News

TV Guide Sees More Stars

7/27/2008 8:00 PM Eastern

More celebrity, red carpet and American Idol-related coverage is in store for TV Guide Network.

The channel is continuing to step up its programming with a series of new agreements, which include closing a development deal for a celebrity-oriented show called My Favorite Things and acquiring cable rights to the syndicated show American Idol Rewind, according to officials.

“This is TV Guide Network’s 20th anniversary,” said Ryan O’Hara, the channel’s president. “This summer and fall [the network] adds a lot of variety and a lot of activity and some sizzle, too. So we’re just ramping up. … We’re going to have a lot of good programming in late summer and then in the fall. It’s a continued effort at upping our programming capabilities.”

My Favorite Things, from Film Garden, will spotlight celebrities and produce segments on their favorite things, ranging from personal possessions to their treasured getaways and restaurants.

TV Guide Network has green-lit a pilot for the potential show, which will offer interviews of the stars themselves, as well as store owners, hotel managers, restaurateurs and others to offer an inside look at the personal preferences of Hollywood.

“It gives fans an inside look at celebrities’ lifestyles and their favorite things to do,” O’Hara said.

In terms of other star-oriented programming, TV Guide Network has also picked up more seasons of two shows. It’s done a deal for a fourth season of the celebrity makeover show Look-a-Like, which will premiere in September with 26 new original episodes.

In addition, the channel secured season six of Celebrity Fit Club, the VH1 reality show that began re-airing on TV Guide Network last year.

In terms of Rewind, in its agreement with syndicator Trifecta Media, TV Guide Network got rights to 22 one-hour episodes of Freemantle Media and 19 Entertainment’s program, which it will start airing in the fall.

The Rewind shows that the network is getting will include actual performances, present-day interviews and never-before-seen footage of Season 3 of American Idol, in which Fantasia Barrino emerged as the winner and Jennifer Hudson was a finalist.

Hudson later went on to win an Academy Award for her performance in Dreamgirls.

Rewind builds on TV Guide Network’s efforts to carve out a niche with Idol-related programming, such as its Idol Tonight.

And expanding its red-carpet awards coverage, TV Guide Network its adding Teen Choice 2008 to its repertoire. It will premiere red-carpet coverage of that event, hosted for the network by Hollywood 411’s Chris Harrison and Madison Michele, Aug. 4.

“It’s a nice way to kick off the red-carpet season,” O’Hara said.

The Teen Choice Awards themselves (which air on Fox) are being hosted by Miley Cyrus of Disney Channel’s Hannah Montana, and the nominated stars include Cyrus, Chris Brown, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Hayden Panettiere and the cast of Gossip Girl.

In terms of awards coverage, TV Guide Network expects to have Lisa Rinna and Joey Fatone back on the red carpet for the primetime Emmy Awards Sept. 21. They anchored TV Guide Network’s red-carpet Emmy coverage last year for the first time.

The network has also reached an agreement with NBC to promote the 2008 Beijing Olympics with programming as well as on-screen TV listings.

The Beijing Olympics marks the third Olympic Games partnership between TV Guide Network and NBC.

On the programming side, TV Guide Network just aired a one-hour special that previewed the Olympics, Summer Games Superstars, this past Sunday, July 27.

TV Guide Network will also offer daily Olympic update segments on Hollywood 411, its daily entertainment news show, during the duration of the games.

The network will also air a dedicated listings scroll, which will feature Olympics information for all NBC networks.

“It will show exactly what events are on USA Network versus CNBC versus NBC versus all their different portfolios, including Oxygen,” O’Hara said.

“Sometimes the timing events will change, or the things that NBC might cover across different networks might change, and we’ll get nearly real-time updates that will be able to tell users what channel they should turn to at what time for which events on NBC Universal products,” he said.

September