appointment marks the first significant hire made by Eileen O’Neill, who took charge of TLC in July amid the ratings collapse that led to Shapiro-Mathes’ departure.

Daniels replaces former senior VP of programming Brant Pinvidic, an early Shapiro-Mathes hire who ankled the cabler earlier this year.

Since July 2007 Daniels has served as senior VP of development and production for Discovery Studios West Coast, where she’s managed development of programming for TLC, Planet Green, Discovery Health and the Science Channel. Prior to joining Discovery, Daniels was VP of alternative series development at CBS since 2003.

TLC foundered as former Fox TV Studios and ABC Family topper Shapiro-Mathis attempted to skew its lineup toward more Bravo-style general entertainment programming. In the second quarter of this year, the cabler’s ratings were down 10% among total viewers and 15% in its target demo of adults 25-54.

Under O’Neill, whose credits include developing TLC’s top-rated “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” the channel will likely return to its traditional programming style.

On Tuesday, TLC also set an Oct. 18 premiere date for its home-and-lifestyle collaboration with Real Simple magazine, “Real Simple. Real Life.”

The one-hour series, hosted by Kit Hoover and exec produced by Jude Weng, is centered around helping busy women with a broad range of “everyday challenges.” TLC has ordered 15 episodes.

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