10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Will Packer Sets Scripted Drama, Dating Show at OWN
Will Packer, fresh off Girls Trip, continues to set up series all over the dial.
The prolific producer has landed straight-to-series orders at OWN for a scripted drama called Ambitions and dating show Ready to Love. Both hail under Packer's first-look deal with the cable network, a joint venture between Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Inc. and Discovery Communications.
Ambitions (working title) is described as a multigenerational family saga centered around one woman who, recently relocated and intent on revitalizing her marriage, finds herself going head to head with some of the most powerful and deceitful players in the city. Production will begin this year for a debut in 2019. An episode count has not yet been determined. The drama will be produced by Will Packer Media in association with Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercury. Packer exec produces alongside his company's Sheila Ducksworth. Jamey Giddens will pen the script and co-executive produce.
The drama joins a scripted slate at OWN that includes fellow dramas Queen Sugar, Greenleaf, The Haves and the Have Nots and If Loving You Is Wrong; and comedies The Paynes and Love Is.
On the unscripted front, Ready to Love — which will join OWN's Saturday night unscripted lineup this year — is a dating show that the cabler says will focus on men and women of all shapes, sizes and shades, each of whom is looking for love. It also will explore what men say about dating when women aren't around. Packer exec produces alongside Lighthearted Entertainment. Kelly Smith and Lighthearted' Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler also exec produce.
"Partnering with OWN to bring Ambitions and Ready to Love to their fast-growing lineup of critically acclaimed series is a win-win scenario,” Packer said. “OWN has been on an incredible streak with its recent slate, and we’re looking forward to extending the network’s primetime success with these new shows created specifically with the OWN audience in mind.”
For Packer, both OWN shows come after he landed a straight-to-series for scripted comedy Peachtree Place at BET.