Get out the hankies: ABC is planning to give holy matrimony the “Extreme Makeover” treatment.
Net has greenlit production on “Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition,” a one-hour special that, if successful, would become the third installment of the “EM” brand. Craig Armstrong, who just inked an overall deal with the Alphabet (Daily Variety, Nov. 8), will exec produce via his Stoney Brook Prods. shingle.
Following the “EM: Home Edition” formula, “Wedding Edition” will seek out couples ABC believes are deserving of a pimped-out ceremony and reception.
“I think it’s a pretty logical extension of the ‘Extreme Makeover’ brand,” said ABC exec VP of alternative Andrea Wong. “It’s about wish fulfillment (and) giving something great to someone at an important moment in their life. We’ll find people viewers will” want to root for.
Wong said ABC developed “EM: WE” internally and then fleshed out the concept with Armstrong. “He gets this genre of reality and really wants to do positive, feel-good shows with great emotional journeys,” Wong said.
TV weddings are a staple of the small screen, from soap operas (think Luke & Laura) to several cable skeins that offer up dream weddings. “Live With Regis and Kelly” has also found success with its annual tearjerker wedding week, in which a needy couple gets an all-expenses-paid TV wedding.
Wong said “EM: WE” will be “amped up for primetime,” with more ambitious elements than are possible on cable or syndie budgets.
Pre-production on the ABC special will get under way immediately; airdate will be determined by how quickly the hour is cast.
“EM: Home Edition” has turned into a Nielsen powerhouse and pop culture phenom, with the show’s Nov. 7 episode achieving record ratings. Original plastic surgery-centric “EM” — aka “the people edition”– has done well when it’s aired on Wednesday nights and does an OK number in the brutal 8 p.m. Thursday slot.