Upfronts ’13: TruTV greenlights comedic reality

The U.S. cable net has ordered Panic Button, Cash Dome Pawn and Big Sam's Kentucky Auction (pictured), as part of its strategy of focusing on comedic reality programming.
April 18, 2013

TruTV has greenlit three reality series, ordered seven pilots and renewed two series.

The U.S. cable network will be focusing on comedic reality and re-launching its website in the season ahead, in a bid to attract viewers it has dubbed “funseekers” – or fans of humor that is “suspenseful, edgy and irreverent.”

By the end of the year, 50% of its schedule will be devoted to programming tailored for this audience, which is had a median age of 35 and comprises both men and women.

“We’ve already caught the attention of funseekers with hit shows like Impractical Jokers and Killer Karaoke,” Marc Juris, the company’s executive VP and COO, said in a statement. “Now we’re ready to target them on a bigger scale, not only by creating more comedic reality series but also by giving them innovative opportunities to connect with their TruTV favorites in the digital realm.”

The new series are Panic Button (12 x 30-minutes), an Eleven Television-produced show in which contestants must brave a haunted house without pushing a panic button; Cash Dome Pawn (six x 30-minutes), a 51 Minds Entertainment-produced pawn shop reality series; and the tentatively titled Big Sam’s Kentucky Auction (six x 30-minutes, pictured above), an ITV Studios America-produced show (in association with Leepson Bounds Entertainment) about a southern auction house.

The five reality comedy titles on the network’s development slate are Turbulence, a globe-trotting game show from Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions and FremantleMedia; Payback with Trevor Moore (working title), a hidden camera prank show from Funny or Die; Laugh Truck (working title), a game show set in the back of a moving truck from NorthSouth Productions; The Big Poll with John Henson (working title), a “crowd-sourced” multi-platform comedy quiz show; and Mind Games (working title), a game show starring hypnotist Will Miner.

The network is also continuing to go after blue collar viewers by ordering pilots for Cold Hard Catch, a reality series about an ice-fishing resort from Jupiter Entertainment and Brian Graden Media; and Barnstormers (working title), a series about the world of barn auctions from Magilla Entertainment and Watson Pond Productions.

TruTv has also renewed  Guinness World Records Gone Wild! and Upload with Shaquille O’Neal, which join previously renewed series Impractical Jokers and Hardcore Pawn: Chicago.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.