E! Entertainment Television has three new original series in the works for next year, including a late-night series featuring ex- gossip columnist A.J. Benza's odysseys into the "hip, hot haunts" of downtown Manhattan.
A.J. After Hours
-an hour-long, bicoastal weekly series-is slated to premiere in the second quarter of next year. Benza will return to his New York City home base and tool around Los Angeles for this talk show, in which he'll interview celebrities.
Benza will also continue his hosting duties on
Mysteries & Scandals,
according to Greg Brannan, executive vice president of programming and content for E! Networks.
"We want to explore the talent he has displayed on
Mysteries & Scandals,"Brannan said. "He has a good sense of humor and is a good interviewer."
The fact that
A.J. After Hours
will have some New York flavor is also a plus for E!, according to Brannan.
"We don't want our network to be too L.A.-centric," he said.
Also in the second quarter, E! will debut the new half-hour weekly series
in which stars from the film, television and music worlds travel to exotic locations to do more than see the sights. It will give E!'s viewers a chance to see stars-and learn more about them-as they do things like "diving off a cliff in Australia," Brannan said.
E!'s third new original show for next year is
The half-hour weekly series, making use of footage from the network's 10-year old library, will show stars attending various award shows and events. E!'s cameras will follow entertainers to top events around the world, watching the star's best-and worst-fashion moments from the world's red carpets over the years.
E!'s sister service, Style, also has four new series in the pipeline for 2001. First off, Style will produce 26 episodes of
The Beauty Show.
The 30-minute show will examine the latest trends, products and
secrets for head-to-toe beauty. It will debut in the first quarter.
The Look for Less
will show viewers how to get expensive fashion, beauty and home-design looks inexpensively. Style is creating 20 half-hour episodes of the show, which is set to premiere in the second quarter.
"Our viewers love the aspirational aspect of this network," Brannan said. "But they have the real problem of dressing for work on a realistic budget."
will chronicle stylish weddings throughout the world through the eyes of experts in floral design, fashion, makeup and catering. Style has ordered 13 half-hour episodes, set to launch in the third quarter.
Style's wedding specials have performed well, which is why the network is pursuing the topic as a series. Brannan said weddings represent "an interesting microcosm" of style-related issues, be it fashion with respect to the gown, or entertaining in regard to catering the affair.
The network's fourth new show,
Style This Week,
is a weekly newsmagazine in which expert correspondents will cover events, personalities and trends. It is scheduled to premiere in the fourth quarter of next year.