SoapNet banking on reality

Cable network to adapt BBC series 'Mom'

SoapNet will adapt BBC nonscripted series “Bank of Mom and Dad” for a September launch on the Disney-owned cabler.

In addition, SoapNet picked up a second season of BBC Worldwide’s scripted hourlong “Being Erica” and ordered 10 episodes of reality series “Holidate,” which ABC’s daytime production arm, ABC Media Prods., will shepherd.

“Bank of Mom and Dad” invites the parents of women in their 20s and 30s to move into the kids’ homes for a week and exert influence over their finances — and, with some amount of conflict, their lives. Demo-friendly money consultant Farnoosh Torabi (“Real Simple. Real Life.”) will provide guidance each week, beginning Sept. 30 at 10 p.m.

SoapNet is hoping “Mom and Dad” piggybacks on the success of “Southern Belles: Louisville.” Nearly half the audience of the reality skein is made up of viewers new to the network.

“We’re growing our audience while servicing our core viewer,” Ann Lewis Roberts, senior veep of ABC Media Prods. and SoapNet alternative programming and development, told Daily Variety. “And so we believe this new viewer is going to flow into the new programming that we have.”

“Being Erica,” revolves around a thirtysomething woman whose mysterious therapist helps her relive and learn from a past regret each week, received a 12-episode renewal for early 2010. Erin Karpluk stars, with Jana Sinyor, Aaron Martin, Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier exec producing for Temple Street Prods., in association with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and BBC Worldwide.

“Holidate” offers a sort of dating version of “Wife Swap”: Two women each week seek relationships in each other’s home city. Previously tapped as a one-hour special, “Holidate” will begin its run July 29 in the Wednesday 10 p.m. slot.

“It’s one of those projects where we wanted to test the format to make sure that it worked,” Lewis said of the adjustment, “and within the second day of shooting, we found out that there was something really … to it.”

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