IFC seeks to hook auds with new look

Rebranding is the work of two recently upped exex

HOLLYWOOD — For the first time in three years, the Independent Film Channel will be getting an on-air makeover and a new tagline: TV Uncut.

Rebranding, which will be unveiled Friday, is the work of Evan Shapiro, who has been upped to exec VP-general manager of the cabler, and newly named senior veep of marketing Jennifer Caserta.

Shapiro will report to Rainbow Entertainment Services prexy Ed Carroll, who added control of IFC sister nets AMC and WE: Women’s Entertainment to his plate in December.

In addition, IFC execs revealed they are developing a half-dozen scripted series with plans to premiere their first effort in the genre later this year. Also, execs said that they would likely bring back Nanette Burstein’s documentary series “Film School” for a second season.

Shapiro will lead the cabler’s day-to-day operations and oversee development, scheduling and marketing. He joined IFC a year ago from Court TV, where he served as senior vice prexy of marketing.

“Evan’s really helped us sharpen our brand and focus the marketing. There’s a renewed vigor in our acquired and original programming, the latter which he will help us ramp up,” Carroll said.

Shapiro and Caserta have spearheaded IFC’s redesign, which will debut Fridaywith Film Fanatic Fridays. The block launches in conjunction with the biggest off-air marketing campaign in the net’s history. Partnerships include cross-promotional deals with Loews Theaters, Target and Heineken.

Shapiro said the commercial-free cabler rented out the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles to shoot all of its interstitial programming in order to create a “seamless on-air environment.”

In the pipeline for 2005 are IFC’s exclusive telecast of the Independent Spirit Awards and related programming; the doc “Wanderlust,” from “American Splendor” duo Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; and “Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession.”

Caserta, who reports to Shapiro, joined IFC five months ago and also hails from Court TV, where she was an ad sales veep. She’s held marketing jobs at Oxygen, Food Network, Westwood One and the Radio Advertising Bureau.