ABC Family Ramps Up Docu-Series Slate with 3 Orders

ABC Family has ordered three new docu-series that reflect the cabler’s effort to expand its audience profile.

“Startup U” revolves around students in an entrepreneur mentoring program in Silicon Valley. “Next Step Realty: NYC” focuses on a firm that helps college graduates navigate the maze of finding an apartment in the nation’s largest metropolis. “Monica the Medium” revolves around a junior at Penn State who moonlights as a medium.

The orders come as ABC Family is in the midst of a big push to broaden the scope of its programming beyond its core young female target. All three series are set to premiere this summer, along with previously greenlit unscripted entries “Becoming Us,” about a teenager adjusting to his father’s decision to become a woman; and “Job Or No Job.”

“ABC Family will become a brand known as much for character driven docu-dramas as we are for our character-driven scripted dramas and comedies,” said ABC Family president Tom Ascheim in announcing the three orders. “This summer will be chock-full of unscripted fare on the network as we build momentum with these three new series.”

“Startup U” revolves around a seven-week program run by billionaire Tim Draper. Students will wind up pitching their startup ideas to a panel of judges. Draper, Mike Duffy, and Tim Duffy serve as executive producers. “Startup U” starts production this month in San Mateo, Calif.

“Next Step Realty” hails from ABC News’ inhouse Lincoln Square Prods. arm and is exec produced by Danielle Rossen.

“Monica the Medium” has already started production in Pennsylvania through Trooper Entertainment and Lionsgate TV. Trooper’s Dave Caplan and Malachi McGlone are exec producers.

(Pictured: “Next Step Realty: NYC”)

More TV

  • Maya Hawke'Once Upon a Time in

    Maya Hawke Reflects on Robin's 'Stranger Things' Coming Out Story

    Robin Buckley shocked viewers everywhere when she came out as a lesbian to Steve Harrington on the floor of a bathroom stall, but actress Maya Hawke says the twist wasn’t always set in stone. Hawke tells Variety that it wasn’t until episode four or five that she and the Duffer Brothers came to a final decision [...]

  • Love Island - Pictured: Kyra Green,

    TV Ratings: Is 'Love Island' Deserted?

    Two weeks have passed on “Love Island” and plenty of singles have coupled and uncoupled in their bid for love and a fat $100,000 pay check. However, there’s one couple that doesn’t seem to be hitting it off: CBS and “Love Island.” Ratings for the show have been far from paradisiacal, and with the network [...]

  • Jenny Wall Eryk Casemiro Nickelodeon

    Jenny Wall Named Nickelodeon CMO, Eryk Casemiro Named Senior VP of Nickelodeon Preschool

    Nickelodeon has hired two new executives, tapping Jenny Wall to become chief marketing officer and Eryk Casemiro to become senior vice president of Nickelodeon Preschool. Most recently CMO at Spotify-owned Gimlet Media, Wall will be responsible for all on- and off-air consumer marketing, brand creative and content launches across all of Nickelodeon’s platforms, including Nicktoons, [...]

  • Liz Garbus on Why We May

    Liz Garbus on Why The World May Never Know 'Who Killed Garrett Phillips'

    By the time Liz Garbus’s two-part documentary “Who Killed Garrett Phillips?” debuts on HBO, there could be a new public lead in the case of the murdered titular 12-year-old. As least, that’s what many may hope after the new St. Lawrence County district attorney admitted a new tip earlier this spring. Garbus says she would [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content