TLC is developing “one or two” more spin-offs of its hit reality franchise 90 Day Fiancé.
The move would take the number of shows in the 90 Day Fiancé universe to 12, however, the Discovery-owned lifestyle network is mindful of not going past the “tipping point” with the franchise.
The show, which is produced by Sharp Entertainment, first aired in 2014 and it has become a huge success for the network, helping it to post its best quarter ever in two key demos between April and June 2020.
It has spawned Before the 90 Days, The Other Way, What Now?, Pillow Talk, The Family Chantel, Self-Quarantined, Happily Ever After, B90 Strikes Back! and Darcey and Stacey.
Howard Lee, President and General Manager of TLC, speaking on a virtual Edinburgh International TV Festival panel, moderated by Deadline, that there’s “probably one or two that we are actively working on”.
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“We always want to check in on our fans to ensure that we’re not getting past the tipping point or saturation and that this is something that they’d want to see and so far we’ve been really fortunate that they’re still finding these projects compelling,” he said.
In the beginning, the show was very much about the K1 visa process but it has broadened out in various forms, generally around characters. “In casting, we discovered we were overflowing with so many terrific stories that had nothing to do with a proposal or imminent marriage,” he said.
But Lee admitted that the network listens to the audience to make sure it is not overdoing it. “It’s very important that we don’t just create a spin-off or sequel just for the sake of it. We want to make sure that we’re not just ripping ourselves off, franchise after franchise,” he said.
The success of 90 Day Fiancé has led TLC to look for other shows in the relationship space. Lee said that Fiancé was the first time that it had tapped into love and relationships and now it was looking for more of that.
“We’re ok if it’s docu-follow or if it’s social experiment, we’re very much open to that. If it’s just plain old dating, it has to be extraordinary, there has to be a hook,” he said. “We’re open arms for anything like that. The casting, at the end of the day, has to be compelling. we’re looking for real people, they don’t have to be glamorous but they could be, they could be from the East Coast or West Coast or any part of America, physically they could be any size, shape or form, TLC is representative of who our audience looks like.”
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