Upfronts ’14: TruTV preps “Hair Jacked,” “Fake-Off,” “Local News”

A pop culture-themed talent competition, a reality western and an ambush game show are among six new 'fun-seeker'-targeting offerings featuring on the U.S. cable net's 2014/15 upfront slate. (Pictured: Impractical Jokers)
April 21, 2014

A pop culture-themed talent competition, a reality western and an ambush game show are among six new ‘fun-seeker’-targeting offerings featuring on the 2014/15 upfront slate of U.S. cable net TruTV.

The network is seeking to redefine its brand, and is launching six series geared towards a younger, dual-gender audience that looks to television solely for fun and surprising entertainment.

The U.S. net, which is working with entertainment branding agency Loyalkaspar, has put significant resources into reshaping its brand and investing in more than 30 projects, it says, which are in development. Its new strategy will include new design applications for all platforms.

“TruTV’s brand evolution will be a reflection of our new programming focus and the attitude of our target audience of fun-seekers,” said Puja Vohra, senior VP of marketing and digital for TruTV, in a statement. “Knowing that funseekers are tech-savvy, TruTV can push the envelope on creative disruption to drive interactivity across all fan touch-points.”

The net’s upcoming slate includes pop-culture-themed talent competition series Fake-Off (premiering early fall), in which teams compete with theater, acrobatics, dance, costume and illusion acts for the title of America’s Fake-Off champions; reality western Way Out West (July), about three rival outfitter families in the Idaho back-country; and comedy series How to Be a Grown Up (summer 2014), which offers humorous advice and common-sense solutions to the trials of entering adulthood.

Also on the slate is docu-soap Local News (working title; fall 2014), which follows the rivalry between news teams at two small town television stations; and ambush game show Hair Jacked (fall 2014), where participants compete for big money or a hair-cut.

TruTV has also ordered 13 additional episodes of comic magician series The Carbonaro Effect, picked up a fourth season of Impractical Jokers (pictured), and signed on for spin-off series Jokers Wild!

The new shows will join the previously announced sketch comedy Friends of the People and design competition show Motor City Masters.

“We’re extremely excited to be rolling out a robust slate of programming, including big swings in new areas including reality/scripted hybrid shows, sketch comedy, docu-soaps and competition elimination as we continue to shape and evolve the TruTV brand,” said Chris Linn, president and head of programming for the network.

“Working with outstanding producers like 3 Arts Entertainment, Mission Control Media, Bunim/Murray Productions and Shine America, we are moving forward to give our targeted audience of ‘fun-seekers’ the type of programming they crave: a dynamic mix of action, comedy and competition series featuring engaging characters and compelling new worlds.”

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.