Atlas sets course with E! on docusoap

N.Y.-based banner rides reality TV boom

Gotham’s Atlas Media Corp. has started production of a new docusoap for E! based in New York, the latest offering from an indie producer ramping up amid an explosive demand for reality television, said founder and president Bruce David Klein.

This month Atlas features a two-hour docudrama, “Evacuate Earth,” on National Geographic Channel; the second season of “Hotel Impossible” on Travel Channel; and season three of “Stalked: Someone’s Watching” on ID: Investigation Discovery, one of the fastest growing networks on cable.

A new ID series, “Frenemies: Loyalty Turned Lethal,” debuts in January.

Atlas has produced more than 100 hours of programming this year and Klein said it’s working on pilots for Animal Planet, Discovery, HLN and Style.

He said the E! project is part of Atlas’ push to work with the Los Angeles-based net, calling E! “a kind of buzzy, trend-setting network.”

Klein, who founded Atlas in 1989, said he’s seen a huge uptick of demand for the kind of work it does.

“It’s a golden age of reality television,” he said. “What it seems to be is a dichotomy, that things are either going slightly on the lower end, cost-effective reality programming, or extremely high-end, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Breaking Bad.’ Beautiful, high-budget things.”

Even CNN may be getting into the act. New head Jeff Zucker will be retooling the news network and looking for different kinds of programming. He said last week that “News is not just about politics and war.”

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