VH1 Expands To Third Night of Originals With New Slate


VH1 announced plans to launch a third night of original programming, as well as a slate of seven new music and pop culture-themed shows set to debut by first quarter of 2008. New shows include a docudrama on classic hip-hop duo Salt 'N' Pepa, three shows involving models, and an improv comedy about talk radio.

The Viacom-owned network this summer will begin premiering new shows on Thursdays, in addition to Sundays and Mondays. The network is continuing to program the wacky reality fare that has led it to consistent ratings gains for the past five years (last month, VH1's total audience was up 34% year to year during prime in May to 697,000; up 24% in viewers 18-49 to 425,000, according to Nielsen). 

If, after the summer, the Thursday-night scheduling is working out, VH1 will keep originals there; the alternative would be staying with just Sundays and Mondays, says Brian Graden, President, Entertainment, MTV Networks Music Group and President, Logo.

New shows the network has slated to premiere during fourth quarter 2007 or first quarter 2008 include: The Salt 'N' Pepa Show, a series about the duo's efforts to reunite on and off stage; reality competitions America's Most Smartest Model, Click!, and Danny Bonaduce's Child Star, which will search for winning brainy models, fashion photographers, and kid actors respectively; Free Radio, the improv show about an LA radio station; Lords of the Revolution, a documentary series about the 60s and 70s; and Old Skool With Terry and Gita, a pop culture send-up in which septuagenarians Terry Moore and Gita Hall, a former actress and model, learn about today's trends. 

"We've tapped into the collective fascination with pop culture that binds us in this day and age," said Graden in an interview. "This summer is an experiment with a third night which may well result in year-round activity on that night."