April 02, 2014 6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
TLC Renews '90 Day Fiance,' Adds 'Psychic Matchmaker' (Exclusive)
TLC is expanding its foothold in the weddings and relationship space.
The cable network has renewed 90 Day Fiance for a second season of nine hourlong episodes and added one new docuseries and three specials as part of its upfront pickups slated to be announced on Thursday, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Following the success of 90 Day Fiance, which TLC GM Nancy Daniels refers to as a love story at its core, TLC will bow Psychic Matchmaker in the third quarter. The cabler has picked up 12 half-hour episodes of the series from Jane Street Entertainment. Psychic Matchmaker will debut in the third quarter, where it will be joined by another relationship special/backdoor pilot, The One That Got Away.
Building on the success of its Friday night wedding-themed fare, the network will add specials Curvy Girls Bridal and Heidi to the Dresscue. Thanks to the strength of Say Yes to the Dress, Something Borrowed, Something New and I Found the Gown, TLC is the No. 1 network among key women demographics on Friday night. The two specials will help build on that success.
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"We're looking at stories and times in life that relate to our viewers and we've found that with bridal and all of our wedding programming. There's some sort of fantasy element about watching somebody find their dream dress or have their dream wedding. We've realized that that is the punctuation mark on a love story," Daniels said, singling out 90 Day Fiance as a an example of the types of love stories TLC wants to tell. "Seeing our viewers react to [90 Day Fiance] really made us think that there's more room to be mined here of what happens before and leading up to the wedding."
The new season of 90 Day Fiance will include a look back at couples featured in season one as well as new couples, with TLC currently in the casting process for season two. TLC will continue to mine the relationship and wedding space while still producing fare like Sex Sent Me to the ER, which Daniels says falls under the relationship category.
"I equate that with being at dinner party and one couple telling an embarrassing story -- which is the hit of the dinner party," she said. "There seems to be a strong relationship in that well after the fact that we can look back on this and laugh element. We'll continue to do that show -- we ordered a number of episodes of it -- and we think it speaks to same audiences who will come and watch 90 Day Fiance or The One That Got Away. There's definitely a similar audience there."
The news comes after TLC recently wrapped its best first quarter in a decade as the cabler is on track to deliver one of its best years ever, featuring more than 500 hours of original programming, including 44 new and returning series.
"We're proud and really excited about what a strong first quarter we had and we look back at TLC 10 years ago during the heyday of Trading Spaces which was huge at the time," Daniels said. "It's a pretty huge accomplishment for us to really be connecting with our audience on that level again but doing it not just with one show but with a broad spectrum of shows."
Here's a closer look at TLC's pickups:
Curvy Girls Bridal (working title) New special, Q3, 2014
The savvy Harris sisters own a one-of-a-kind bridal salon where full figured brides experience their dream of finding the perfect wedding dress. (Half Yard Productions)
Heidi to the Dresscue (working title) New special, Q3, 2014
Heidi Elnora is an Alabama bridal designer who thinks every bride is one of a kind, and should have a custom gown to match. (Trium Entertainment)
Psychic Matchmaker (New series) Q3, 2014
Florida psychic Deborah Graham uses her unique gift to help her clients find love by playing matchmaker and seeking out their soul mate. (Jane Street Entertainment)
The One That Got Away (New special) Q3, 2014
Almost everyone has that one person who unknowingly holds a piece of their heart. Follow as these individuals seek out their lost loves for a chance to re-connect. (Ardaban)