Z Living Adds Dose of Originals

Health-geared net slates lifestyle programming as revamp continues

Z Living is stepping up its original programming regimen, developing new unscripted shows with a mix of entertainment-based, healthy lifestyles programming targeted to a core audience of women age 18 to 49.

The network, rebranded as Z Living in 2014 from Veria Living to tie in more closely with India-based parent Zee Entertainment, thinks viewers will be drawn to content that not only informs but entertains, CEO and general manager Rafe Oller said.

“Healthy lifestyle content on its own its something you can look up online,” he said. “Our focus is on entertainment programming with a healthy lifestyles context. We feel we’re at the right place at the right time with healthy lifestyles programming.”

Heading into its upfront, Oller said the network has already renewed Altar’d and Finding Fido, its first two original series that launched in January.

Altar’d, the network’s most-watched series, follows engaged couples who look to adopt healthy lifestyles before walking down the aisle. Finding Fido follows canine expert Seth Casteel, who matches adoptable dogs with their ideal owners.

In June, the network will debut The Big Fat Truth, a new, six-episode weight-loss/transformation series starring The Biggest Loser co-creator J.D. Roth. Later in the summer it will debut Yoga Girls, which profiles the lives instructors working in the competitive West Coast yoga fitness world.

The network is moving beyond its previous focus on adding distribution, Oller said, as it expects to be in 30 million homes end of June through carriage deals with AT&T’s U-verse TV, Dish Network, Verizon Communications, Altice USA’s Optimum territories, RCN and others. That would be a step up from Nielsen’s current universe estimate of 21 million homes for the channel.

Now, Z Living has turned full attention to developing original programming.

“We are doubling down on our programming development slate to provide entertaining programming to our viewers,” Oller said.

To that end, the network has green-lighted a development slate that includes series such as Work It Out, featuring fitness legend Denise Austin and her daughter as they work to build a health-centric brand; Brooke Peterson’s Celebrity Book Club, which features lifestyles expert Peterson’s critique of celebrity “self-help” books; and I Lied for Love, which takes an unbiased look at the often-exaggerated online dating profiles of men and women.

On the adverting front, the network has already signed a number of national advertisers, including Unilever and, Merck and hopes to attract other brands with through its original programming slate.

“Our research says that an overwhelming number of our viewers come to the network to see what to buy,” he said. “They trust us as a healthy living resource, so it’s a good environment for an advertiser to be in.”