Often associated with its testosterone-heavy shows (think Ice Road Truckers, Monster Garage and Deadliest Catch), Burbank’s Original Productions is extending its efforts into the women’s arena and has named Kerri Zane as its VP of women’s programming. Original recently debuted Twister Sisters, which follows two sisters and their tornado-tracking tour business, on WE: Women’s Entertainment. Zane is developing factual that reflects the prodco’s specialty of celebrating working-class heroes. The twist is that it’s heroines that will rule in Zane’s content
Do you have a specific woman in mind when you create shows?
I don’t. It’s more about portraying women who are really living their lives and doing things for themselves, and I hope they will empower other women to do the same thing.
So there’s not one type of woman that you’re targeting?
We all strive to attract that 18-to-49 audience.
How do you plan to appeal to women with your programming?
Just as some guys in programs are unsung heroes, there are women who are unsung heroes. They may not be catching crabs on a boat in Alaska, but they’re still doing amazing things. Those are the groups of women I want to try to focus on [in the shows].
What are some of the key elements women want in their programming?
For women, it’s about relationships. And it’s about the story dynamics. Our shows will be very story-driven. I love The Real Housewives of Orange County and I think it’s because of the dynamics of those women and their relationships and how they catfight, but they care about each other and their kids. Ultimately, women are drawn to that kind of content. Bridezillas is kind of cool, too. Again, it’s about the relationships of those women with their friends and future husbands. We always get drawn back to how women relate, and the group dynamics of women in relationships.
But also, if you’re doing a makeover show you [should try to] help women relate on some level to the women they’re seeing.