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FLN Pops More Originals

New York--Newly Nielsen-rated Fine Living Network touted
its growing roster of original series and acquisitions Wednesday, including
in-development shows Bartender Wars, Love Taxi, Tough Love and
20-Year Reunion.

At a
"mini-upfront" here, FLN general manager Chad Youngblood said getting rated by
Nielsen Media Research, a process that kicked off at the start of the year, was
the next step in delivering on the Scripps Networks outlet's commitments to
advertisers and distributors.

Since
2005, when he came on board FLN, it's been among the fastest-growing networks
in terms of reach, rising to about 54 million homes from 29 million. FLN hasn't
released its initial Nielsen data yet, saying it's still preliminary.

FLN made recentacquisitions of established shows including The Biggest Loser-it airs same-season episodes of the
NBC weight-loss competition-and Queer Eye,
and got extensive coverage of its new original series Whatever Martha!,
featuring Alexis Stewart and Jennifer Koppelman Hutt mocking old Martha
Stewart Living
episodes.

Bob
Baskerville, president of Scripps Emerging Networks (FLN and DIY Network), said
FLN is sticking to its strategy of acquiring shows from "cultural icons"
(Martha Stewart, Emeril Lagasse)
to lure viewers and get them to sample the growing roster of originals.

One new
original on the way is Wingman, starring comic Michael Somerville (left), who
helps singles learn flirting and dating techniques. Somerville, the Glamour magazine's
dating columnist, was on hand and provided such helpful tips as "focus on your
assets and know your body" and "keep it simple and have fun."

Wingman
starts Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 9 p.m. (ET/PT) and, as Youngblood noted, has
been plastered on New York City
buses the last couple of weeks. Youngblood said a New York sensibility is in many FLN shows,
which aim at fun fare with useful takeaways. Several shows on FLN are made in New York, including Whatever
Martha!
, Wingman and Closet Cases!, a fashion makeover show
starring Lloyd Boston debuting April 13.

FLN,
which launched in 2002 with ultra-upscale shows like Your Private Island,
has been broadening its outlook under Youngblood. Its tagline now is
"Entertainment You Can Use" and marketing materials remake the FLN initials
into Fun Lifestyle Network aimed at the Fun Living Nation.

It's still targeting
upscale viewers (with a median household income north of $68,000) but with more
of a pop-culture bent. There are several "cocktail culture" shows, for example,
but they can also inspire cocktail parties at home for those more economically
pinched, Youngblood said.

FLN
has a slate of 11 newly acquired or original shows with debut dates between
Jan. 5 (Groomed, a makeover show) and May 17 (Sarah's House, with
interior designer Sarah Richardson) that were already announced.

It also
has eight returning series with new episodes, ranging chronologically from Newlywed,
Nearly Dead?
that resumed on Jan.8 to From the Ground Up, with new
episodes starting July 13.

Others on that list include Wedding SOS, Big
City Broker
, Mission: Organization, Molto Mario (re-runs of
episodes from Scripps's Food Network), Plastic Makes Perfect and Design
Inc.
Another show Youngblood highlighted is How to Find a Husband, a
British import coming in April.

The
shows in development are Bartender Wars (working title), in which New
York bartenders compete for the most tips or phone numbers or other challenges;
Love Taxi, another New York show, in which a matchmaking cabbie drives a
single woman around in search of fares that might also make good dates; Tough
Love
(working title), a male makeover/intervention show; and 20-Year
Reunion
, with the premise of sending people back to high school (not to a
reunion but actual high school) 20 years after graduation.