Renewed and Returning: “Stars!,” “Marriage Boot Camp”

In this week's roundup, renewals and new seasons are on the way for series from Sony Pictures Television, ABC, WE tv and Cooking Channel. (Pictured: Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars)
September 9, 2016

Sony Pictures Television has renewed the celebrity-centric series Stars! for 35 episodes and auteur-oriented Director’s Short Cut for 30 episodes. Both are produced by Prime Entertainment Group. While Stars gathers insightful portraits of Hollywood’s famous actors (including Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Leonardo DiCaprio and Natalie Portman), Director’s Short Cut features fascinating stories and anecdotes from successful star wranglers — Hollywood directors, such as George Lucas, Ridley Scott, M. Night Shyamalan and Ron Howard. The series air on Sony’s SET and AXN channels.

Meanwhile, ABC is bringing back The Great American Baking Show (formerly The Great Holiday Baking Show) for another season. Produced by Love Productions, and hosted by Nia Vardalos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) and her husband Ian Gomez (Cougar Town), the series stars some of America’s best bakers as they go head-to-head in a number of themed challenges and elimination rounds. James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and author Johnny Iuzzini and author and television personality Mary Berry serve as judges for the competition. Richard McKerrow and Joey Allen are on board as executive producers.

On an equally tasty note, Cooking Channel has picked up Beach Bites with Katie Lee for a second season with an eight-episode order. The culinary travelogue follows Lee as she globe trots from one beach to another on the hunt for the best local food around. Season two of Beach Bites with Katie Lee is tentatively planned for a Q2 premiere. The series is produced by BSTV Entertaniment.

Lastly, WE tv’s series Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars will be back for a sixth season starting on Friday, Oct. 7. This latest edition will follow the nuptial nightmares of another batch of dysfunctional celebrity couples — including Jade Roper and Tanner Tolbert (Bachelor in Paradise), Jim and Amber Marchese (The Real Housewives of New Jersey), Karen Graven and Storm (Mob Wives), Keke Wyatt and Michael Ford (R&B Divas: Atlanta) and the show’s first same-sex couple, Margeaux and Merika (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta) — all of whom are seeking to bring their relationships back to life. The show is produced by Thinkfactory Media and executive produced by Adam Freeman, Adam Reed, Erin Kelly and Leslie Greif. Antonia Mattia is co-executive producer, and Lauren P. Gellert and Suzanne Murch are executive producing for We tv.

Photo: Keke Wyatt and Michael Ford, R&B Divas: Atlanta

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.