TV Land Pushes Boomer Focus at Upfront


Continuing to position themselves as unique programmers for targeting older viewers, TV Land is lining up a raft of shows on iconic television stars and pop culture trends aimed at Baby Boomers. Somewhat divergently, the network also announced it has acquired younger-skewing off-network comedies Scrubs and Just Shoot Me.

The Story Of..., a pilot in development, examines fads and trends from what the network calls the "TV Generation." Also in the works are specials on Elvis and the 50 "Greatest TV Icons," a two-hour show in partnership with Entertainment Weekly.They join previously announced series like Back to the Grand, which sends TV actors to perform the real-life jobs they held on television and Penny and Cindy, a scripted pilot in development that would reunite Laverne & Shirley's Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams. Viacom-owned TV Land announced the shows in a New York upfront presentation to advertisers, at which Bill Clinton was expected to speak. The network, which averaged 984,000 total viewers in prime during February, has over the past year or so positioned itself to advertisers as the number one spot to target boomers. With the new shows, TV Land both expands its breadth of original series and freshens its reruns. The network originally ran mostly shows from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. Scrubs and Just Shoot Me, both of which originally aired on NBC, join TV Land in October, 2008 and first quarter 2008, respectively.TV Land will also program boomer-focused movies on Friday nights beginning in April, with titles including Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation and Beetlejuice.
"By expanding on our reach, where Boomers comprise roughly 75 percent of our target audience, TV Land is uniquely positioned to deliver entertainment and effective pro-social messaging that speaks to the life stage and values Boomers are currently experiencing," said TV Land President Larry W. Jones. "The days of targeting younger audiences, and hoping mature consumers will follow their lead, is now officially over."The network is also aiming to reach boomers on digital platforms. Having launched a broadband player in August 2006, the network will launch a mobile version of its website in second quarter, 2007. The Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) will include ad-supported content about the network's acquired and original shows.Other upfront news included a new pro-social initiative - "Cause Change" - which the network will plug in TV and online spots urging viewers to give back to society with philanthropy, volunteering and good citizenship.