AARP Launches Original Production Studio

AARP will launch an original media production arm to create content targeted to a 50-plus audience, the organization announced Monday.

AARP Studios will be headed by former Discovery Communications’ producer/director Jeffrey Eagle and will create documentaries, viral videos and long-form television specials across multiple platforms, according to network officials.

The first project from the studio will be an unscripted series, Dinner With Don, featuring legendary comedian Don Rickles as he dines with such stars as Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Poehler, Vince Vaughn, Paul Rudd, Marisa Tomei and Martin Scorsese at several Los Angeles-based restaurants, said company officials. The 10-episode series will be co-produced by AARP and Stamper Lumber Media Group.

“AARP Studios is all about telling real and relatable stories driven by great characters, said Eagle in a statement. “In creating a show with Don Rickles, we give viewers a seat at the table and the chance to hear decades of great show business stories from one of the most celebrated comedians of all time.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.