TV Land adds to originals


TV Land is pushing forward with its commitment to developing original series, greenlighting four pilots, including a game show from Bunim-Murray Prods.

The unambiguously titled "What's In the Box?" marks TV Land's first foray into the game show genre. The 30-minute show is executive produced by Jonathan Murray, half of the creative force behind MTV's "The Real World" and "Road Rules."

Other projects in the works are "First Love, Second Chance," an unscripted series from Granada America Entertainment that attempts to reunite old flames years after their relationships went bust; "Now or Never," a one-hour strip that offers empty-nesters a shot at a second act; and "Make My Day," a hidden-camera show from "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" production house Embassy Row.

"This latest crop of originals reflects the motivation of people in their 40s to tune in to see programming that is fun, upbeat, uplifting and entertaining … and that most of all puts them first," TV Land president Larry W. Jones said. "These shows are a perfect complement to our existing slate of originals and continue to underscore our commitment to entertain this underserved audience."

Although the network did not offer an estimate for when the new series might air, TV Land announced premiere dates for the four projects it unveiled in the fall. First up is "The Big 4-0," which bows April 16.

In the course of the past year, the Viacom-owned TV Land has aggressively courted boomer viewers, so much so that in March 2007 the network enlisted President Bill Clinton to speak on its behalf at its upfront presentation. And while the net has raised its profile, ratings have slumped of late.

In February, TV Land averaged 803,000 viewers in primetime, a drop of 18% compared with previous year, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Anthony Crupi is a reporter for Mediaweek.