TV One’s Cleo TV to Air Adrienne Houghton, Jordin Sparks Shows From Kin

In an unusual licensing pact, digital shows hosted by influencers Adrienne Houghton and Jordin Sparks are migrating over to cable TV — after already running on YouTube and other internet platforms.

Lifestyle entertainment company Kin struck a deal with Cleo TV, the TV One-owned cable network that targets millennial women of color, to license the two shows that will air beginning in 2020. Cleo TV is acquiring rights to 40 half-hour episodes of “All Things Adrienne” with Adrienne Houghton (pictured above), former Cheetah Girl and co-host of “The Real” and “Showtime at the Apollo,” and eight half-hour episodes of “Heart of the Batter,” a baking show hosted by multi-platinum recording artist Jordin Sparks.

“All Things Adrienne” and “Heart of the Batter” originally were developed for and distributed on social platforms including YouTube, Facebook and Instagram’s IGTV. The shows will not be adapted for Cleo TV but the original segments are being re-edited into half-hour television format (22-minute episodes). On Cleo TV, “All Things Adrienne” will premiere on Jan. 4, 2020, and Sparks’ “Heart of the Batter” will debut in May 2020.

Kin Community was founded in 2011 as a YouTube multichannel network aimed at young female audiences, partnering with digital-native creators. It pivoted last year to focus on shows with more mainstream personalities, like Houghton and Tia Mowry, host of life-hacks show “Quick Fix,” which has more than 2.5 million followers and 200 million views across multiple platforms.

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The deal with Cleo TV highlights Kin’s model of creating TV-style lifestyle shows for online platforms and then packaging them up for traditional linear television and streaming platforms, said Kin CEO Michael Wayne. Kin financed both productions and owns the underlying intellectual property.

“To me what’s exciting is we created a business model where we self-finance content… and we get our shows to profitability on [digital] platforms,” said Wayne. Now, the TV One deal “proved out our model that our content can be a great pipeline for cable channels.”

Wayne said Kin is in talks with about a half-dozen cablers about similar licensing deals, but it’s not clear how much traction Kin will really get on this front. Cleo TV is a smaller cable channel — currently available on Comcast Xfinity and Charter Spectrum in select markets — and as such is more open to bringing non-original (i.e., less expensive) programming to its linear wheel. Cleo TV competes with Viacom’s BET Her, while TV One’s main rival is BET.

While Kin’s content has appeared online, Wayne said, cable networks can still find new audiences on TV for the company’s shows. “Many viewers will see these shows for the first time,” he said.

In “All Things Adrienne,” Houghton shares her tips and tricks on all things beauty, fashion, home decor and entertaining. Since launching in 2018, the show has racked up more than 1.5 million followers and 100 million views. In “Heart of the Batter,” Sparks — winner of “American Idol” season 6 back in 2007 — shares tips for baking and recipes, some of which have been handed down through generations of her family.

Other shows created by Kin include “Tori Tried and True” hosted by actor Tori Spelling, which debuted earlier this month; “Side by Side” with identical twins Malika Haqq and Khadijah Haqq, who are friends with the Kardashian siblings; and “Hello Hunnay with Jeannie Mai” featuring the TV personality, stylist, and talk-show host, which launched earlier this year and has generated nearly 50 million views.

Pictured above: Adrienne Houghton in Kin’s “All Things Adrienne”

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