OWN has greenlit two new unscripted series — a spinoff to the cable net’s hit “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” plus a reality show starring “Basketball Wives” star Evelyn Lozada.
The cabler also ordered more episodes of three returning docuseries, “Deion’s Family Playbook,” “Flex & Shanice” and “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s,” and announced the lineup for Season 5 of “Oprah’s Master Class,” which includes Ellen DeGeneres, Robert Duvall, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and Smokey Robinson.
“We are thrilled that OWN continues to be one of the fastest-growing cable networks for women,” said Erik Logan, president of OWN, of the programming news announced Wednesday. “Oprah and our team are laser-focused on development.”
Sheri Salata, president of OWN, also commented on the net’s growing slate: “We are taking our multimedia platforms to the next level with Oprah’s first role in an OWN scripted show and our new network anthem sung by Grammy award-winning singers Jennifer Hudson and Jennifer Nettles.”
The “Iyanla” spinoff, set to bow this September, will center around Atlanta resident Jay Williams, who stirred up controversy when he was previously featured on the flagship series, saying he fathered 34 children by 17 different women. The series will follow Williams, as he tries to put together his relationships with his family, children, and the mothers of his children with spiritual life coach Iyanla Vanzant guiding him every step of the way. OWN and Evolution Media will produce.
Evelyn Lozada’s series, which is titled “Evelyn” for now, follows the title reality star and her 21-year-old daughter Shaniece. Lozada recently welcomed a new child into the family with her baseball player fiance Carl Crawford, and the project will revolve around Lozada’s new found life, as a new mother again, while balancing the relationship with her daughter. Shed Media will produce with Pam Healey, John Hesling, Lisa Shannon, Russ Heldt and Lozada serving as exec producers, and Danika Berry as consulting producer. “Evelyn” is slated to premiere this July.
“Deion’s Family Playbook,” which follows football Hall of Famer and baseball pro Deion Sanders, returns March 9. The docu-series hails from Edmonds Entertainment, Prime Time Media Ventures, Rogue Atlas Productions and Lionsgate Television with Tracey E. Edmonds, Eli Frankel, Rob Cornick and Sanders as exec producers.
“Flex & Shanice” stars a husband-and-wife duo, actor Flex Alexander and pop singer Shanice. The series, produced by Lynch-Dyson Entertainment with exec producers Jeff Dyson, Vernon Lynch, Julie Pizzi and Patty Ivins, returns this July.
“Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” has also been handed additional episodes. The reality show, following Robbie Montgomery’s family and their soul food restaurant Sweetie Pie’s, is exec produced by Craig Piligian, Melodie Calvert, Jeff Keane, Tim Breitbach and Steve Luebbert for Pilgrim Studios.
“Oprah’s Master Class,” which will debut its fifth season this fall with DeGeneres, Duvall, Robinson and “the Rock,” is co-produced by Harpo Studios and @radical.media. The series is exec produced by Oprah Winfrey, Jon Sinclair, Jon Kamen and Justin Wilkes.
Per Salata’s comment, Oprah will have her first acting role on OWN in an upcoming original scripted drama, based off the novel “Queen Sugar.” The project marks the reunion between Oprah and “Selma” filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who will serve as writer, director and exec producer on the book adaptation, which is her first television series.