E! Strategic Opportunities - July 2009




Comcast-owned E! will launch several series this summer. For E!, the summer is a better time than most.  They have a lot of kids coming home from college that are E! viewers.   Summer is E!'s fall "" when there are a lot of people who come home and expect them to put on new programming in the summer.  They are banking on the viewers familiarity with Kendra Wilkinson and the Kardashian sisters from their previous shows should help create all-important sampling of the shows. However, the network is still rolling out an extensive, multiplatform marketing effort to get the word out on the shows.  Like other networks, E! is hoping the appeal of returning shows and the star power of marquee celebrities will make their content stand out amongst the summer programming surplus.

E! Entertainment Television and Moving Pictures DPI, the production division of Alpha Media Group, which publishes Maxim, have made a two-year partnership deal.  The deal calls for the production of at least six hour-long television specials. Two new specials have already been greenlit for 2009, including "Maxim's Celebrity Beach Watch" and "Maxim's Hottest Moments 2009."  The two companies will also co-develop a new travel and party series, "Maxim Does"¦," with "Maxim Does Mardi Gras" slated to debut in the first quarter of 2010.

Driving this year's growth on E! was a combination of topical and reality programming.  Hit reality shows like SUNSET TAN, KEEPING UP WITH THE KARDASHIANS, and SNOOP DOGG'S FATHER HOOD all resonate with E!'s core audience of Adults 18-34.  E! network is about the here and now.  They continue to have their programming resonate with a focus on celebrities, gossip and entertainment news.   E! will be paying pay more attention and give more resources to fewer shows by launching bigger campaigns behind key properties.

Forbes and E! have extended their partnership to produce specials and pilots through 2010. The partnership calls for the production of eight hourlong celebrity specials and two half-hour celebrity lifestyle pilots. The specials will be broadcast in HD and will feature content based on Forbes editorial material in list form.

A lot of E!'s original reality programming starts with a family or an ensemble piece.  Its not about one person, but rather a group.  As in the case of the KARDASHIANS.  KARDASHIANS allow the E! viewers to vicariously live the fantasy of its stars but also points to specific touchstones that are very relatable to viewers.  E! has been making the move toward adding original scripted programming into its programming line-up mix.


E-mail CableU feedback on our observations at info@cableu.tv