Gabrielle Union and Monica Potter Topline New HGTV Projects

Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images; C Flanigan/Getty Images
Gabrielle Union and Monica Potter

The rising lifestyle network turns an eye to celebrity-fronted series in its upfront slate.

Still riding high on its 2015 ratings highs and an auspicious start to this year, HGTV on Tuesday released its upfront slate. It's heavy on returning series but also features a new emphasis on celebrity-fronted projects.

Among the series featuring familiar faces are projects starring couple Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade and one featuring Parenthood actress Monica Potter. It's something of a page from sister networks Food and Travel, which have long emphasized celebrity fare.

“For three consecutive years, HGTV has delivered consistent ratings growth among [adults] 25-54 and kept a solid hold as the No. 1 network among upscale women 25-54,” said network general manager Allison Page. “HGTV’s programming is successful because our experts are passionate about real estate, home renovation and restoration. They would do this work whether or not cameras were there.”

A total 17 new series will debut in 2016, two of them the Union and Potter vehicles. The former, which has yet to be titled, will follow Union and Wade as they renovate, revitalize and resell a home in suburban Florida. The Monica Potter Project (working title) will follow the actress as she joins her sisters in their native Cleveland, Ohio, to restore their childhood home.

“HGTV is thriving because we have an established cadre of compelling star experts, as well as an influx of new talent who resonate with our audience,” added Page. “Our content and scheduling strategy is solid, we have a powerful development pipeline, and we’ve grown our ratings across the board — particularly with upscale audiences — for several years. We’ve already started off 2016 with record-breaking numbers and we will be going strong all year.”

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