A&E Unveils New Programs

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A British cop, a bar jokester and an Alaskan rescue team are all part of A&E’s latest development slate.

A&E at press time planned to unveil at the Television Critics Association Press Tour on Jan.12 four pilots and one special in development, along with several more shows in production. The network will lean in large part on the youth-targeted breed of reality (Dog the Bounty Hunter, The First 48, Criss Angel Mindfreak) it has used to lower its demos over the past couple of years.

In development, the network has:

Commander Castle, a half-hour reality series about Paul Castle, a balding British police consultant and his unique teaching techniques.

A Guy Walks into a Bar, an hour-long sketch comedy series featuring Cheers’ George Wendt and comedian George Gray.

Polar Posse, an hour-long reality series about The Dragon Slayers, a young team of firefighting and EMS volunteers in Aniak, Alaska.

Finally a Family, an hour-long reality show about the adoption process, centering on two sets of parents are both trying to adopt the same child.

Rock Paper Scissors, an hour-long special on the first official Rock Paper Scissors Tournament in April, which A&E is sponsoring.

In production, the network has:

Driving Force, a half-hour comedic reality show about drag-racing star John Force and his three drag-racing daughters, which is set for a summer 2006 premiere.

King of Cars, a half-hour reality series about a Vegas-based car dealer and the wacky infomercials that have made him a success, set to premiere in March.

Gene Simmons’ Family Jewels, a half-hour reality series about the KISS front man and his family. No premiere has been set.

Elevator Moods, 13 minute-long films shot from an elevator surveillance camera, which the network will likely run on one night in the coming months.

God or the Girl, a five-part one-off reality series about four 20-something men choosing between seeking marriage and joining the seminary to become Roman Catholic priests, which is scheduled for Easter week.

The A&E Network, owned by Hearst, Disney and NBC, averaged 984,000 viewers in prime, during fourth quarter.