10:30am PT by Michael O'Connell
A&E Orders Extreme Online Dating Show, Three More Reality Series
Is there a next Duck Dynasty in this new batch of unscripted projects? A&E likely hopes so. The cable network announced an expanded slate on Thursday, featuring four new series orders and four pilots in development. The subjects of the series range from a patriotic dog adoption center and Texas new money to a Pittsburgh nightclub king and a bizarre twist on online dating.
“As our successful long-running franchises continue to be the driving force of the network, we are making a significant investment in growing our unique slate of quality original nonfiction programming,” said network EVP and GM David McKillop. “These projects represent a small percentage of the new innovative formats that we hope will excite current A&E viewers and attract and engage new audiences.”
Of the new series orders, Love Prison (working title) reads like the biggest departure for the brand. The 10-episode order from Brent Montgomery's Leftfield will introduce a new couple in each installment. They will be meeting in person for the first time after lengthy online courtships, and the chosen venue is a cabin rigged with cameras on an island. (What could go wrong?)
Read below for the full series synopses and pilot descriptions:
Dogs of War – 5 one-hour episodes, Premiering Fall 2014
Dogs of War documents Jim and Lindsey Stanek, a married couple who started a nonprofit organization called Paws and Stripes, benefiting PTSD veterans paired with adopted dogs who help them adjust back to regular life after returning home from war. Each episode will feature the story of one or two veterans as they get matched with a potentially life-saving best friend and begin their journey out of darkness. Produced for A&E Network by Custom Productions, Inc. and Redtail Media, LLC. Executive producers for Custom Productions are Steve Stockman and Peter Logreco. Executive producers for Redtail Media are Chris Burke and Jared Cotton. Executive producers for A&E Network are Drew Tappon, Shelly Tatro, Fred Grinstein and Laurie Sharpe.
Godfather of Pittsburgh – 8 one-hour episodes, Premiering Fall 2014
Pittsburgh is a town ruled by Vince Isolde, a first-generation Italian American, who has built an empire of nightclubs and restaurants all in hopes of supporting his family. But getting to the top means making a lot of enemies and some of them are kin. While Vince is one of the most revered - and feared - men in the city, all bets are off when he comes home. Between his wife and sons, and his six brothers and sisters, the entire family relies on Vince for jobs, houses and everything in between. The “Godfather of Pittsburgh” takes a fascinating look at a truly original character who finds it hard to walk the ‘straight and narrow’ and still succeed in business. Produced for A&E Network by Renegade 83 in association with Grainey. Pictures and Brookline Ice Films. Executive producers for Renegade 83 are David Garfinkle, Jay Renfroe, Mario Signore, Colin Gray, Timothy Flattery and Megan Raney-Aarons. Executive producers for A&E Network are Drew Tappon, Shelly Tatro, Fred Grinstein and Evan Lerner.
Love Prison - (working title) 10 half-hour episodes, Premiering Summer 2014
One in three relationships begin online, with many people not meeting in person for months or even years. But are these relationships real? In this unique social experiment, online couples meet for the first time on a remote island. "Love Prison" is a lone cabin rigged with fixed cameras; there are no visible producers, no visible cameramen and no escape! Cameras capture the couple for a week, with an all-access look at everything from their first kiss to their first fight. Each couple spend their week together determining whether or not the person they know online matches up with reality and if they want to continue their relationship or move on. At the end of the experiment, the new couple has a decision to make; will they leave the "Love Prison" together or call it quits? Produced for A&E Network by Leftfield Pictures. Executive producers for Leftfield Pictures are Brent Montgomery, David George, Jordana Hochman and Will Nothacker. Executive producers for A&E Network are Drew Tappon, Shelly Tatro and Devon Graham.
Lone Star Lady - (working title) 9 half-hour episodes, Premiering Summer 2014
Rochelle is a full time football mom in Johnson City, TX whose family struck oil a few years ago. She once lived in a trailer, so this unapologetic, outspoken and hilarious Queen Bee is determined to keep her house full of boys humble. While the family now enjoys life’s little luxuries like new cars and family trips, they still live in a simple ranch house next to land that Rochelle’s family has owned for over 100 years. Despite their newfound wealth, the family keeps busy carting the boys to football practice, dealing with large cell phone bills, teen sexting and squeezing in a rare date night. But Rochelle excels in extreme parenting; her motto is to get her four sons “out of the house without being fathers or felons,” and she will do whatever it takes. Produced for A&E Network by 12 Forward Entertainment. Executive producers for 12 Forward Entertainment are Melanie Wester, Terry Wester and Adam Matalon. Executive producers for A&E Network are Laurie Sharpe and Sean Gottlieb.
Pilots in development
8 Minutes – (working title) one-hour pilot
Each year 100,000 young women are forced into prostitution. Most will never escape. This fact put Kevin Brown and Greg Reese on a mission, and it’s one of the most dangerous, voyeuristic missions in the country. The former police officers’ organization, Safe Passage, helps save teenage girls from lives of sexual servitude. In each episode, the organization will make contact with a girl who is "in the life” and go undercover enabling hidden cameras to capture their operation. But they only have 8 minutes to complete the extraction - the amount of time the team safely has to convince the girl to leave with them and start a new life. The stakes are high as the threat of violence looms large. Produced for A&E Network by Relativity Television. Executive producers for Relativity Television are Tom Forman and Brad Bishop. Executive producers for A&E Network are Drew Tappon and Laurie Sharpe.
Big Brew Theory – (working title) half-hour pilot
Four quirky and highly intelligent MIT grad students who have pooled their life savings to achieve their dream of creating a home grown micro-brewery team up with a beautiful MIT undergrad to launch their business. Produced for A&E Network by 44 Blue Productions, Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Entertainment, Dunlop Entertainment and Bill Thompson Productions. Executive producers are Stephanie Drachkovitch for 44 Blue Productions, Mark Wahlberg for Closest to the Hole Productions, Stephen Levinson for Leverage Entertainment, Scott Dunlop for Dunlop Entertainment, Bill Thompson for Bill Thompson Productions and Shelly Tatro, Drew Tappon, Lily Neumeyer and Devon Graham for A&E.
Nightwatch – (working title) one-hour pilot
Nightwatch follows the dangerous and hectic stretch between 9PM and 3AM when emergency responders come across the most unnerving cases. New Orleans is the backdrop for this nonfiction drama series where cameras have unlimited access to the city’s Fire Department and EMS Unit. Those who cover the night shift battle time and circumstance to save lives while they try to keep their own personal lives and relationships in order. Produced for A&E Network by Wolf Reality and 44 Blue Productions. Executive producers for Wolf Reality are Dick Wolf and Tom Thayer. Executive producer for 44 Blue Productions is Rasha Drachkovitch. Executive producers for A&E Network are Lily Neumeyer and Devon Graham.
The Unproduceables – (working title) half-hour pilot
The Unproduceables will follow the behind-the-scenes trials and tribulations of producer Mark Efman as he works with a cast of senior citizens in an attempt to create a reality series focusing on the intertwined lives at a Florida retirement center. Despite cranky attitudes, odd schedules and seemingly frivolous interpersonal problems among residents, Mark is determined to make the best show possible. While working in such close quarters, the cast and crew inevitably form close relationships, and Mark, at the helm, will become the grandson that many of these residents wish they had. Produced for A&E Network by My Tupelo Entertainment. Executive producers for My Tupelo Entertainment are Mark Efman, Joe Townley and Michael Yudin.Executive producers for A&E Network are Fred Grinstein and Evan Lerner.