Publisher says over-the-top network has topped 100 million video views since September 2016 launch
A year after launching the People/Entertainment Weekly Network — PEN for short — Time Inc. has scrapped the name for a simpler moniker: PeopleTV.
The free, ad-supported online-video network carries short- and long-form programming covering celebrities, pop culture, lifestyle and human-interest stories. Since its September 2016 debut, the network has delivered more than 100 million views of its content and its apps have been downloaded more than 2 million times, according to Time Inc.
While the rebranding drops EW from the name, Time Inc. said Entertainment Weekly Studios “will continue to contribute significantly to PeopleTV programming.” The company said it made the switch to leverage People magazine’s “recognizable and iconic” brand (and there’s no argument it’s more identifiable than “PEN”).
Along with the PeopleTV name change, Time Inc. announced highlights of the OTT network’s 2017-18 programming lineup:
- “Shelf Life”: Jill Adams, Oprah’s Book Club and special projects producer, hosts discussions on must-read books for the fall curated by People and Entertainment Weekly book editors, with interviews of authors Roz Chast, Ken Follett and Ruth Ware. (Premieres fall 2017; produced by PeopleTV)
- “Family Portrait”: Docu-series about diverse families across the country, aiming to debunk the “typical American family” stereotype. (Premieres November 2017; produced by SoulPancake)
- “Paws & Claws”: Series compiling all of the adorable, viral and buzzworthy animal stories of the week. (Premieres winter 2017; produced by PeopleTV)
- “Entertainment Weekly: Hollywood True Crime”: Series digs up scandals from the showbiz world, promising never-before-told stories. (Premieres 2018; produced by Entertainment Weekly Studios)
- “Sizing Up the Dress”: Reality series following soon-to-be-brides picking out their gowns at Chicago’s Haute & Co. Bridal Boutique, which specializes in plus-size dresses. (Premieres 2018; produced by Authentic Entertainment)
Returning shows include “Fan Forum Live: Survivor” season 2, hosted by Andrea Boehlke (premiering Sept. 27); “The Jess Cagle Interview,” hosted by the People editor-in-chief; “Dirty Laundry,” hosted by InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown; and “Entertainment Weekly Cast Reunions.” Time Inc. said “Entertainment Weekly Cast Reunions: Buffy the Vampire Slayer” is the network’s most-viewed episode to date.
Live events will continue to be part of the programming mix as well, and PeopleTV has set three-day coverage plans for this weekend’s 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.
That will start Friday with PeopleTV co-sponsoring Entertainment Weekly’s pre-Emmy party at the Sunset Tower Hotel. On Saturday, PeopleTV will be a presenting sponsor of the 11th Annual “Evening Before,” benefiting the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Then on Sunday, the network will air “People & Entertainment Weekly Emmys Red Carpet Live,” hosted by People deputy editor JD Heyman and Lola Ogunnaike (host of PeopleTV’s “Entertainment Weekly: The Show”) starting at 3 p.m. PT. PeopleTV’s Emmys coverage will also stream live on Twitter.
Susanne Mei, previously Time Inc.’s director of business development for video, is PeopleTV’s general manager. JJ Miller is VP of PeopleTV programming and executive producer of Time Inc.’s Style and Entertainment Group.
PeopleTV is available on peopletv.com, iOS and Android devices, and Apple TV, Roku players, Amazon Fire TV, PlutoTV, Xumo, Google’s Chromecast and Comcast Xfinity.