Pop continues its push into original scripted programming. The cable network, owned jointly by CBS and Lionsgate, is expanding its original slate with three new scripted series, including its first drama, Pop president Brad Schwartz announced this week at the 2017-2018 upfront presentation to advertisers.
The offerings, aimed at what Pop brass dubbed the “modern grown-up” demo of post-Millennials, include Clique, a one-hour drama series in the risqué vein of such Shondaland series as Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder (watch a trailer above); CollegeHumor comedy Hot Date (watch a trailer below), executive produced by Will Arnett; and comedy Swedish Dicks, Private Investigators, starring Peter Stormare and features Keanu Reeves. They will join the upcoming fourth season of Pop’s flagship comedy Schitt’s Creek, starring Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Chris Elliott, and second season of Nightcap, a behind-the-scenes comedy set at a late-night talk show.
Pop also has nabbed exclusive rights to the full, 331-episode, 15-year run of ER. The hospital drama, which made stars of George Clooney and Julianna Margulies, quietly launched on Pop two weeks ago and has been delivering strong ratings. Additionally, Pop unveiled nine new scripted and unscripted projects in development from Sarah Jessica Parker, Krysten Ritter, Mary McCormack, Rashida Jones and Kate Walsh, among others.
“Pop continues to defy industry trends with consistent year-over-year growth in all areas of our business and a line-up of premium content featuring award-winning talent in front of and behind the camera,” Schwartz told advertisers and industry journalists in a series of one-on-one presentations this week in New York.
Michael DuPont, EVP for ad sales, said that Pop has added 58 new national advertisers, expanded its distribution on traditional cable and over-the-top platforms, and drove double digit growth in viewership among A18-49 (+21%) and W25-54 (+13%), according to Nielsen (Total Day, L+7).
“Pop’s new slate takes broad, familiar constructs and puts a forward-thinking, contemporary spin on them,” said Justin Rosenblatt, EVP, Original Programming and Development. “Building on our breakout original series Schitt’s Creek and feeding our audience’s appetite for feel good fare, we’re confident that our new crop of shows will ignite the curiosity of viewers, while complementing our existing programming schedule.”
• HOT DATE created in partnership with digital powerhouse CollegeHumor and its studio, Big Breakfast (Adam Ruins Everything) and executive produced by Will Arnett’s Electric Avenue Productions (Gong Show, Flaked), Principato-Young Entertainment and Big Breakfast, the half-hour scripted comedy stars Emily Axford and Brian K. Murphy and will premiere in Fall 2017.
• CLIQUE is a primetime drama series from the creative team behind the cult hit Skins. The show brings childhood soulmates Georgia (Aisling Franciosi, The Fall) and Holly (Synnove Karlsen) to a university, where Georgia gets drawn into an elite clique of alpha girls led by mysterious professor Jude Monroe (Louise Brealey, Sherlock). Created and executive produced by Jess Britain with executive producer Bryan Elsley.
• SWEDISH DICKS, PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS stars Peter Stormare (John Wick: Chapter 2, Fargo), Johan Glans and featuring Keanu Reeves (The Matrix franchise) in a single camera comedy from Lionsgate and Viaplay about an aging ex-stuntman stuck in the past and an overly optimistic Swedish DJ stuck in the digital world. Together they get unstuck by forming the private detective firm Swedish Dicks – solving some of the strangest and wildest cases LA has ever seen. Season one will premiere with 10 episodes in Fall 2017 featuring guest stars Traci Lords, Anthony Lapaglia, Eric Roberts and Margaret Cho. Season two begins production this summer.
• SCHITT’S CREEK.
• NIGHTCAP, the workplace comedy that pokes fun at late night television, returns June 7 for season two. Star Ali Wentworth welcomes guest stars Alec Baldwin, Julianne Moore, Brooke Shields, Christie Brinkley, Julianna Margulies, Brendan Fraser, Bob Saget, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, David Hasselhoff, Dr. Oz and more.
• BIG BROTHER AFTER DARK, the live late-night feed inside the “Big Brother” house, is back for its 19th season this summer with Pop as its exclusive television home.
• WOLF CREEK, based on the cult horror film of the same name, returns to Pop for season two.
IN DEVELOPMENT (SCRIPTED)
• LET’S GET PHYSICAL is a comedy centered on the 1980s world of aerobics produced by Ben and Dan Newmark of Grandma’s House Entertainment and Connor Pritchard’s Inside Center Productions (Workaholics).
• KISS & CRY is a soapy-drama set in the high-stakes world of competitive figure skating written by Samantha Stratton (Search Party) and produced by Safehouse Pictures’ Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold (Underground, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword).
• THE DEMONS OF DORIAN GUNN. Shocked to discover he’s from a long line of “demon hunters,” disgraced New York socialite Dorian Gunn unwillingly abandons his life of leisure to protect humanity from monsters as they emerge from the gates of hell. Written by Evan Greenspoon and Brandon Scott Jones and executive produced by Tony Hernandez and Lilly Burns of JAX Media and co-star Ritter and her Silent Machine.
• IT’S A DATE, produced by Sarah Jessica Parker and Alison Benson’s Pretty Matches and Laura Waters’ Princess Pictures, is an irreverent comedy anthology about the pursuit of love.
• PEACHES was born a boy but had to be raised as a girl after his parents lost a pie-eating contest wager – and the only way for them to keep him was to hide his gender. Written by Barry Safchik and Michael Platt (Grace and Frankie, Weeds) and produced by Michael Rosenberg’s Rosey TV (Hung) with global independent studio Entertainment One (You Me Her).
• THE NEW AND IMPROVED PIXIE WEXLER follows Pixie Wexler, former child commercial star now fresh out of grad school and embarking on her career as a copy writer a Chicago ad agency. Written by John Montgomery and produced by Mark Teitelbaum of Teitelbaum Artists Group, Bill D’Elia and John Montgomery.
• TWO PRINCES is a contemporary comedic fairytale in which Prince Charming leaves Cinderella behind in Fantasyland and winds up in present day Venice Beach, written by Jay Baxter and Shaun Zaken; production company TBA.
IN DEVELOPMENT (UNSCRIPTED)
• GET IN MY VAN is a talk-travel show hosted by Kate Walsh (Private Practice, Grey’s Anatomy) and her best friend comedian Arden Myrin (Shameless,), as they travel the country in their pimped-out RV meeting real people and celebrity friends. Produced by Magical Elves.
• YOU TAKE MY POINT. In partnership with Rashida Jones (Parks and Recreation) and Matador (Lip Sync Battle), this unconventional pop culture panel show is hosted by Mary McCormack (Divorce, House of Lies) from the comfort of her own Hollywood Hills living room.