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Pop TV Plots Post-‘Schitt’s Creek’ Future: Comedy With ‘Heart’ Not ‘Snark,’ Brad Schwartz Says

TCA 2020: ”I think that’s what ‘Florida Girls’ is; that’s what ‘One Day at a Time’ is,“ cable channel’s president tells TheWrap

Pop TV has come a long way in the last half-decade, but with “Schitt’s Creek” coming to an end, the cable channel must now build on the attention the beloved Dan and Eugene Levy-created comedy brought to the former TV Guide Network

So what does Pop look like in its post-“Schitt’s” era? We took that question straight to the top.

“It was not even five years ago that we were the TV Guide Network and we still had the scroll on 30% of our screens,” Brad Schwartz, president of Pop TV, told TheWrap Monday at the Television Critics Association press tour.

“In those early days of being a rebranded network, of being what people would call an emerging or smaller network, people don’t know whether to trust you or not,” Schwartz said. “Until you find your ‘Mad Men,’ and then people are like, ‘Oh, now they have ‘Mad Men’… what’s next?'”

In this analogy, “Schitt’s Creek” is Pop’s “Mad Men.” As huge fans of both series, we can’t argue with that.

“Now, what I’m hoping we’ve earned is your trust and your attention. When you do get something from Pop, you’re gonna be like, ‘Oh my God, that’s the channel that has ‘Schitt’s Creek’ and ‘One Day at a Time’ — I should pay more attention to ‘Florida Girls,”” he said. “Now, the future of Pop is we need our ‘Breaking Bad’ and eventually our ‘Walking Dead.'”

“I’m really excited about our future… to become a smaller under the radar network to now an Emmy-nominated network in less than 5 years, I don’t think you see that type of trajectory in TV anymore,” he continued. “So I’m excited about what ‘Schitt’s Creek’ has done for us and put us on the map, and that kind of sentiment will always be part of our DNA. And now to use that to be like, OK, you know what, we have found this lane in really smart, fresh comedy, new comedic voices — but comedy that also has a heart. It’s not snarky comedy; it’s comedy that’s right for these social media, divisive times. I think that’s what ‘Florida Girls’ is, that’s what ‘One Day at a Time’ is.”

“And now being a part of Viacom-CBS kind of opens us up to Paramount Studio, CBS Television Studio, the libraries and IP of both of those networks — and we still have a long runway ahead. So I think this is the pivot for Pop TV to be really great. And of course, what we need now is a high batting average.”