Oxygen breathes new life into slate

NBCU cabler adds docuseries; hosts set for other shows

Oxygen announced numerous changes to its original series slate at the TV Critics Assn. press tour Wednesday.

The NBCUniversal net has greenlit an untitled docuseries that will follow Maria Menounos as she balances her career and personal life, and Pete Wentz has been brought on to host season two of “Best Ink.”

Oxygen also bolstered its cast for new competition skein “The Face” with the addition of supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha to the team of coaches that will guide aspiring female models. Kurkova and Rocha join fellow supermodel and coach Naomi Campbell on the show.

Photographer Nigel Barker, who was a judge for the first 18 cycles of model competition “America’s Next Top Model,” will host “The Face.”

Announcements come as Oxygen Media gains momentum in the original programming realm with skeins like “The Glee Project” and “Bad Girls Club.” Net has recently placed among the top 20 cablers in women 18-34, and has committed to increase its original programming by 50%.

Other original series set to bow in the upcoming season include “My Shopping Addiction,” “Hollywood Unzipped: Stylist Wars,” and “I’m Having Their Baby.”

Also on Wednesday, cabler Style said it will continue to immerse itself in the fashion space by broadcasting exclusive coverage of New York Fashion Week this fall. Net is also partnering with PMC and IMG for the official opening event for Fashion Week in September, and will host the Style Awards, which will honor top creative stylists to the stars and broadcast exclusively on Style.

Style prexy Salaam Coleman Smith announced that “Giuliana and Bill” and “Tia and Tamera” will return in October with new episodes, and that the net will be expanding the “Big Rich Texas” franchise with new series “Big Rich Georgia.” Style also revealed that it will be the first cable network to air episodes of CW series “Gossip Girl.”

Smith credited unscripted skeins like “Giuliana and Bill” and “Tia and Tamera” for the net’s ratings growth over the last few quarters. For the calendar year to date, it’s up 34% in women 18-49 and 20% in total viewers vs. 2011, according to Nielsen.

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