Realscreen‘s third annual Factual Entertainment Forum kicks off this morning in Santa Monica, with iconic rock and reality star Gene Simmons and his family (pictured) opening the first session of the day with a frank discussion about how their lives have changed while living under the microscope of a reality series.
The family, stars of Gene Simmons Family Jewels since its launch in 2006, will discuss what makes a captivating docusoap, before Simmons is inducted into the Factual Entertainment Awards Hall of Fame as the “Personality of the Year” later in the day.
Following the opening session, DiGa founder Tony DiSanto will moderate the Non-Scripted Network Stars panel, which features Syfy’s senior VP of alternative programming Tim Krubsack; TLC’s senior VP of production and development Howard Lee; ABC Entertainment Group’s senior VP of alternative series, specials and late night programming John Saade; Cooking Channel’s senior VP of programming Bruce Seidel; and Lifetime Networks exec VP of programming Rob Sharenow.
With the lines between cable and broadcast titles becoming increasingly blurry, the session will look at the commitment to alternative and factual entertainment from broadcasters on both sides, and discuss whether unscripted producers could see themselves fighting for fewer slots as scripted titles take off.
The day then continues with the Factual Forward: Trends To Watch For In Factual Entertainment, Crossing Borders: Intel From International Buyers and Mining for Gold sessions, with a number of ’30 minutes with…’ sessions running concurrently, featuring Lifetime’s Gena McCarthy, MTV’s Chris Linn and A&E’s Elaine Frontain Bryant.
The first day closes with the anticipated second annual Factual Entertainment Awards at the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, followed by cocktails and parties into the night.