Upfronts 2014: Ellen DeGeneres to Produce HGTV Design Competition

Scripps Networks also confirms Cablevision pickup for Cooking, DIY
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Ellen DeGeneres will produce a six-part furniture-design competition series for HGTV, the network announced Tuesday. The series, the first produced by DeGeneres for cable, will premiere in 2015.

Ellen's Design Challenge will feature six competitors in a weekly elimination-style contest to produce an original piece of furniture in 24 hours. The final winner receives a cash prize.

The announcement came toward the end of Tuesday morning’s info-packed, hour-long tour for press through Scripps Networks’ growing portfolio of six networks in a small suite at Alice Tully Hall. Execs were set make their pitch to ad buyers in the main hall later that afternoon. Execs from Travel, Food Network/Cooking and HGTV/DIY also showed new footage from somepreviously announced shows. Great American Country, which has been in the Scripps fold since 2004, also touted an expanded lineup.

Another highlight Tuesday was the announcement that Cablevision will add Cooking Channel and DIY to its Optimum service in May, boosting the networks’ reach by more than 2.1 million homes.

The DeGeneres series will be produced by her company, A Very Good Production, with A. Smith & Co. in association with Telepictures. DeGeneres and A Very Good Production's Jeff Kleeman will serve as executive producers, as will Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Jay Bienstock of A. Smith & Co. 

“I'm so excited about this show because I love finding really special pieces of furniture,” DeGeneres said. “One time I found a beautiful one-of-a-kind armoire that spoke to me in a way I'd never experienced. It turned out there was a drifter living inside of it, but that's a story for another time.”

Dade Hayes contributed to this report.

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