Mark Cuban-Ryan Seacrest Channel Taps 'Hard Copy' Producer to Run Daily Live Show (Exclusive)

2012-04 REP Ryan Seacrest Mark Cuban H
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Right up front in the Jan. 18 announcement that "American Idol" host and producer Ryan Seacrest is partnering with billionaire Mark Cuban and events giant AEG to rebrand Cuban's HDNet as a new television network called AXS (pronounced "Access") was a bit of surprising news.

Debra Weeks will shepherd AXS TV's "AXS Live," which will air six hours a day, five days a week beginning in July.

The Mark Cuban-Ryan Seacrest channel has tapped veteran executive Debra Weeks to take the reins of its live entertainment show, AXS Live.

In what has been described as the pop-culture equivalent of ESPN's SportsCenter for the soon-to-be rebranded HDNet, AXS Live will premiere July 3 with a six-hour-a-day, five-day-a-week live show dedicated to all things music, celebrity and entertainment. Weeks, best known for her decadelong tenure with Hard Copy, will executive produce the program, which also will incorporate up-to-the-minute news, interviews, analysis and interaction with viewers.

"We're starting up with a vision to create a place for music and pop culture that is truly real, raw and fresh," said Weeks. "Mark doesn't want to do anything that's already been done. I love that."

Added Cuban, "Debra's experience in live TV production and her ability to create amazing TV fits perfectly with the direction of AXS TV."

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The news comes some nearly three months after Cuban announced he'd be rebranding his independent channel in partnership with Seacrest, AEG and CAA. In a sit-down interview with The Hollywood Reporter at the time, the billionaire entrepreneur stressed the value of having a TV outlet that can react on a live basis to entertainment news the way so many popular websites do. His argument: Sports has ESPN, business has CNBC, and news has any number of cable channels from CNN to MSNBC, but the world of celebrity and entertainment plays out in real time only on the web.

Weeks brings that pioneering background in the entertainment space. She was part of the original team that launched Paramount Television's tabloid magazine series, ultimately becoming the managing editor of Hard Copy. Entertainment Tonight and a flood of competitors followed. For the last decade-plus, Weeks has beefed up her reality television resume, adding such shows as NBC's World's Most Amazing Videos, Travel Channel's celebrity-focused Road Trip and TLC's For Better or Worse.

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