TV

Keeping it real at Authentic

Authentic Entertainment co-founders Tom Rogan and Lauren Lexton head up a production team that exhibits an incredibly varied and popular catalog. From masterful cake decorating on Food Network's Ace of Cakes and going underground to explore unseen history on History's Cities of the Underworld to the weird world of kiddie beauty pageants in TLC's Toddlers and Tiaras, Authentic's work spans quite a range. Here, Rogan and Lexton let us know what they're working on and the key things to keep in mind when working with many cable nets.
December 16, 2009

Authentic Entertainment co-founders Tom Rogan and Lauren Lexton head up a production team that exhibits an incredibly varied and popular catalog. From masterful cake decorating on Food Network’s Ace of Cakes and going underground to explore unseen history on History’s Cities of the Underworld to the weird world of kiddie beauty pageants in TLC’s Toddlers and Tiaras, Authentic’s work spans quite a range. Here, Rogan and Lexton let us know what they’re working on and the key things to keep in mind when working with many cable nets.

Authentic is currently at work on nine different series, most of them returning. Lexton says they are shooting the third season of Toddlers and Tiaras and also working on another beauty pageant show with TLC, with the working title Small Towns, Big Crowns. She also adds that they’re going into season nine and ten of Ace of Cakes, Bravo is set to air season four of Flipping Out in January, and a new season of Food’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate will air in the new year.

New shows in Authentic’s slate include Howe and Howe Tech for the Discovery Channel and You’re Wearing That? for WE tv. Rogan describes the former as featuring identical twin brothers living in Maine who are married to sisters and create incredible vehicles for the military and for private contractors. It premieres January 5 on Discovery after Dirty Jobs. ‘It’s a really great combination because it’s part docusoap and part build show,’ says Lexton. And the WE tv series, which Lexton claims is very close to her heart, is a mother-daughter makeover show.

Having programs on a wide range of major cable networks has made Rogan and Lexton experts on knowing how to manage cablers’ different needs. Rogan says there are two key things to know. ‘One is listening to what they say they want. And the other is ignoring what they say they want,’ he says. ‘They will tell us what they’re looking for and we’ll pursue things in that realm, but if we think something tells a good compelling story, even if it falls nowhere in the sphere of what they’re looking for, we’ll still pursue it because likely they’re going to buy it.’

Since Authentic produces programming on such a wide range of topics, it seems like there’s almost nothing the prodco hasn’t done. ‘There’s nothing that we really feel we need to get into or a genre that we’re not really focused on,’ says Rogan.

‘It’s going to sound really corny, but we try to produce shows that are really authentic,’ says Lexton. ‘We try not to overproduce things and work with the already existing story and talent to really draw the great stories out of what’s already there. It seems to have worked.’

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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