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NBCU Hopes New Focus On Young Multicultural Women Lends Breath To Oxygen

About seven months after placing Oxygen in the hands of Bravo chief Frances Berwick, NBCUniversal has a new direction for the female-focused cable outlet.

Once focused mostly on young women, with programs featuring reality-show doyenne Tori Spelling and an audition-competition series called “The Glee Project,” Oxygen will now center on young multicultural women, said Berwick in a media presentation Tuesday, and court them with aspirational unscripted series that are less focused on conflict and more on inner satisfaction.

“Big changes are coming” to Oxygen, Berwick said. Young women between the ages of 18 and 34 represent “an arguably underserved audience” which is “hard to find.” Oxygen’s new target viewer “values happiness and experience over material things.”

In pursuit of that viewer, Oxygen will unveil seven new series as well as bring back “Preachers of L.A.” for a second cycle, executives said. The programming slate is Berwick’s first for the network, which was placed under her aegis in September after Bonnie Hammer, who oversees all of NBCU’s entertainment-focused cable networks, decided to shut down the company’s Style network and broaden Berwick’s responsibilities. The move resulted in then-Oxygen chief Jason Klarman leaving the company. The theory at the time, Hammer said in a memo in September, was that between Bravo, E!, Oxygen and Style, NBCU had too many networks serving similar audiences.

The network is placing emphasis on “Fix My Choir,” a music-driven series in which struggling choirs get mentoring and help form Deitrick Hadon from the “Preachers” series as well as singer Michelle Williams, best known “Fix My Choir” Produced by Pink Sneakers with John Ehrhard, Kimberly Ehrhard and Lauren Stevens along with Relevé Entertainment’s Holly Carter and Jonathan Singer, and Deitrick Haddon all serving as executive producers.

Oxygen will also introduce the following series:

“Nail’d It!”:     The nation’s most competitive  nail designers go up against one another for the right to showdown in a two-part finale claim a $100,000 prize.. Hosted by fashionista Adrienne Bailon.  Produced by Matador with Jay Peterson, Todd Lubin and Shye Sutherland serving as executive producers.

“Street Art Throwdown” (working title):  Ten  up-and-coming street artists create unbelievable art in never-before-seen ways  in the hope of winning bragging rights and a cash prize.  Produced by Embassy Row with Michael Davies serving as Executive Producer.

“Sisterhood of Hip Hop”: The next generation of female hip-hop artists – Siya, Nyemiah Supreme, Diamond, Brianna Perry and Bia –  live, love and work towards their dream of becoming the next big breakout star, Produced by 51 Minds with Chris Abrego, T.I., Rabih Gholam, Ben Samek and Roy Orecchio serving as executive producers.

“Funny Girls” (working title):  Comedic docu-series series showcases up-and-coming female comediennes living in Los Angeles as they strive to break the glass ceiling in the male-dominated comedy business   Produced by Brownstone Entertainment with Drew Brown and Bob Gillan serving as executive producers.

  “My Crazy Love” (working title): Half-hour comedic anthology series showcases real people’s personal stories about the wild, crazy, romantic, eccentric and hilarious things that women and men have done in the name of love – from faking one’s own death to hiding out in a boyfriend’s closet all weekend to spy on him. Produced by Jarrett Creative with Julie Jarrett and Seth Jarrett serving as executive producers.

  “Living Different” (working title):  Each hour-long episode in this series will offer a candid look at women who lead unconventional or alternative lifestyles, from one woman choosing celibacy to another opting to live in a cult. Produced by Hud:sun Media with Michael Rourke, Mioshi Hill and Lindsey Bannister serving as executive producers.

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