Pop Picks Up New Series "Hot Date"
Pop continues its push into original scripted programming. The cable network, owned jointly by CBS and Lionsgate, is expanding its original slate with three new scripted series, including its first drama, Pop president Brad Schwartz announced this week at the 2017-2018 upfront presentation to advertisers.
The offerings, aimed at what Pop brass dubbed the “modern grown-up” demo of post-Millennials, include Clique, a one-hour drama series in the risqué vein of such Shondaland series as Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder (watch a trailer above); CollegeHumor comedy Hot Date (watch a trailer below), executive produced by Will Arnett; and comedy Swedish Dicks, Private Investigators, starring Peter Stormare and features Keanu Reeves. They will join the upcoming fourth season of Pop’s flagship comedy Schitt’s Creek, starring Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara and Chris Elliott, and second season of Nightcap, a behind-the-scenes comedy set at a late-night talk show.
Pop also has nabbed exclusive rights to the full, 331-episode, 15-year run of ER. The hospital drama, which made stars of George Clooney and Julianna Margulies, quietly launched on Pop two weeks ago and has been delivering strong ratings. Additionally, Pop unveiled nine new scripted and unscripted projects in development from Sarah Jessica Parker, Krysten Ritter, Mary McCormack, Rashida Jones and Kate Walsh, among others.
“Pop continues to defy industry trends with consistent year-over-year growth in all areas of our business and a line-up of premium content featuring award-winning talent in front of and behind the camera,” Schwartz told advertisers and industry journalists in a series of one-on-one presentations this week in New York.
Michael DuPont, EVP for ad sales, said that Pop has added 58 new national advertisers, expanded its distribution on traditional cable and over-the-top platforms, and drove double digit growth in viewership among A18-49 (+21%) and W25-54 (+13%), according to Nielsen (Total Day, L+7).
“Pop’s new slate takes broad, familiar constructs and puts a forward-thinking, contemporary spin on them,” said Justin Rosenblatt, EVP, Original Programming and Development. “Building on our breakout original series Schitt’s Creek and feeding our audience’s appetite for feel good fare, we’re confident that our new crop of shows will ignite the curiosity of viewers, while complementing our existing programming schedule.”
• HOT DATE created in partnership with digital powerhouse CollegeHumor and its studio, Big Breakfast (Adam Ruins Everything) and executive produced by Will Arnett’s Electric Avenue Productions (Gong Show, Flaked), Principato-Young Entertainment and Big Breakfast, the half-hour scripted comedy stars Emily Axford and Brian K. Murphy and will premiere in Fall 2017.