EXCLUSIVE: VH1 is shaking up the production of two of its longest running franchises – Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and Basketball Wives – a move that has seen the original production companies taken off the shows.
The Viacom-owned cable network has removed Eastern TV from Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood and Shed Media USA from Basketball Wives and is set to replace them with other production outfits as it looks to take these shows in a new direction.
Warner Bros-backed Shed Media has come off Basketball Wives, which follows the wives of NBA stars including Shaunie O’Neal, who created the show and was married to Shaquille O’Neal. It has run to over 150 episodes on VH1 across the original series and an LA-based spin-off. It is thought that VH1 hopes the move to revitalize the format will lead to further spin-offs. Shed Media, however, will remain continue to receive an exec producer credit on the show and will have its production company logo on the show going forward.
Meanwhile, Eastern TV, which is run by CEO Toby Barraud and President Stefan Springman, will no longer be involved in producing Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood but will still be responsible for producing Love & Hip Hop: New York, Love & Hip Hop: Miami and Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.
The franchise, which has over 300 episodes, has been one of the network’s biggest hits, helping make it the number one non-sports cable network on Monday primetime and with four of the top five unscripted spots in 2018. Mona Scott-Young and her company Monami Entertainment will remain on all versions of the franchise.
VH1 has already invited new producers to come and pitch for these shows as it looks to take them in a new direction. It is understood that these are two unrelated instances and that it is not part of a wider drive or related to the launch of MTV Studios.
The nascent production unit was officially launched earlier this summer with MTV President Chris McCarthy and head of programming Nina L. Diaz. Last week, it scored a deal with Facebook to reboot The Real World with Bunim-Murray and is in talks on a number of other titles. McCarthy told Deadline in June that he wanted to “move back into a Build Model and away from a Buy Model.”