Diane Haithman is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
CNBC announced today that it has greenlighted two new reality series that will be part of its primetime rebrand, CNBC Prime. The series, announced today at TCA by president and CEO Michael Hoffman and SVP Primetime Alternative Programming Jim Ackerman, are the untitled Family Business Project and The Big Fix (working title). Both series will premiere in the spring. Hoffman said CNBC is moving into reality TV to beef up CNBC’s primetime lineup. “Not too long ago, CNBC’s primetime was the land of misfit toys, it really bore no connection to the core brand, which was a daytime brand,” he said. “That has all changed.”
In each episode of the hourlong untitled family business project, from Embassy Row and executive produced by Michael Davies, viewers will meet three family businesses that “have the drive, ambition and desire to succeed, what they don’t have is cash,” They will compete for money and the studio audience will decide who gets it the $50,000 prize. The Big Fix, from THE Company and executive produced by Justin W. Hochberg and Charlie Ebersol, will follow Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World, as he helps rebuild businesses that are in serious trouble. Each show focuses on one company over eight episodes the exec will invest $2 million. Ackerman said CNBC thought the concept would be more compelling if it involved “someone who has skin in the game.”
Ackerman said that CNBC’s approach to expanding primetime programming is to make it more about personal finance. “Daytime is about money with a lot of zeroes,” he said. That statement followed Hoffman’s description of two other previously announced CNBC Prime shows, Treasure Detectives and The Car Chasers (the first new series to kick off CNBC Prime on March 5) as meeting participants at “the intersection of fear and greed.” He described CNBC as the “VIP lounge” of television.
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