TruTV Orders Six News Series, Preps Brand Refresh
If you like fun, truTV is hoping you'll like its new slate. The cable network unveiled its upfront slate on Monday morning, including six new series orders, in a brand adjustment that is targeting "funseekers."
The audience, which a release describes as younger and dual gender, is the same one its already trying to appeal to with series Impractical Jokers and The Carbonaro Effect. Jokers has been renewed and Carbonaro has been given an extra 13-episode order after solid sampling from the April 1 premiere.
"We're extremely excited to be rolling out a robust slate of programming, including big swings in new areas including reality/scripted hybrid shows, sketch comedy, docusoaps and competition elimination as we continue to shape and evolve the truTV brand," said president and head of programming Chris Linn. "Working with outstanding producers like 3 Arts Entertainment, Mission Control Media, Bunim/Murray Productions and Shine America, we are moving forward to give our targeted audience of 'funseekers' the type of programming they crave: a dynamic mix of action, comedy and competition series featuring engaging characters and compelling new worlds. These are the kind of shows that pull you in, take you on a fun ride and leave you wanting more."
The change in brand will not just be in the programming. TruTV is working with award branding agency loyalkaspar to create new design applications for all platforms. "TruTV's brand evolution will be a reflection of our new programming focus and the attitude of our target audience of funseekers," said senior vp marketing and digital Puja Vohra. "Knowing that funseekers are tech-savvy, truTV can push the envelope on creative disruption to drive interactivity across all fan touchpoints."
New series include:
Way Out West – Rogue Atlas Productions in association with Lionsgate Television
Way Out West takes viewers inside the Idaho backcountry, where three charismatic families are engaged in a rivalry in the outfitting business that has gone on for 150 years. truTV has ordered 12 episodes, plus the one-hour pilot, with plans to launch the series in July.
Local News (working title) – Electus
When a spunky young reporter from Connecticut lands her first big job in a small-town news market, an unexpected shake-up occurs. Local News follows a group of local anchors as they compete for the top spot in the game. The character-driven docusoap will spotlight the playful – and at times cutthroat – rivalry between two local news stations and the dynamic newscasters who are determined to take their jobs seriously, even when some of the news they cover is less than serious. TruTV has ordered eight episodes of Local News, which is slated to premiere in fall 2014.
Jokers Wild! – NorthSouth
From the producers of Impractical Jokers comes this new project featuring everyone’s favorite funny friends: Sal, Murr, Q & Joe. And this time they’ve got new skits, new bits and new guests that will keep audiences laughing week after week. In addition to greenlighting this new series for six episodes, truTV has renewed Impractical Jokers for a fourth season, ordering 26 episodes. Impractical Jokers recently finished Q1 2014 as basic cable's No. 1 program in its Thursday night time slot with adults 18-34.
Fake-Off – Shine America
Fake-Off is an original entertainment format featuring teams of performers who re-create and reimagine iconic moments in pop culture. A captivating mix of Kabuki theater, acrobatics, dance, costume and illusion, Fake-Off is a highly visual talent competition series like nothing you've ever seen. For the first time ever, these colorful and creative teams will compete in an elimination battle to see who’s got the skills to be named America’s Fake-Off champions. TruTV has ordered eight episodes of Fake-Off, with plans to air the series in the early fall.
Hair Jacked – Mission Control Media, Hazy Mills Productions and CORE Media Group
Produced by the team behind Hollywood Game Night, Hair Jacked is a hilarious, high-energy game show in which unsuspecting contestants have the chance to win cash prizes, all while getting a haircut. But they have to play smart because one wrong answer could send them packing with the worst hairstyle of their lives. TruTV has ordered 16 half-hour episodes of Hair Jacked, with plans to launch the series in fall 2014.
How to Be a Grown Up – Mission Control Media
On How to Be a Grown Up, comics will offer humorous advice and common-sense solutions to universal issues facing all adults who feel like they’re a kid stuck in a grown-up body through interviews, sketches and animation. If you’re 40 going on 21, this is the series for you. TruTV has ordered 16 half-hour episodes for this series, which is slated to launch in summer 2014.