TLC announced that it will be bulking up its slate of family-themed programming at Thursday’s Upfront presentation in New York City.
They include three new series and three new specials that tap into the cable network’s success with family-themed programming.
“Family has always been a core part of the DNA of TLC,” general manager Nancy Daniels told TheWrap, pointing out the network’s successes with “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” “19 Kids and Counting,” and “Little People, Big World.”
“We just think there’s something utterly relatable about family shows that connects with our audience and they come to us for those kinds of shows,” she continued. “The key is finding interesting and exciting families that we want to follow.”
The new family slate includes the special “Long Lost Family,” which follows people searching for family members they’ve never met or want to reunite with. It comes from Shed Media US, which also produces Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of New York City” and VH1’s “Basketball Wives LA.”
Then, there’s new series “The Speegle Life” from Ryan Seacrest productions, which centers on a family that leaves their thriving church in Florida to assist its two daughters in establishing a church in Alabama.
The new shows join previously announced series “The Leah Remini Project,” which focuses on the actress’ colorful home life with her family.
“We’re constantly looking at new ways to look at families,” Daniels said of TLC’s new programming. “‘Cake Boss,’ for example, is about building cakes but it’s also a family show at its core. We think that’s why it has lasted so long and it has done so well for us.”
She continued, “So, we looked at family businesses. There’s a way to look at family businesses where it’s more about the family than the business. That’s one way we came up with ‘Listed Sisters,’ which is about sisters who run their real estate business together. We also look at families who are living life in a new and different way, which is why ‘Welcome to Allentown’ piqued our interest. It’s about this musical family traveling on a bus, they have a lot of kids and how they’re managing that. We also looked at families who are trying to stay together like ‘Risking It All,’ where we have families who are deciding to leave their lives behind and live on their own off-the-grid and try to forge their own existence out there.”
Additionally, TLC is revisiting families with its new “TLC Family Reunion” franchise. It will kick off the franchise with the previously announced “Kate Plus 8” special, which catches up with the family now that the sextuplets are 10 years old.
Following that will be its newly greenlit special “Quints by Surprise: 5 Years Old,” which revisits the Jones Family as they’re celebrating the quintuplets’ fifth birthday.
It’s clear why TLC is focusing in on its family offerings. TLC just experienced its highest rated quarter ever with its key demographic Women ages 25-54 and the advertiser-coveted Adults 18-49 demo with a programming slate that has included highly-rated seasons of “The Little Couple,” “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” “Long Island Medium” and “Sister Wives.”
See below for TLC’s slate of “Family-themed” programming:
Listed Sisters (working title) – New series, 4Q 2014
Go into the fast-paced real estate world with three of the most entrepreneurial sister duos across America, as they hustle during the height of selling season. (Matador Content)
Long Lost Family (working title) – New special, 3Q 2014
Follows people who are looking to reunite with – or meet for the first time -the family and loved ones they have desperately been seeking. (Shed Media US)
Quints By Surprise: 5 Years Old – New special, 2Q 2014
Also joining the TLC Family Reunion, this special heads to Austin, TX to catch up with the Jones family and help celebrate the quintuplets’ fifth birthday. (Megalomedia Inc.)
Risking It All (working title) – New series, 4Q 2014
Three families who are fed up with the pressures of the modern world decide to move “off the grid” in hopes of reconnecting with each other. (Twofour Productions)
The Speegle Life (working title) – New series, 4Q 2014
A multigenerational southern family leaves their successful church in Florida to help their two daughters find a new congregation in Alabama. (Ryan Seacrest Productions)
Welcome to Allentown (working title) – New special, 3Q 2014
Hit the road with a musical family of 10 living out their dream: spending their lives together on one bus as they travel the country performing. (Stiletto Television)