The new unit, dubbed Relativity Lifestyle Television, will be led by Scripps vet Brian Lando, who will report to Relativity TV topper Tom Forman. At Scripps, Lando oversaw development and programming for Food Network and Cooking Channel, as well as development for HGTV and Travel in his role as senior veep of development.
RelativityREAL recently rebranded as Relativity TV to better reflect the shingle’s development slate of both scripted and unscripted content. Production company is currently best known for MTV’s “Catfish,” Showtime’s “Gigolos” and Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race” (pictured above).
Lifestyle deal reunites Forman and Lando, who once developed television together when Forman held an overall at Endemol. Relativity TV’s current crop of lifestyle programming, including “Food Truck Race” and “Restaurant Stakeout,” will not fold into the new division, but rather run independently, with Lando still having a hand in their production. Forman bills the lifestyle arm as a “new venture” focused on “new content.”
Relativity Lifestyle TV will focus on the three key areas within the genre: food, design and travel. For Forman, forging this new division made sense given the current television landscape and reality TV’s need for high volume shows with quick turnaround.
“Part of it was examining how deeply the cable and broadcast networks were playing in the lifestyle space,” Forman said regarding the unit’s inception. “If you look at what’s selling now, and the volume in which networks will order, a big Food Network hit show could be a 52-episode a year order,” compared to orders of a dozen or so episodes for programs in other genres. Larger episode orders help improve profit margins, Forman said.
Forman expects to add staff to Relativity Lifestyle in the near future.
“Brian is the first hire, but he will certainly not be the last,” Forman said.