Busy shingle ramps up with series orders, renewals, pilot

Reality shingle High Noon Entertainment has built an impressive resume over its 15-year existence, and now the company is ramping up its TV presence with three fresh series orders, four skein renewals and a pilot order, to boot.

VH1, home to the shingle’s “Tough Love” franchise, has greenlit an untitled matchmaking series from High Noon, ordering eight episodes slated to bow Jan. 9. Weather Channel picked up a nine-episode first season of “Prospectors,” a skein following a group of modern explorers traveling to extreme mountain environments in the hopes of striking it rich. And HGTV ordered “Renovation Unscripted” to series, picking up six episodes that center around “Bold and the Beautiful” star Heather Tom and husband James Achor as they renovate spaces for homeowners.

HGTV has also ordered a pilot from High Noon that pairs a general contractor with a designer to work on fixer-upper homes in great locations.

Several of High Noon’s series currently on air received renewals from cablers as well. Travel Channel’s “Xtreme Water Parks” nabbed a seven-episode order for season two; Weather Channel’s “Hurricane Hunters” has been reupped for a second season; and TLC’s “Cake Boss” received a whopping 30-episode pickup for its sixth season.

Full-throttle push comes as High Noon bolsters its exec lineup, adding Elvia Van Es as veep of development and programming and Brad Miller as general counsel and exec veepee of biz affairs. Additionally, High Noon will soon be going bilingual as it dives into Spanish-language programming and branded entertainment. Shingle is shopping Spanish projects across nets, including those within the Telemundo and Univision umbrellas. One project is a behind-the-scenes show about the world’s largest Hispanic circus, and another is a docuseries about a popular Miami bakery.

High Noon topper Jim Berger told Variety that even though the company produced over 400 episodes of TV in the last year, he still believes it can be “20% bigger” than it already is. “We have formats at different price points,” Berger said. “Our distinctive advantage in the marketplace is our scale and ability to take on lots of different kinds of formats.”

High Noon initially established itself within the lifestyle cabler spectrum, launching shows primarily on HGTV, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. “We built the business that way,” Berger said. “But five or six years into the growth, we were too concentrated in food and home content. I felt we needed to diversify and get involved in as many top-tier cable networks as we could.”

Today, High Noon’s inhouse development team churns out 90% of the content that the shingle sells. “Only 10% are with partners who bring us projects,” Berger noted.

Berger remains ambitious as he considers the future for High Noon. “I think we have the capacity to be one of the largest independently-owned production companies in the country,” he said. “I think we can create as many as 30 different series and specials every year for more than 12 channels.”

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