Whether it’s a program on plus-size ballerinas, young “Marvels” or a legendary rock photographer, U.S. cable net Ovation TV has built a reputation on busting traditional definitions of the arts.
The channel’s original reality program, Art Breakers, continues the spirit of inclusiveness by broaching the world of high art collecting – an intimidating arena often out of reach for the hoi polloi, but rendered accessible in this light-hearted series through powerhouse dealers and former sorority sisters Miller Gaffney (pictured, right) and Carol Lee Brosseau (left). The program debuts on October 4 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.
“They could be your next door neighbors,” Scott Woodward, executive VP of programming and productions, tells realscreen. “They’re real, they’re fun and they’re colorful. And in addition to learning a little bit about art as you watch the series, you also get to know them as people.”
While Ovation TV has several documentaries focusing on hard art, Woodward says that when the net is doing its own originals, it’s beginning to look for programming that can “bring a broader audience in” and open up the art world to everyone. Moving forward, Ovation TV is looking for more short-form content that can appeal to a millennial audience.
“The stuff you see on most television nets compared to what you find on YouTube in the world of art is vastly different,” says Woodward. “In the next year, you’ll see us exposing that kind of art as well.”
Produced by Jerseylicious producer Story Monster TV, Art Breakers follows Gaffney and Brosseau – described by Ovation as the “matchmakers” of the art world – as they curate collections for various patrons and clients.
In the net’s initial 4 x 30-minute episode order, the pair’s assignments range from decorating the New York offices of an Australian juicing mogul to shipping 35 pieces of art, including sculptures, to Las Vegas for private clients who want to see how they look in their home.
“Knowing Ovation’s brand and the importance of being smart and intelligent about the world of art, we wanted to take an audience there in a way that would be positive and aspirational,” explains John Rieber, managing partner of Story Monster TV.
“These women are working with people who have the money to enter the world of art at the very top price point; however, the way in which they work with them reveals that art can be for everyone,” he adds.
While access may have been an issue for most networks, the producer says a combination of Ovation TV’s positive reputation in the world of art and culture - “There was a natural willingness to listen to us and what we wanted to achieve from the show,” he notes – as well as Brosseau and Gaffney’s extensive roster of contacts made interactions with high-profile clients and little-seen galleries easier to navigate.
Though the initial season is only four episodes long, Rieber and Woodward say they’re in discussions for more episodes which would take the focus away from New York and explore other markets.
“There are art collectors that Carol and Miller are working with right now who are very excited about Cuba opening back up, because there’s incredible art there that is available,” says Rieber.
- Art Breakers airs on Ovation TV on October 4 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.
- Check out an exclusive clip from the show below: