Oxygen pickup tackles males with reality series


Female-targeted cable network Oxygen is adding some testosterone to its lineup: The channel has ordered a comedic reality series starring former pro athlete Deion Sanders and his family.

In addition, the channel has greenlighted a new true-crime series, "Captured," to serve as a companion to its successful "Snapped" series, which has received a sixth-season pickup. Oxygen also has renewed the reality series "The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency" for a third season.

The tentatively titled "Deion and Pilar Sanders: Prime Time Love" stars Sanders, a former NFL and Major League Baseball player and the only athlete ever to play in a Super Bowl and World Series; his wife, Pilar, a former model; and their five kids, who live in the small town of Prosper, Texas. Pilar Sanders is described as a "glamorous, big-city girl" and "the ultimate fish-out-of-water" in the town, which has a population of 2,000. She is said to want to step out from underneath her husband's shadow and strike out on her own, while he would rather she stay at home with the kids.

Debby Beece, Oxygen's president of programming and marketing, said that Oxygen generally looks for programming featuring "big, bold, larger-than-life" characters.

"Deion is hysterical, and Pilar is really funny and adorable and smart, and they just have such great chemistry," she said. "It's such a positive and optimistic look at family life, and they are equal partners. It was perfect for us."

Beece added that family-centric unscripted series are a relatively new genre for Oxygen, but she expects this show to do well based on the performance of the similarly themed "Tori & Dean: Inn Love," which returns for a second season at 10 p.m. Tuesday. She said "Sanders" provides an opportunity to draw new male viewers as well.

The eight-episode series, from SokoLobl Entertainment, is targeted to premiere in February. Executive producers are SokoLobl's Sam Sokolow and Rob Lobl, Tollbooth TV's Kevin Lee and Deion Sanders.

Meanwhile, "Captured," which debuts in October, will air Sunday nights as a lead-out to the long-running true-crime series "Snapped," which kicks off its sixth season in the fall. Each half-hour episode of "Captured" opens with an actual event, such as an unexplained disappearance, a violent assault or cold-blooded murder, and follows the mystery as it is solved as seen through the eyes of a female involved with the case. "Captured" and "Snapped" are from Jupiter Entertainment.

The most recent episode of "Snapped" on Sunday garnered its highest ratings ever across key female demos, including 18-49 (0.7 rating) and 18-34 (0.9). Beece said the true-crime genre connects with the Oxygen audience because "these are extraordinary tales ... about real people."

Meanwhile, "Janice Dickinson" will return for a third season in December with 10 hourlong episodes. This season will follow Dickinson as she focuses on starting up a new Latin division of her modeling agency. The series, from FremantleMedia North America, is executive produced by Stuart Krasnow for Krasnow Prods., Kevin Williams and Dickinson.

Also on the docket, as previously announced, are a second season of "The Bad Girls Club," which returns in December, and the original movie "Husband for Hire," starring Mario Lopez, Mark Consuelos, Tempestt Bledsoe, Nadine Velazquez and Erik Estrada. "Husband" debuts in January.

Separately, Oxygen said Tuesday that it has inked a deal with Yahoo Video to provide programming content for the site, including long- and short-form programming.