New York, NY – May 12, 2008 – A&E has solidified its place as the fourth largest cable network among adults 25-54, continuing its phenomenal ratings growth behind the strength of the network’s expansive slate of original series, both scripted and unscripted.
After a record year in 2008 across all key demos and beginning 2009 with the best quarter in network history, A&E is expanding its original programming slate with eight new scripted projects in development – including a mini-series from Academy Award winner Kevin Costner and a series pilot from six-time Emmy® Award winner Jerry Bruckheimer, which will be the first scripted pilot made in the next round of development. The network plans to greenlight two additional pilots from the below development slate shortly, for consideration to be A&E’s next original drama series.
Commitment to original programming targeting younger audiences has been paramount to A&E’s success. Season-to-date, A&E has 60% original programs in primetime, more than any other top ten network - USA (19%), TNT (14%), TBS (16%) and FX (8%). A&E’s primetime series skew 56% adults 18-49 with a median age of 43 compared to USA skewing 41% adults 18-49 with a median age of 50 and TNT skewing 36% adults 18-49 with a median age of 53
“2009 begins our sixth year of consecutive growth in all key demos,” said Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E and BIO, “We’ve begun 2009 with our best quarter ever and I expect that we will continue to excel as a result of our significant investment in original programming. A&E truly gives advertisers the greatest depth of original programming, a portfolio that’s unparalleled in the cable landscape.”
In the first quarter 2009 A&E was up in both adults 18-49 (720,000) and adults 25-54 (751,000) edging out first quarter 2008 as the best in network history. Since fourth quarter 2003, A&E has grown versus the prior year for 17 of 22 quarters in adults 25-54 and for 20 of 22 quarters in adults 18-49.
The upcoming slate of scripted and unscripted programming draws on the network’s current schedule of real and dramatic programming and includes the following:
RETURNING SCRIPTED SERIES:
The Cleaner (13 x 1 hour) – Season two premieres Tuesday, June 23 at 10PM ET/PT. Inspired by the true story of real life “extreme interventionist” Warren Boyd (a co-executive producer on the project), Bratt stars as William “The Cleaner” Banks who, after hitting rock-bottom from his own addictions after the birth of his daughter, strikes a tentative deal with God. In exchange for a second chance, he vows to kick his addictions and dedicate his life to helping others. Now, along with his unconventional team, he helps people get clean from their own addictions by any means necessary.
Guest stars this season will include Whoopi Goldberg, Shirley Jones, Gary Cole, Rebecca Gayheart, Lori Petty, Tyler James Williams and more.
In its first season, on a weekly three telecast cume basis “The Cleaner” averaged 4.2 million total viewers, 2.4 million adults 25-54 and 2.2 million adults 18-49 in primetime, becoming A&E’s number one original drama in network history. “The Cleaner” is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Once A Frog Productions for A&E Network. The series was created and is executive produced by Jonathan Prince (“Cane,” “American Dreams”) and Robert Munic. David Hollander also serves as executive producer. Jay Silverman and Warren Boyd are co-executive producers and Benjamin Bratt serves as Producer.
SCRIPTED MINI-SERIES IN DEVELOPMENT:
Untitled Kevin Costner Western – Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (Dances with Wolves, JFK) has partnered with producer Armyan Bernstein (The Hurricane, Open Range) to develop a four-hour, two-part epic Western mini-series which will explore how the West was settled and fought for by all sides in what became the biggest conflict following the Civil War. The script, being penned by Jon Baird, Chris Baird and Keith Quinn, will center on the founding of a town and the characters that had a dream that turned out to be a greater struggle than any of them could have imagined. Costner and Bernstein will serve as executive producers.
GREENLIT SCRIPTED PILOT:
Cooler Kings (working title) – An ex–Honolulu cop bent on revenge for the death of his girlfriend meets a mysterious crew of detectives called the Cooler Kings, who offer him an unlikely chance at redemption. Honolulu used to be a paradise. Now it’s a 21st century boomtown of vice, narcotics, power, corruption, betrayal and murder. But sometimes salvation occurs when one least expects it. This surf-noir crime show is about a cop saving a world — his world, his paradise — one case at a time. “Cooler Kings” was written by feature writer-director Tristan Patterson (The Electric Slide), and is executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and Patterson. The series is from Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Horizon Television.
SCRIPTED SERIES IN DEVELOPMENT:
The Lead Sheet (working title) – “The Lead Sheet” follows the police work of the LAPD tracking the infamous Hillside Strangler in 1977 – 78. Each episode in this crime procedural will begin with a tip that leads to solving a different violent crime that may or may not be related to the strangler. However, the backdrop of the Strangler case, with the fear and paranoia it created throughout Los Angeles, infuse every case with incomparable tension and thrills. “The Lead Sheet” is being developed by Fox 21 and MiddKid Productions for A&E. Shawn Ryan (“The Shield,” “The Unit”), James Ellroy (L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia) and Joel Gotler will executive produce the Ellroy penned script.
Central Division (working title) – Follows two female LAPD captains as they run a dangerous downtown division, the only division with women in the top two positions. “Central Division” is being written by Anne McGrail (“CSI: NY,” “Boomtown”), executive produced by Lynda Obst (Contact, “The ‘60s”) and Marc Rosen and developed by CBS Television Studios for A&E.
The Quickening (working title) – A bi-polar LAPD detective must wrestle with the fact that the medication she has been prescribed makes her “normal” but her disorder, with all the paranoia and risks it comes with, makes her extraordinary. “The Quickening” was written by Jennifer Salt (“Nip/Tuck”, Eat, Pray, Love).
Untitled Matthew Carnahan Project – From Matthew Carnahan (“Trinity,” “Dirt,” “Fastlane”) and Emmy® winner Anthony LaPaglia (“Without a Trace,” “Lantana”) comes a unique twist on the procedural crime drama in which the tales of a group of up-and-coming criminals chasing their American dream are told in the first half of the show, while the second half tells the stories of the FBI Task Force charged with tracking them down. Instead of law and order, it’s crime and punishment. The Untitled Matthew Carnahan Project is written by Carnahan, executive produced by LaPaglia and is being developed by Warner Horizon Television for A&E. Carnahan would also direct the pilot.
Night Falls (working title) – A NYC beat cop survives a near fatal shooting and emerges with an unusual neurological side-effect. The secret he carries, which is triggered by how the darkness alters his brain chemistry, threatens to transform him into a modern day Jekyll and Hyde. “Night Falls” is being developed by Varsity Films in association with Lionsgate Television for A&E. The script is written by Daniel Connolly. Brian Robbins (“One Tree Hill,” Varsity Blues) serves as executive producer.
NY’s Finest (working title) – Tracks the new commissioner of a large U.S. city and his personal detail as he injects his own leadership style into the job, turning the city upside down. “NY’s Finest” is written by Charles Murray (“Criminal Minds,” “Third Watch”) and produced by Thom Beers (“Deadliest Catch,” “Ax Men”) and Philip Segal (“The Real World,” “Ax Men”). ABC Studios and Original Productions are developing for A&E.
NEW UNSCRIPTED SERIES:
Untitled Tony Danza Project (13 x ½ hours) – He’s a beloved sitcom actor, talk show host, Broadway star, cookbook author, and a former pro boxer. But long before “Taxi” and “Who’s the Boss?,” Tony Danza received a degree in history education – and he’s now returning to his roots to teach high school students in his native New York. In this real-life version of “Welcome Back Kotter,” Tony will spend a school year as an actual, certified teacher.
Steven Seagal: Lawman (13 x ½ hour) – Premiering Summer 2009. His movies have grossed more than $2 billion worldwide. He is an expert martial artist, with a 7th-degree black belt in Aikido. He’s considered to be in the same class of action heroes as Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But it turns out that Steven Seagal isn’t just an action hero in the movies. For almost 20 years, Seagal has been working as a fully-commissioned deputy with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana. In addition to going out on patrol, Seagal is an expert marksman who has worked with their SWAT team and has instructed Jefferson Parish officers in firearms and hand-to-hand combat. The series will allow fans to ride shotgun with Seagal as he and his hand-selected elite team of deputies respond to crimes-in-progress. Then, when Seagal goes off-duty, the cameras will continue following him as he pursues his many ventures – including musical performances and philanthropic efforts – in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans.
Obsessed (11 x 1 hour) – Premieres May 25 at 10PM ET/PT. Building upon the phenomenal success of “Intervention,” A&E premieres the new unscripted series “Obsessed,” exploring two individual cases where the subjects face debilitating extreme anxiety disorders, their struggle and the process of rehabilitation. Whether it is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, General Anxiety Disorder or a variety of phobias, the unscripted series gives viewers a chance to see first-hand how an obsession can radically affects a person’s life. “Obsessed” not only captures the particulars of the condition but sees the subject through the incredible emotion of one-on-one therapy sessions. By using cognitive behavioral therapy, each subject is taught how to understand their thought process which contributes to symptoms and how to change thought patterns, manage their anxiety and avoid the debilitating compulsions. The series then revisits each subject after several weeks of treatment to see if the obsession lingers.
Hammertime (10 x ½ hour) – Premiering Sunday, June 14 at 10PM ET/PT take a peek inside the life of Stanley Burrell who rapped and danced his way into the hearts of America in the 1990s as MC Hammer and to date has sold more than 50 million albums worldwide and is a three-time Grammy award winner. Known for his thrilling stage shows, powerful dance moves, catchy pop hits and his community commitment, Hammer faced some very public financial woes and now lives a more economically balanced life in Oakland, California with Stephanie, his wife and confidant of more than 23 years, and their family of six kids ranging in ages 4-21.
Fugitive Chronicles (8 x 1 hour) – Shot like a feature film, “Fugitive Chronicles” will recount some of the most compelling fugitive captures in recent history. Each show will feature interviews of the men and women who risked their lives to bring some of the most dangerous fugitives in the country to justice. Each episode will feature a gripping real-life tale and will be recounted in detail by both the hunter and the hunted. Through these interviews and dramatic reconstructions, viewers will see a rollercoaster narrative — fast-paced and tense from start to finish, which will read like a Hollywood blockbuster.
The Squad: Prison Police (10 x ½ hour – working title) – “The Squad” will be a powerful new unscripted series that can be described as “The First 48” behind bars. Imagine a city populated entirely by the nation’s worst criminals, and it’s your job to police them… A prison is that city and “The Squad” is that police force. “The Squad” is a specially trained team that responds to, and investigates, every major crime in the prison — from riots and assaults, to organized crime and drugs, to stabbings and murder. “The Squad” functions as detectives, SWAT and CSI all rolled into one. Each episode will follow at least one investigation from beginning to end.
Runaway Squad (9 x ½ hours) – In this country, there are over 1.6 million runaways every year, and most police departments are just too busy to find them. That’s why former NYPD undercover detective Joe Mazzilli decided to create his own team to track them down — the “Runaway Squad.” Joe and his NYC-based team hunt down the runaways who are most in danger. Whether the runaway is in danger due to drugs, mental illness or prostitution, Joe’s team is under intense pressure to find these young adults as quickly as possible. Through a combination of investigative connections, street smarts and dogged manhunt experience, Joe and his team always prevail.
Love Shaq – “The Love Shaq” is a celebrity family unscripted show featuring NBA basketball star Shaquille O’Neal and his family. While he may be the big man on the court, his 5-foot-2-inch wife Shaunie and their rambunctious five children are the real rulers of the roost.
Bob Saget on America – Bob Saget will travel and immerse himself in various subcultures, practices, and occupations across an America that few people experience.
The Jackson Family (working title) – “The Jackson Family” is a riveting one-hour look at the Jackson 5 musical dynasty. Behind the headlines lies a captivating family, whose non-stop lifestyle has been unwillingly played out before cameras. After 40 years in the business together, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Randy, have sold over 250 million albums worldwide. Today, they allow unprecedented access into their world as they embark on their most personal reunion album and tour. With never before seen footage and interviews with the private family the special captures the intimate details of the Jackson 5 as entertainers, entrepreneurs, brothers, fathers and sons.
Iced: Alaska Fugitive Task Force – Alaska, it’s one of the harshest climates on Earth, and it’s the #1 destination for criminals on the run. A wily fugitive is hard enough to find under any circumstances, but add to that six feet of snow, harsh winds, and the need for specialized equipment for subzero temperatures and you’ve got one of the toughest jobs on earth. “Iced: The Alaska Fugitive Task Force” features an experienced, albeit eclectic group of agents from the US Marshals, State Troopers and Alaska PD. Their jurisdiction encompasses over 586,000 square miles and takes some pretty unusual tactics to track down elusive fugitives in extremely remote and hazardous terrain, but they’re able to arrest about 500 fugitives each year.
Extreme Paranormal – Shaun, Nathan, and Jason are irreverent paranormal explorers who investigate chilling local legends, attempting to seek the truth by provoking spirits. Unlike other paranormal investigators, they put themselves directly in harm’s way – taunting ghosts, summoning the dead and daring the demonic to attack. “Extreme Paranormal” gives rabid paranormal fans the ride they’ve always wanted: the chance to follow a team that dares to challenge legends, curses, and hauntings by actually attempting to provoke paranormal activity.
RETURNING UNSCRIPTED SERIES:
Intervention (13 x 1 hour) – A&E’s #1, Emmy®-nominated series “Intervention” comes back for a seventh season premiering Monday, May 25 at 9PM ET/PT. Currently, out of 125 interventions, 102 people are now sober, far greater than the national average. “Intervention” is an emotionally-gripping, documentary series that chronicles individuals at the boiling point of a personal crisis as they are confronted by friends and family who have made the decision to plan an intervention. This series not only documents the “rock-bottom” moments, but brings hope to families everywhere living with addiction.
The First 48 (14 x 1 hour) – Season nine premieres Tuesday, June 16 at 9PM ET/PT. Currently in its eighth season, “The First 48” continues to be the highest rated non-fiction investigative series on cable. For homicide detectives, the clock starts ticking the moment they are called. Their chance of solving a case is cut in half if they don’t get a lead in the first 48 hours. From the moment homicide detectives “catch a case,” “The First 48” follows every step of the investigation as they race against time to find their suspect. Gritty and fast-paced, it takes viewers behind the scenes of real-life investigations like they’ve never been seen on television, with unprecedented access to crime scenes, forensic processing, and interrogations.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels (15 x ½ hour)- Season four premieres Sunday, June 7 at 9PM ET/PT. Dad is Gene Simmons – the legendary, tongue wagging demon of KISS. Mom is Shannon Tweed – former Playmate of the Year, actress and model. And their kids, Nick and Sophie, are, well…surprisingly charming, well-behaved teenagers dealing with the trials and tribulations of adolescence, even though Mom and Dad are truly like no one else’s parents. Each episode reveals another layer of Gene’s private self, a side that he has kept hidden until now, and shows how the most non-traditional, traditional family in America manages to make it all work under the strangest of circumstances. Funny, loving, often at odds, this is a real life extraordinary family — but one that we can all identify with.
Dog the Bounty Hunter (26 x ½ hour) – Brand new episodes return Wednesday, May 27 at 9PM ET/PT. Duane “Dog” Chapman – the world’s most famous bounty hunter, his wife Beth and fearless posse hunt down fugitives in Hawaii and Colorado. The hit unscripted series continues the heart-stopping adventures as Dog and his loyal band of family and colleagues put their lives on the line to capture notorious outlaws and sympathetic fugitives alike – all while doing their best to take care of their marriages, families and communities. But as Dog says, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
Crime 360 (13 x 1 hour) – Season two premieres Thursday, May 21 at 10PM ET/PT. After debuting as the top justice series premiere in network history, the real life series “Crime 360” is the perfect blend of verité crime drama and high-tech CGI graphics – a completely new way to experience real-life criminal investigations as they unfold. In “Crime 360,” real, in the moment investigation meets technology for the first time in non-fiction television, where viewers go inside detective work as theories, forensics and evidence are brought to life through incredible CGI visualizations and state-of-the-art 3D photography. From the moment detectives are called to scene, viewers experience the investigation as if they were there, in a way they’ve never seen before!
Criss Angel Mindfreak (5 x 1 hour) – Criss Angel is back for a fifth season, pushing the envelope by attempting five of the greatest stunts imaginable in magic. From a large scale levitation of dozens of people, to being shackled and placed in cement shoes and dropped into a body of water, Criss will blow our viewer’s minds this season on an epic scale. Each one-hour episode will feature several illusions, and culminate in one grand, never-before-seen demonstration promising buzz-worthy, water cooler magic, “Mindfreak” will once again live up to its name.
Paranormal State (13 x ½ hour) – Now in its third season, “Paranormal State” follows Ryan Buell and his Paranormal Research Society (PRS) as they set out on cases throughout the country. Through the use of Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP) recordings, client interviews, video documentation, old-fashioned research and the help from outside experts such as renowned psychics, psychologists, and demonologists. Ryan Buell and the PRS team delve dangerously into other worlds to try and help people who have no one else to turn to..
Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force (20 x ½ hour)– Coming back for a second season, “Manhunters” follows the elite agents of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force as they track down a different dangerous felon in each episode. And audiences will get to know these real-life Marshals in a way never before seen in unscripted television. Based in the heart of NYC, A&E has been granted singular and unprecedented access by the Department of Justice and the U.S. Marshals to ride along with the agents of the NY/NJ Division, the busiest unit in the country, as they track down the most dangerous criminals on the run. These highly trained ’good guys’ catch almost 4,000 ‘bad guys’ each year — that’s about 10 every day.
Parking Wars (13 X ½ hour) – “Parking Wars” returns to the mean streets of Philly to watch your favorite Philadelphia Parking Authority agents, ticket, boot and tow the cars of enraged citizens. In Season 3, the action in Philly is going beyond the impound lot and the mean downtown streets, into the offices of “adjudication.” Often referred to as traffic court, this is where desperate drivers go to contest their fines. And the Philly gang isn’t the only one going head-to-head with problem parkers. For the first time ever, “Parking Wars” is pushing beyond the Philadelphia city limits. They’re heading to Detroit, the original “motor city” and New Brunswick, NJ.