Oxygen aims for women in transition

Shows target demo younger than Bravo, with related themes

Oxygen Media’s upfront presentation Tuesday morning looked familiar to vets of this year’s parade of cable upfronts. It was, by design, a smaller version of Bravo’s event last month, according to Lauren Zalaznick, prexy of NBC Universal’s Women and Lifestyle Entertainment Networks.

While Bravo skews to a slightly older set of hipster urbanites, Oxygen is set up to attract young women who are in “transitionhood” somewhere between “Jersey Shore” and “Real Housewives,” and to provide younger-seeming versions of Bravo’s popular franchises, along with shows that speak to the yearnings and lifestyle changes affecting twentysomethings as they approach their 30s.

“It’s our first upfront with strollers,” Zalaznick quipped. “Our viewers might not be hanging out with their girlfriend group anymore, or maybe they’re making the transition from dating to marriage, or maybe their starting to have children.”

To that end, Oxygen is stocking up on shows that celebrate milestones in a young woman’s life, like series “Jersey Couture,” about a prom dress store, and pilot “Tori and Dean Weddings,” spinning off of the net’s most popular show, “Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood,” now in its fifth season.

Home furnishings retailer Ikea has signed on to sponsor the latter.

Oxygen brass touted plans to boost the volume of original programming on the cabler by 35% this year during the presentation to advertisers at Rose Hall in Time Warner Center in Manhattan.

Among the other series orders “Hair Battle Spectacular,” a competition among stylists hosted by Brooke Burns; “House of Glam,” focusing on “image agency” B Lynn Group; and “The Russell Simmons Project,” about the many women who work with the Def Jam co-founder. Projects in development include a fashion gameshow, “Who Wears It Best?” hosted by disc jockey Lala Vazquez.

The event was draped in the trappings of conspicuous consumption. A giant smartphone hung from the ceiling alongside a mammoth high heel, an oversized perfume bottle and a huge credit card, among other items.

Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott posed as toppers on a King Kong-sized wedding cake to announce the pickup of “Weddings,” while the “Hair Battle” reps displayed samples of their work featuring the both the show and the net’s logos.

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