Makeovers don’t just make for good TV — they make for good business, too. Given ever-increasing competition to draw eyeballs in the crowded cable landscape, a number of nets have been shaking up their slates, reimagining their lineups as well as their logos.
Here’s a look at a few that changed everything but their names.
OUT WITH THE OLD: Launched as “Women’s Entertainment” in 2001, WE tv aired series that centered around weddings, celebrity lives and other female-focused concepts (“Braxton Family Values,” “Bridezillas”).
THE NEW SPIN: The network formally dropped the “Women’s Entertainment” tag in favor of “PoWEr” and “Welcome Back” in order to embrace a broader audience. “(Women’s Entertainment) not only feels outdated, but also alienates 150 million potential viewers,” explains Marc Juris, WE tv’s president and general manager. The net is embracing edgier programming with its first scripted series, “The Divide,” and has set thriller drama “South of Hell” and dating reality show “Sex Box” for 2015.
TUNE IN OR TUNE OUT? The July premiere of “The Divide” delivered 365,000 viewers amid an overall high-performing summer for the net, up 39% in viewership over the previous year.
OUT WITH THE OLD: Debuting as CourtTV, truTV first relaunched in 2008 with a focus on reality-based programming. The network has slowly evolved from investigative series to competition and prank programs aimed at a young aud (think “Killer Karaoke”).
THE NEW SPIN: Seeking a change from derivative programming like “Hardcore Pawn,” truTV is launching a slate of series to appeal to a fun-seeking audience, starting with competition series “Fake Off” (Oct. 27) and advice show “How to Be a Grown Up” (Oct. 28). “We saw an opportunity to provide a refreshing alternative with content that is innovative and authentic, with a tone that’s more comedic,” says Chris Linn, president and head of programming.
TUNE IN OR TUNE OUT? After a 25% summer ratings falloff from 2013, truTV saw a possible hit in “The Carbonaro Effect,” starring magician Michael Carbonaro, which averaged a strong 1.2 million viewers in its inaugural run.
OUT WITH THE OLD: Since its launch in 2000, Oxygen has attracted mainly female viewers with a schedule of WNBA games, reality reruns, movies and repeats of “The Tyra Banks Show.”
THE NEW SPIN: With the tagline “very real,” Oxygen has tightened its focus on young, modern, multicultural women. The net has ordered a brace of new series, targeting unscripted shows, including music-driven “Fix My Choir,” nail-art competition “Nail’d It,” “Preachers of Detroit” and “Sisterhood of Hip Hop.” “This is a dynamic time for Oxygen as we rebrand and reinforce the network as the destination for
young female viewers,” says Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Lifestyle Networks.
TUNE IN OR TUNE OUT? Just on the cusp of its transition, “Sisterhood of Hip Hop” debuted in August to 811,000 total viewers, the top premiere for Oxygen in 2014.