Heading into its upfront presentation, E! has unveiled its original programming slate, which includes three upcoming series: reality competition series Escape Club premiering June 8, plastic surgery docu-series Botched premiering this September, and the network’s first original scripted series The Royals debuting in early 2015. The network has picked up a second season of #RichKids Of Beverly Hills and has put in development a New York-based spinoff. It also has greenlighted a new installment of the Kardashians’ Take franchise, Kourtney & Khloe Take The Hamptons while developing yet another Kardashian reality series, Dash Dolls, about Kim and Khloe Kardashian’s boutiques. “E! continues to deliver for the pop culture fan through buzzy original programming, unparalleled entertainment news, and innovative digital initiatives,” said Suzanne Kolb, President, E! Entertainment.
While celebrity-driven unscripted fare remains a cornerstone of E!’s programming with new projects headlined by the Kardashians, Christina Millian and Lance Bass, there are also more fashion and lifestyle offerings, including a new reality series in the works toplined by fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg. E! also stepped up its coverage of Fashion Week this year. The expansion in the arena is in part because E!’s sister network Style was phased out, said Kolb. “We are stretching that muscle more.”
On the scripted side, the network is developing a miniseries about the Gucci family. Longform is a relatively new area for E!, where the network also has in the works another project, The Four Hundred. Because of E!’s tradition with covering events, like awards ceremonies, event programming “feels like area that would have great traction for us,” Kolb said.
E!’s upfront scripted slate only includes the Gucci mini and pilot Songbyrd, one of E!’s first two scripted pilots along with The Royals, which is still undergoing testing. “It’s a good pilot,” said Kolb. And while there are no scripted development projects announced today, “we are continuing the active scripted development pipeline,” Kolb said, noting that the network won’t wait to see how The Royals does before ordering more scripted pilots later in 2014.
E! also eyes expansion of its late-night block anchored by Chelsea Lately by possibly turning its awards night special After Party into a daily pop culture news recap that could air at 11:30 PM. Here is the network’s original programming slate: (more…)