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Ross: Discovery To Develop Scripted Shows #TCA15

Pasadena, Calif. -- Discovery Channel will look to develop as many as two scripted series in 2015 as the network eyes a more family-friendly and inclusive brand, said recently named network president Rich Ross.

Ross, speaking during Discovery’s Television Critics Association press tour presentation here Thursday, said he wants to stress authenticity and inclusiveness in the network’s original programming, although he did not give specific examples of new shows.

He did say Discovery will ramp up its scripted programming lineup, possibly launching two historical-based series in 2015. “We have a huge opportunity [in scripted],” he said.

Ross also said the recent hire of veteran documentary producer John Hoffman as the network’s executive vice president of documentaries and specials signals the network’s desire to develop quality and authentic non-fiction fare.

“The most important thing is authenticity,” he said. “It’s really important that we look into the brand and make sure that’s what we stand for.”

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.