GMC TV will accelerate its name change to UP to June from September, the network announced Tuesday during its upfront presentation in New York.
The network also touted an ambitious programming slate the features 66 original shows including world premiere movies, original reality series and stage plays set to launch over the next two years, said GMC TV vice chairman Brad Siegel, who addressed reporters from the network’s Upfront Tour bus.
Siegel said the network decided to move up the re-branding of the network’s name and logo to June after receiving positive feedback from viewers and advertisers on the new moniker. He added that recent network research has found that network non-viewers are 116% more likely to watch the network with UP as its name rather than GMC.
“The name was a bit of a barrier for the network, so we’ve removed that barrier and we think we’ll see tremendous results just with the rebrand,” Siegel said.
On the programming front, the network will launch 40 original movies, 22 gospel-themed stage plays and four original series between over the next two years, all reflecting the network’s family values and uplifting entertainment theme. The new series include Family Addition With Leigh Anne Tuohy, which follows the lives of foster care families who are on the verge of adopting their foster children, and Miracle Hunters, which will explore the world of unexplained events.
The shows will join previously announced reality series Bulloch Family Ranch. A fourth series which tests the relationships of soon-to-be-married couples is also in development, according to network officials.
Siegel also discussed 10-month old network Aspire, which he expects will be in front of 18 million homes by the end of the year. The Magic Johnson-owned, African-American targeted network has three new original series in development for 2013, including Exhale, a issues/lifestyles-themed talk show featuring four African-American female hosts; We Got Next, a stand-up comedy series from the producers of HBO’s Def Comedy Jam that challenges comedians to offer clean, censored comedy; and UNCF: The Next Generation, which follows several students as they make decisions about college, according to Siegel.