'Gossip Cop' among new series in development
As TV Guide Network continues its transition to a full-fledged programming channel, the cabler announced a half-dozen series and minis in development.Included in the mix is “Gossip Cop,” based on the popular website, which investigates a handful of the most intriguing celebrity stories of the week. Michael Hirschorn, Dan Abrams and site creator Michael Lewittes exec produce, show will try to uncover the truth — if any exists — on popular celebrity news items. From “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” exec producer Michael Davies and shingle Embassy Row is a behind-the-scenes look at series, films and celebs. Also, Full Picture Entertainment and exec producers Desiree Gruber and Jane Cutler will take a comedic look at celebrity fashion. Both series are currently untitled. “We’re trying to put more money into originals and development,” Diane Robina, exec VP of programming and marketing, told Variety. “In today’s cable landscape, everyone has original television.” TV Guide net is shifting away from its original mission as the home of all of TV’s schedules to becoming a programming-only cabler. About 44 million of its 80 million total home distribution no longer carry listings. Cabler continues to focus on a reality-only strategy as the high cost of launching original scripted programming remains a deterrent in shifting genres. “The challenges are that it’s expensive,” said Robina. “If someone comes to us with a new model in have it done in a quality way, we’d be open to that.” Also in the works are three four-parters: “Hollywood Crimes and Misdemeanors,” which looks at the headline-making crimes of Hollywood’s rich and famous and debuts in August; “Icons and Innovators” (October), in which TV stars discuss their programs and how showbiz has affected them; and “Moments That Changed TV Forever (November).”
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