TV Guide Network is jumping into the daily entertainment-newsmagazine world.
As part of its ongoing effort to grow from a scrolling-listings channel to a destination for original programming, the network is launching Hollywood 411, a nightly show born out of its current behind-the-scenes show, The 411.
Planned for a January launch, Hollywood 411 is tentatively set to run at 9 p.m. (EST), keeping it out of the entertainment-news scrum airing in access time periods and allowing the show to cover news that develops later in the day.
While the network is still casting the hosts, it hired Jerry Burke as senior executive producer of the show. Burke spent five years as executive producer of daytime programming at Fox News Channel and also worked at Extra and VH1.
Network president Ryan O’Hara thinks the show is a natural extension of the brand and will capitalize on an infrastructure that already shoots several shows out of the network’s Hollywood studio.
“Our live events like red-carpet shows and Idol Tonight give us our best ratings,” O’Hara said. “Now we need to launch more new shows out of our tent poles.”
The new show comes at a time when the network, which reaches some 86 million homes, could find itself on the block. Although parent company Gemstar-TV Guide International just launched a $20 million ad campaign to boost the brand, it also disclosed in July that it is considering offering itself up for sale.
Still, O’Hara is moving forward with a plan to green-light at least two more projects by the end of the year.
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