A&E expands unscripted slate with eight series, pilots

Mafia characters, football moms and reality show producers are some of the characters starring in A&E Network's expanded unscripted slate of four new series and four pilots. (Pictured: David McKillop, GM and EVP of A&E)
May 8, 2014

Mafia characters, football moms and reality show producers are some of the characters starring in A&E Network’s expanded unscripted slate of four new series and four pilots. (Pictured: David McKillop, GM and EVP of A&E)

The net’s original series premiering this fall include the Custom Productions and Redtail Media-produced series Dogs of War (5 x 60 minutes), on a not-for-profit organization that pairs PTSD-afflicted veterans with therapy dogs; and the Renegade 83, Grainey Pictures and Brookline Ice Films-made Godfather of Pittsburgh (8 x 60 minutes), which follows a first-generation Italian American struggling to remain lawful in running an empire of nightclubs and restaurants.

The original series with summer premieres include the Leftfield Pictures-produced social experiment series Love Prison (working title; 10 x 30 minutes), in which online couples meet for the first time on a remote island; and the 12 Forward Entertainment-produced Lone Star Lady (9 x 30 minutes), on a wealthy football mom in Johnson City, Texas, raising four boys.

Meanwhile, the pilots in development for A&E include the previously announced Big Brew Theory (w/t) – produced by 44 Blue Productions, Closest to the Hole Productions, Leverage Entertainment, Dunlop Entertainment and Bill Thompson Productions - on four MIT grad students creating a micro-brewery; the Wolf Reality and 44 Blue Productions-made Nightwatch, which covers New Orleans’ emergency response units; the My Tupelo Entertainment-made The Unproduceables (w/t), on producer Mark Efmanas’ efforts in creating a reality series on senior citizens at a Florida retirement center; and Relativity Television’s 8 Minutes, on a pair of former police officers going on eight-minute undercover missions to get young sex workers out of the business.

“As our successful long-running franchises continue to be the driving force of the network, we are making a significant investment in growing our unique slate of quality original non-fiction programming,” said David McKillop, GM and EVP of A&E, in a statement. “These projects represent a small percentage of the new innovative formats that we hope will excite current A&E viewers and attract and engage new audiences.”

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.