Discovery lines up local commissions for TLC in Poland, Russia

Discovery Networks CEEMEA's senior VP and head of channels Paul Welling (pictured) talks to realscreen about boosting programming spend on TLC in Russia and Poland, with four entertainment series commissioned for the fall.
August 22, 2012

TLC in Russia and Poland will launch locally produced shows Mad About the House, The Great Polish Bake-Off, Masters of Make-Up and Ready in a Half an Hour this fall.

Discovery Networks CEEMEA’s senior VP and head of channels Paul Welling (pictured) spoke with realscreen about the plans for the TLC channels, which launched in the territories over the past two years.

Our strategy for launching TLC across the regions of CEEMEA is to use a lot of the U.S. content but also really regionalize the channels in terms of our tone. The easiest way to do this is with local commissions that really resonate with the market, but feel big, high quality and distinctive, which is what viewers want from TLC,” he says.

Three locally produced series, all with Polish celebrity hosts, have been commissioned for TLC Poland, including interior design reality show, Mad About the House.

The 10 x one-hour series, produced by Toro Media from a Renegade Pictures format, is hosted by Polish pop-singer Katarzyna Klich, and sees a couple given money to renovate their house.

Elsewhere, Endemol Poland will produce both The Great Polish Bake-Off, a local version of the UK competitive baking series co-hosted by Poland’s Dancing On Ice presenter Piotr Gasowski and socialite Marta Grycan; and make-up tutorial series, Masters of Make-up. The latter series features the TV debut of make-up blogger Hanna Knopinska-Grzenkowicz.

Welling says The Great Polish Bake-Off will do “something very new in the region, looking for Poland’s best amateur baker. It’s our first regional show, and we’re showcasing various parts of Poland, which is great for an international brand to be able to do that. Finally with this show, our key presenters are very well-known names, which enables us to feel very big, glossy and local very quickly. That’s one of my favorite series this years.

“We launched [TLC Poland] two years ago now and it’s very quickly become the largest female lifestyle entertainment brand in Poland and it keeps growing. What these shows are doing is helping us stand out among local genre competitors and the terrestrials, as well as in the market,” he adds.

In Russia, meanwhile, the TLC network will premiere the first locally produced cooking series Ready in a Half an Hour and has re-commissioned Bekker Media’s Daughters vs. Mothers for a second season.

Produced by Jet Films, Ready in a Half an Hour is a 20 x 30-minute in-studio cooking show hosted by TV presenter Elena Usanova, which encourages viewers to cook along in front of the TV.

Ready in Half An Hour is a great example of using social media and digital,” says Welling. “We publish, a week before, the ingredients one would need to make the dish, which is featured the following week. We’re breaking some new ground, demonstrating that our brands are quite regional, and using key Russian and Polish faces.”

Mark Proctor for Discovery Networks International is the executive producer for TLC’s latest commissions.

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.