truTV Renews IMPRACTICAL JOKERS, Greenlights Six New Series
truTV has greenlit six new series, part of a new wave of programming on tap as the network embarks on an extensive brand evolution. truTV is working with some of the industry's top producers to create programming designed to appeal to "funseekers," a younger, dual-gender audience that looks for television to take them on a fun ride that both surprises and entertains. Over the past eight months, truTV has put significant resources behind reshaping its brand and has turned over a slate of more than 30 new projects in development.
On the programming front, the network is focusing on creating shows that are authentic, clever and buzz-worthy - shows that viewers want to talk about and share. truTV's slate of new shows includes Fake-Off, a Kabuki-inspired, pop-culture-themed talent competition series; Way Out West, a reality western about three rival outfitter families in the Idaho backcountry; How to Be a Grown Up, a comedic take on the relatable trials and tribulations of true adulthood; Local News (working title), a look at the playful rivalry between the news teams at two small town television stations; and Hair Jacked, a new ambush game show that gives contestants the opportunity to win big money or go home with the cut of the day.
truTV has also responded quickly to the positive reaction surrounding the April 1 sneak peek of the new series The Carbonaro Effect by ordering 13 additional episodes before the first season even launches. The Carbonaro Effect, which stars comic magician Michael Carbonaro (pictured at left), is set to premiere Thursday, May 15, at 10 p.m. (ET/PT). And the network will Leverage the success of its hit series Impractical Jokers, which finished the first quarter of 2014 ranking as basic cable's #1 program in its Thursday night timeslot with adults 18-34. The network has ordered not only a fourth season of Impractical Jokers, but also a brand new spinoff series entitled Jokers Wild!
"We're extremely excited to be rolling out a robust slate of programming, including big swings in new areas including reality/scripted hybrid shows, sketch comedy, docusoaps and competition elimination as we continue to shape and evolve the truTV brand," said Chris Linn, president, head of programming for truTV. "Working with outstanding producers like 3 Arts Entertainment, Mission Control Media, Bunim/Murray Productions and Shine America, we are moving forward to give our targeted audience of 'funseekers' the type of programming they crave: a dynamic mix of action, comedy and competition series featuring engaging characters and compelling new worlds. These are the kind of shows that pull you in, take you on a fun ride and leave you wanting more."
truTV's newly greenlit series will join such recently announced pickups as The Carbonaro Effect; Friends of the People, truTV's first-ever sketch comedy and the design competition show Motor City Masters. In addition, truTV has more than 30 new series in development.
"At truTV, we are moving full SPEED ahead to build a lineup packed with new and different shows that are worthy of investment," Linn said. "A perfect example is The Carbonaro Effect, a series we are so excited about, we've already ordered additional episodes. We want producers to know that truTV is a place where they can come and play, an environment where they can develop their most innovative ideas into really great television."
In addition to expanding its programming slate, truTV is working with award-winning entertainment branding agency loyalkaspar on a refresh of the truTV brand. Currently in development, the creative strategy will include new design applications for all platforms.
"truTV's brand evolution will be a reflection of our new programming focus and the attitude of our target audience of funseekers," said Puja Vohra, senior Vice president of marketing and digital for truTV. "Knowing that funseekers are tech-savvy, truTV can push the envelope on creative disruption to drive interactivity across all fan touchpoints."
truTV's new programming and brand update are being announced in the midst of the network's annual meetings with advertisers, a key component of truTV's Upfront strategy.
"We have listened to our advertising partners, worked hand-in-hand with the network on this brand evolution and are proud of what we are presenting to the marketplace this Upfront," said Donna Speciale, president of Turner Broadcasting Ad Sales. "This direction supports our overall Turner Upfront message by providing valuable content to advertisers across more screens and platforms than ever before."