‘Intervention’ spin-off and ‘Taxi’ alumnus star in A&E development slate

A&E and Bio have announced their development slates for 2010-2011, with an Intervention spin-off and celebreality offerings from Dee Snider, Bob Saget and Tony Danza on the way from A&E, and William Shatner beaming onto another series for Bio.
May 6, 2010

A&E and Bio have announced their development slates for 2010-2011, with an Intervention spin-off and celebreality offerings from Dee Snider, Bob Saget and Tony Danza on the way from A&E, and William Shatner beaming onto another series for Bio.

A&E, currently positioned as the fourth largest entertainment cable network among adults in the 18-49 demo, is launching eight new unscripted series in 2010, with 12 non-fiction shows returning to the sked.

The new series include I’m Heavy (w/t, 10 x 1 hour), which the net says will provide an ‘intimate look’ at patients struggling to overcome weight problems through a six-month program. The series, which will feature two individuals per episode, will be shot in two different treatment facilities: Tijuana Entertainment will produce the South Carolina portion while Megalomedia will handle the Texas portion. Exec producers for A&E are Robert Sharenow, Elaine Frontain Bryant, Scott Lonker and Michael Morrison.

A&E’s massive hit Intervention has spawned a spin-off, in the form of Intervention in Depth: One Man Rehab. The 5 x 1 hour series will follow a team of ‘sober companions’ as they aid high-risk addicts in the daily struggle to resist falling back into addiction. Like the original, the new series is produced by GRB Entertainment.

The net that brought us Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels has several more celebreality projects on the way. They include an untitled David Hasselhoff project produced by FremantleMedia North America; Strange Days with Bob Saget from Tijuana Entertainment; Growing Up Twisted (w/t), produced by Evolution Media and starring Twisted Sister frontman Dee Snider and Tony Danza: Teach, produced by Boutique TV. The Hasselhoff and Snider shows offer glimpses into each man’s family life, while the Saget series sees the Full House funnyman hitting the road to explore subcultures and unique lifestyles. Danza’s series sees the actor taking on what may be his toughest role yet – that of English teacher for a class of sophomore students at Philadelphia’s Northeast High School.

Two crime-oriented unscripted series make the slate this year, with The Squad: Prison Police (Wild Eyes Productions, 10 x 30 minutes) documenting the action inside the Tennessee prison system via the investigations of a team of special agents. Ice-T serves as exec producer for The Peacemaker, produced for A&E by OOG Productions. The 5 x 30 minute series follows violence prevention counselor Malik Spellman as he mediates truces between rival L.A. gangs.

Returning unscripted series include Intervention, Obsessed (Tijuana Entertainment), Hoarders (Screaming Flea Productions), Billy the Exterminator (September Films), The First 48 (Granada America) and Criss Angel Mindfreak (Angle Productions Worldwide Inc., Baram Productions).

‘Since unveiling the network’s brand repositioning two years ago we’ve seen phenomenal results, which tells us that our audience craves the dramatic, authentic, emotional and compelling storytelling that is fundamental to our brand promise,’ said Bob DeBitetto, president and general manager of A&E and Bio about A&E. ‘We’ve kicked off 2010 with our best quarter ever and we are looking forward to carrying on the momentum with our continued investment in original programming and delivering an unprecedented seventh year of growth.’

Unscripted series on the slate for Bio include Shatner’s Aftermath (produced by GRB Entertainment, 6 x 1 hour), in which William Shatner examines the stories behind people who became instant news makers throughout history, including Jessica Lynch and the Unabomber. I Survived… Beyond and Back is a spin-off from I Survived, produced by NHNZ and focusing on individuals who came back from being clinically dead, and My Ghost Story documents the experiences of people with personal ghost stories. Returning series for BIO include Biography, Shatner’s Raw Nerve (Scott Sternberg Productions), I Survived (NHNZ), Celebrity Ghost Stories (Jarrett Creative) and Mobsters (Towers Productions).

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.