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WE Lines Up Prison Docs

Cablevision’s WE: Women’s Entertainment will run a pair of prison-themed original specials back-to-back Jan. 10.

Women on Death Row is a two-hour behind-the-scenes profile on five women formerly or currently on death row (one has been executed since filming). Other Side of the Cell is a one-hour profile of female wardens and correctional officers at five prisons. Subjects they address include the differences between male and female inmates, security within prison and the challenges of being exposed to diseases and sociopaths.

The prison specials, in the works for the past 10 months, emerged from WE audience polls that suggested viewers wanted the network to “address more meaty issues,” says GM Kim Martin. As the network pushes further into original programming, WE is negotiating two more such "meaty" documentaries, Martin says. “Women have a fun side. They also have a side that says, ‘I’d like more info. Give me some more depth.’”

WE, one of Cablevision’s Rainbow Entertainment networks, averaged 172,000 total viewers in prime during Oct., up 12% over last year.