Exclusive: OK! Magazine Spin-Off, 'OK! TV,' Headed to Syndication Next Fall
Magazine strip to be co-produced by American Media and Unconventional Partners, with Big Fish Entertainment distributing
By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/18/2012 11:00:00 AM
OK! TV, based on American Media Inc.'s OK! Magazine, is being prepped for launch next fall as a syndicated half-hour strip, distributed via a partnership with Unconventional Partners and Big Fish Entertainment.
"We are very excited and confident in this partnership that expands the OK! brand into television and allows us to further engage with our readers through a new channel that offers tremendous opportunity in the marketplace, and that will deliver dynamic synergies across all of the AMI properties," said David Pecker, chairman, president and CEO of American Media, Inc., in a statement.
Talent will be announced later, but plans are for OK! TV to focus on pop culture, and celebrity gossip and lifestyle, much like its namesake magazine. Besides leveraging the content of OK! Magazine, the show also will grab ideas and stories from its sister brands, Shape, Men's Fitness, Star, Country Weekly, the National Enquirer and Soap Opera Digest. American Media also runs brand-related Web sites for those publications, as well as celebrity gossip site, RadarOnline.com.
When it launches next fall, OK! TV will need to find a niche among the plethora of existing entertainment magazines, from CBS Television Distribution's Entertainment Tonight to Warner Bros.' TMZ, all of which cover the celebrity space closely. This January, CTD's The Insider is expected to rebrand itself omg! NOW in conjunction with Yahoo entertainment, a deal that will mark another change in the magazine genre.
OK! Magazine currently has five million weekly readers, which means the new show already has strong brand recognition in the marketplace. AMI's magazines have a combined total circulation of over seven million and reach more than 61 million men and women each month. AMI's digital properties reach more than 31 million unique visitors and 151 million page views monthly.
Unconventional Partners, which is co-producing the show with AMI, was created as part of media agency Young & Rubicam's Spark Plug program. The company develops content that can be distributed across platforms and involve TV, online and digital video as well as social media.
"Our clients benefit from media opportunities that drive strong entertainment value with forward-thinking social TV concepts. OK! TV provides us with a very compelling platform that will appeal to a range of advertisers and which delivers a true multi-platform experience that will powerfully engage consumers," said David Sable, Global CEO, Young & Rubicam, also in a statement.
OK! TV is being designed to air in all day-parts, including access. Buyers are being offered a weekday strip, and a weekend companion show.
IMG's Babette Perry, Unconventional Partners' television agent, is representing the project.
The Insider, IMO, used to be very good when it first started in 2004... and am aware of CTD renaming it as omg! NOW in January. The new omg! NOW doesn't seem to excite me... and I could see The Insider/omg! NOW joining the ranks of other canceled news-magazine shows, like American Journal, Hard Copy, Celebrity Justice, and A Current Affair.
I could see either CTD or Warner Bros. as the distributing arm for the newly proposed OK! TV... if CTD gets it, it be a new companion show to Entertainment Tonight... or if Warner gets it, it be a companion to either Extra or TMZ.
Eric - 10/20/2012 2:37:31 AM EDT
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