Pop Reveals 2015 Launch Date; Lineup Includes NKOTB’s ‘Rock This Boat,’ Scripted Series ‘Schitt’s Creek’ (Exclusive)

“We have a very firm idea of who our audience is,” cable channel’s president Brad Schwartz tells TheWrap

Last Updated: November 21, 2014 @ 10:03 PM

TV Guide Network aka TVGN will be known as Pop beginning Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015.

“Current TVGN viewers will see that we’re taking the channel that they’re already watching and we’re making it look better, we’re making it more exciting and we’re adding a lot of original content to it,” Pop president Brad Schwartz told TheWrap.

He added, “New viewers are going to stumble in and come to a network that feels fresh and has a differentiated point of view than anything else on television and has an exciting new voice in the pop culture landscape.”

The new channel and multi-platform destination will have an emphasis on celebrating fans of TV and pop culture. It refers to its target viewer as the “modern grownup,” which refers to men and women in their mid to late-30s.

The rebranded CBS/Lionsgate-owned cable channel will be available to 80 million homes and will include the premieres of its inaugural programs, including the returns of “Rock This Boat: New Kids on the Block” and “Unusually Thicke,” in addition to its first scripted series “Schitt’s Creek.”

“Everyone’s writing about cable getting into the scripted game,” Schwartz said of picking up “Schitt’s Creek.” “But, what we think is unique about ‘Schitt’s Creek’ is there isn’t a lot of comedy being done in the scripted space on cable… So, we felt it was a great way to differentiate and to stand out in that spectrum.”

“Secondly, there’s that generational touch that we want our brand to have,” he continued. “Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, these are two comedic legends our audience grew up, people who can remember all the way back to “SCTV,” but also “Home Alone,” the “American Pie” movies with Eugene Levy. These are great cultural touches for us.”

Pop’s new lineup will also include the previously announced live red carpet specials with “Entertainment Tonight.”

Dubbed its “#Throwback” programming lineup, Pop will also air repeat episodes of “Beverly Hills 90210,” The CW reboot “90210,” the original “Melrose Place” series and “Jericho.”

Also read: First Pop Slate Includes Singing Series From ‘Idol’ Producers, Show Following Soap Stars

“We have a very firm idea of who our audience is,” the executive said of its series acquisitions. “It’s people who grew up with these shows and its stars… It’s children of the 90s.”

Watch TheWrap’s exclusive preview for “Schitt’s Creek” above and the exclusive first teaser for the new season of “Rock This Boat” below:

Here’s Pop’s inaugural slate and premiere dates:

ROCK THIS BOAT: NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK
Series Premiere: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 8:00 and 8:30 PM ET/PT with two new back- to-back episodes
Die-hard fans take the vacation of a lifetime when they board a cruise with the sole intention of being near the members of their favorite band for just a few days. New Kids on the Block (NKOTB), one of the hottest boy bands in music history with more than 80 million albums sold worldwide, will set sail on the wildly popular, sold out cruise with their most loyal fans for a four-day adventure at sea. The cast includes a whole range of NKOTB devotees from three sisters taking the family cruise they’ve always dreamt about to a group of single moms looking to let their hair down by partying with rock stars. Sail on back to your youth with ROCK THIS BOAT — celebrating fandom like never before. Fans will be able to indulge with nine 30-minute episodes. ROCK THIS BOAT is produced by Jarrett Creative Group in association with Executive Producers Donnie Wahlberg, Julie Insogna Jarrett and Seth Jarrett.

THE STORY BEHIND
Series Premiere: Wednesday, January 14, 2015 at 9:00 PM ET/PT
(starting with “The Story Behind: Everybody Loves Raymond”); new episodes to air regularly every Wednesday at 8:30 PM ET/PT
THE STORY BEHIND features eight new episodes that go behind-the-scenes of TV’s greatest hits and most iconic shows, and how they got their start. The series reveals stories straight from the set with exclusive on-camera interviews with all the insider players from cast members to producers to television executives. The one-hour episodes will highlight some of TV’s most treasured classics, including: “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Home Improvement,” “Beverly Hills, 90210,” “Will & Grace,” “Full House,” “Friends” and “ER.” THE STORY BEHIND will be a Pop Media Group production.

SCHITT’S CREEK
Series Premiere: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at 10:00 PM ET/PT
Starring the incomparable Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, the character driven comedy series (created by and starring Eugene Levy and his son Daniel) will become the first original scripted project in the history of the network. 13 half-hour episodes will star Emmy winners® Eugene Levy (“American Pie,” “Best In Show,” “SCTV”) and Catherine O’Hara (“Home Alone,” “Best In Show,” “SCTV”) and Chris Elliott (“How I Met Your Mother,” “Late Night With David Letterman,” “There’s Something About Mary”) alongside Daniel Levy (“Admission,” MTV’s “The Hills After Show”) and Annie Murphy (“Blue Mountain State”). The series centers on a formerly filthy rich video store magnate Johnny Rose (Eugene Levy), his soap star wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara), and their two kids, über-hipster son David (Daniel Levy) and socialite daughter Alexis (Annie Murphy), who suddenly find themselves broke. They are forced to live in Schitt’s Creek, a small depressing town they once bought as a joke.

SCHITT’S CREEK is commissioned by CBC, produced by Not A Real Company Productions Inc., and created by Eugene and Daniel Levy. The Executive Producers are Eugene and Daniel Levy, Andrew Barnsley, Fred Levy and Ben Feigin. SCHITT’S CREEK is distributed by ITV Studios Global Entertainment.

“LIVE WITH ET” AT THE GRAMMYS® AND THE OSCARS®
Event Premiere(s): Sunday, February 8, 2015 and Sunday, February 22, 2015
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT, television’s #1 syndicated entertainment show from CBS Television Distribution, will produce a LIVE red carpet show leading up to television’s biggest award shows, the Grammys® and the Oscars®, to air exclusively on Pop.

QUEENS OF DRAMA
Series Premiere: Spring 2015
From the producers of “Hatfields & McCoys” and “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” comes QUEENS OF DRAMA, a new docu-series which follows a group of former daytime and primetime soap stars as they attempt to produce a new primetime serial drama to star in. The cast will need to work in front of and behind the cameras as they develop, pitch, and produce this new steamy series hoping to land a pilot deal by the end of the season. The all-star cast is made up of Lindsay Hartley (“All My Children,” “Days of Our Lives”), Crystal Hunt (“Guiding Light,” “One Life to Live”), Vanessa Marcil (“Las Vegas,” “General Hospital”), Chrystee Pharris (“Passions,” “General Hospital”) and Hunter Tylo (“The Bold and The Beautiful”), together with Donna Mills (“Knots Landing,” “Melrose Place”), who will make special appearances on the program. QUEENS OF DRAMA is being produced by Thinkfactory Media, with Adam Reed, Adam Freeman, Aaron Fishman, Tim Laurie, and Leslie Greif, serving as Executive Producers.

UNUSUALLY THICKE
New Episodes Premiere: Spring 2015
Not even seven seasons as Dr. Jason Seaver on “Growing Pains” could prepare Alan Thicke to be the Patriarch of his own modern family. Between his fiery, much younger Latina wife, Tanya, and his three sons – teenaged know-it-all Carter, pop star Robin, and owner of a marijuana dispensary, Brennan – Alan Thicke has his work cut out for him as a father, a husband, and a Hollywood actor, writer, and icon. UNUSUALLY THICKE follows the hilarious, action-packed and dramatic daily lives of Alan’s real life family. Dozens of celebrity appearances have been featured in the series, including: David Hasselhoff, Bob Saget, Magic Johnson, Wayne Gretzky, John Stamos, Bill Maher, Tom Green, with many more to come. UNUSUALLY THICKE is an original series that blends reality television with situation comedy is produced by Peacock Alley Entertainment.

#Throwback Programming Line-up
— 90210 will begin airing Monday, January 19, 2015 at 4:00 PM ET/PT with the original two-hour pilot, and then starting Tuesday, January 20, 2015 at 5:00 PM ET/PT, the series will air at its regularly scheduled time slot of 5:00 PM ET/PT, Monday through Friday
— BEVERLY HILLS, 90210 will continue to air marathons Tuesdays at 12:00 PM ET/PT
— The original MELROSE PLACE will air weekly beginning Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at 12:00 PM ET/PT