Style Channel Has New Designs on Reality
By Allison Romano -- Broadcasting & Cable, 5/11/2003 8:00:00 PM
Style, the digital sibling of E! Entertainment Television, is redecorating with a batch of new reality fare. Eight series are on tap for the coming TV season, including Style Court, a spoof courtroom show where people bring their fashion disaster friends and family to court for a style makeover.
Style is striving for shows that portray "compelling lifestyle stories about real people in real life situations," said Senior Vice President of Programming Stephen Schwartz.
Style programmers are well schooled in making this breed of lifestyle and reality shows. Schwartz and several Style staffers, including Vice President of Programming Heather Moran, are TLC veterans. Schwartz himself was executive vice president of TLC's cult redecorating hit Trading Spaces.
On Clean House, Style's new Trading Spaces-esque show, a team of cleaners and organizers remakes a cluttered home. A Second Look, hosted by former Good Morning America correspondent Chantal Westerman, offers homeless men and women an "internal and external" makeover and chronicle's their search to find new jobs and homes and reconnect with people in their lives.
Guess Who's Coming to Redecorate reunites people with former friends—after the person who comes back into their lives has already redecorated their home. Style is available in about 30 million, mostly digital, homes.
British celeb chef Nigella Lawson is returning to Style with a new show, Forever Summer With Nigella, instructing viewers on ways to re-create their summer vacation at home.
For lovers of E!'s True Hollywood Stories comes The Dark Side of Style, exploring scandals of the beauty and fashion industries, from shoplifters to eating disorders.
Style reaches 31 million, mostly digital, homes. The network doesn't publish ratings yet, though. Although some middling networks do publish ratings, the size of the network subscriber base isn't necessarily a very good predictor of ratings.
When to publish ratings is a source of angst for growing cable nets. Some networks fret that ratings aren't stable until the channel reaches about 50 million homes. Still, sometimes to lure advertisers and prove credibility (particularly if the early numbers look good), channels move early to distribute ratings.
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