8:19am PT by Lacey Rose
Cable Notes: Sundance Rebrand, 'Preachers of L.A.' Offshoots, Travel Channel Additions
With three new series, a renewal and news of a network rebrand, it was a busy morning for cable TV.
The Sundance Channel offered the biggest of the day's stories, announcing it would rebrand as SundanceTV in February. The updated logo, tied to the network's continued push into original series with forthcoming effort The Red Road, will be accompanied by a new site, www.sundance.tv.
“We have made great strides in the past few years with our original programming and we see this as the perfect moment to mark that shift with a new name and fresh logo,” noted SundanceTV's senior VP of marketing, Monica Bloom, of the new logo and rebrand developed in partnership with Base Design and Johnson + Wolverton. She added: “SundanceTV aims to create television that is as remarkable as the best independent films, and this rebrand embodies that position with confidence.”
Over at Oxygen, the NBCUniversal-owned cable channel announced it had greenlighted a second season of Preachers of L.A., the most-watched freshman series in the network's history. The docu-series, which will once again feature Bishop Noel Jones, Minister Deitrick Haddon and Bishop Clarence McClendon, among others, will be back on the schedule in February 2014. And in a bid to build a potentially lucrative franchise a la The Real Housewives, Oxygen added that it will begin casting new editions of the series in New York, Atlanta, Dallas and Detroit.
“Preachers of L.A. touched the heart strings of our Oxygen viewers. They were captivated by the triumphs and tribulations of these men of God and the amazing women and families that stood alongside them,” said Rod Aissa, Oxygen Media's senior VP of original programming and development. “We look forward to bringing more of these compelling stories to life both in LA and around the country.”
Finally, the Travel Channel added three more unscripted series to its slate. The network ordered 13 episodes of MY Tupelo Entertainment's half-hour series, Ace the Game, featuring a casino consultant, Sal Piacente, who travels the country giving viewers winning strategies on how to beat the odds in any game; a one-hour limited series tentatively titled Hotel Amazon, from Crazy Legs Productions, which showcases a pair of friends Rusty Johnson and Stephan Jablonski who give up their lives in America to pursue their dream of building a world-class resort in the middle of the Peruvian Amazon; and eight episodes of the one-hour effort Spy World, from Karga Seven Pictures, which takes viewers on international journeys while recreating formerly classified spy stories.
Added Travel Channel general manager Andy Singer of the additions: “We continue to entertain our viewers by providing fresh, revealing and unique perspectives on worlds they know and connecting them to worlds they don’t.”