“America’s Next Top Model” will be back on the runway soon, this time on VH1. Tyra Banks remains on board as an exec producer of new episodes of the long-running reality franchise but will not return as host.
The show was thought to have wrapped its run in December after 12 years and 22 cycles on the CW and its predecessor UPN. But execs at CBS Television Distribution quietly put out feelers for other takers for the show after CW announced in October that the modeling competition series was coming to an end.
“ANTM” has been a strong performer for CTD in international markets, both in sales of the U.S. episodes and format rights to the franchise. And there was another key connection: Scott Koondel, chief licensing officer for CBS Corp., is a neighbor in Brentwood of exec producer Ken Mok. Once Koondel made it clear to his neighbor that there was demand for the show, Mok made a commitment to continue as exec producer. Koondel spearheaded the drive to find the show a new home.
“We could not be more excited to bring back and breathe new life into one of the greatest unscripted franchises on television,” said Koondel. “VH1 is the perfect partner for this new endeavor and we hope this is the beginning of a long relationship.”
VH1 has ordered 14 episodes of the new-model “ANTM.” The show will move to New York and likely feature a new panel of judges. There’s no word yet on a premiere date but it is expected to be this year.
VH1 g.m. Chris McCarthy said the goal was to “reinvent” the franchise for a new generation of viewers. He noted that repeats of the CW/UPN “ANTM” epsiodes were long a staple of VH1.
“This is a homecoming for the series, as VH1 helped catapult the show to cultural icon status as the first cable network to air the show after it launched,” McCarthy said.
VH1 is looking to “ANTM’s” built-in audience to continue its ratings momentum. The cabler has posted three consecutive quarters of growth in primetime and ranks in the top 10 among adults 18-34.