[05/11/09 - 06:52 AM]
Bio Channel Expands Original Primetime Programming Slate
New seasons of "Shatner's Raw Nerve," "I Survived...," "Mobsters" and "Psychic Kids" are on tap for 2009-10.

[via press release from Bio]





New York, NY, May 11, 2009 - BIO Channel is continuing a strong commitment to original programming this year by returning five original series and expanding its primetime programming slate with a new series, four new pilots and three new specials, it was announced today by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel.

This significant investment in original programming will help sustain the incredible growth BIO has enjoyed over the past few years. Last year's launches of the channel's top-rated "I Survived..." and "Shatner's Raw Nerve," as well as the recent "Chris Isaak Hour," exemplify the network's commitment to developing buzz-worthy original content. As always, BIO will continue to focus on true stories about fascinating people, proving that the truth is always more entertaining than fiction.

Also in 2009, BIO's signature Emmy-winning series "Biography" will add 50 new hours featuring such celebrity profiles as George Clooney, Sean Penn, Bruce Springsteen and David Letterman.

"BIO is all about fascinating people and powerful storytelling, and, as one of the fastest growing networks in cable it has quite a story to tell," said DeBitetto. "Building off our established original programming slate, we will continue to grow our brand while maintaining the level of quality our viewers have come to expect from the network. As always, we'll focus first and foremost on alluring people and their true stories in a fresh, honest and entertaining voice - stories you just cannot make up."

BIO has grown in primetime in Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 every year since it became rated by Nielsen in 2004. Since the second quarter of 2007, when BIO updated its image with a new on-air look, logo and tagline, the channel has been one of the fastest growing television network - up a whopping 94% among adults 25-54 and up 90% among adults 18-49, through the first quarter of 2009. In addition, BIO's median age has dropped five years during that period.

BIO's growth has not been limited to viewership. BIO is now available in 54.5 million homes - more than 11% growth year-over-year. This substantial growth is due in part, to the launch of the network on Time Warner in New York City earlier this year. BIO is expected to be available in roughly 60 million households domestically by the end of 2009.

With a concentrated commitment to high definition content, all BIO productions have been, and continue to be shot in HD since 2007. By the end of 2009, 80% of all prime programming will be in HD. The upcoming slate draws on the network's current schedule and includes the following new original series in development:


Celebrity Ghost Stories - Eight one-hour episodes have been ordered based on the success of a special by the same name. This series will take an all new compelling, surprising and spooky look at true story accounts from celebrities who share - for the first time on television - their real-life personal encounters with the paranormal. Some celebrities for season one include Joan Rivers, John Waters, Scott Baio, Carrie Fisher and Debi Mazar.

"Celebrity Ghost Stories" is produced by Jarrett Creative Group with Seth Jarrett and Julie Insogna Jarrett serving as Executive Producers. Tony Col?n serves as the series Co-Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Tom Moody and Jordana Hochman.


Shatner's Raw Nerve - Season Two order of 13 new 30-minute episodes. From "Twilight Zone" to "Star Trek" to "TJ Hooker" to "Boston Legal," Emmy-Award winner William Shatner is one of America's most beloved and versatile stars. "Shatner's Raw Nerve" will be his own edgy and off-beat celebrity interview series, showcasing his unique sensibility, from the satirical to the sublime to the serious - but here's the hook - in each episode Shatner will attempt to probe his guest's most sensitive subjects and touch upon a Raw Nerve by explore life's most intriguing questions and unearth his guests' strange and unknown stories that are most surprising, revealing, funny, touching or bizarre. A unique feature of the show will be its unpredictability, allowing Shatner to work his particular magic on each guest in a unique way.

"Shatner's Raw Nerve" is produced by Scott Sternberg Productions with Scott Sternberg as Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow and Michael Morrison.

I Survived... - Season Three order of 10 new one-hour episodes exploring first-person accounts of extraordinary true-life tales of those who found the strength and courage to endure when faced with unforeseen life-threatening situations. Each episode of "I Survived..." documents 2-3 life-altering stories in which survivors explain - in their own words - how they overcame unbelievable circumstances and what carried them through the experience that ultimately changed their lives forever.

"I Survived..." is produced by NHNZ for BIO. CarolAnne Dolan is Executive Producer and Alan Hall is Supervising Producer for NHNZ. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Laura Fleury and Colleen Conway.

Mobsters - Season Two order of six new one-hour episodes that shed light on the dark life and work of infamous names in the underground mob world. New episodes will include: Frank Nitti, Isadore "Kid Cann" Blumenfeld, Joey Gallo, Leroy "Nicky" Barnes, Jimmy Coonan and the Westies and Tony Accardo.

"Mobsters" is produced by Tower Productions with Jonathan Towers as executive producer. Executive producers for BIO are Tom Moody and Peter Tarshis.

Biography - 50 new one-hour episodes have been ordered featuring in-depth profiles of the exceptional people whose lives and times stir our imagination. An Emmy� award-winning documentary series, "Biography" thrives on rich details, fascinating portraits and historical accuracy, seasoned with insider insights and observations. New episodes include George Clooney, Sean Penn, Bruce Springsteen and David Letterman.

BIO Executive Producers are Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.

Psychic Kids - Eight one-hour episodes have been ordered for Season Two. What would you do if your child came to you and said, "I see dead people?" Scores of parents across the country are struggling how to deal with their child's paranormal abilities. Now, thanks to Medium Chip Coffey and renowned psychologist and Columbia University professor, Dr. Lisa Miller, help is on the way. Each one-hour episode features three kids who ultimately are brought together by Chip and Lisa to learn how to cope with their gifts and to realize they are not alone.

"Psychic Kids" is produced by Picture Shack Entertainment, Inc. for A&E with Betsy Schechter and George Plamondon serving as Executive Producers for Picture Shack Entertainment, Inc. BIO Executive Producers are Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant.


My Rescue (WT) - One-hour pilot: Attacked by a shark, lost in a forest, swept out to sea, partially swallowed by an anaconda: all terrifying stories of certain death being averted by a fearless rescue. The pilot examines the most daring rescues ever caught on tape and features in depth interviews with both the victim and the hero. From a rescue's harrowing beginning to its miraculous end, "My Rescue" brings you heart-stopping real footage of the event, powerful interviews with the participants and bystanders, bringing viewers that much closer to a real life brush with death.

"My Rescue" is produced by Intuitive Entertainment with Kevin Dill and Mechelle Collins serving as Executive Producers. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow and Jessica Morgan

Primetime Confidential (WT) - One-hour pilot: The show that takes you behind the scenes to reveal everything you never knew about your favorite TV classics. Fans will have access to the unbelievable and untold drama behind the laugh tracks and beyond the scripts. From outrageous network demands and volatile star egos, to on-set romances and bitter feuds, from executive decisions gone wrong to legendary mistakes that paid off big time- viewers will hear first-hand from the cast, crew, executives, extras, assistants and insiders who saw it all go down. Episodes will take on one hit series. With a combination of interviews, exclusive footage & stills, viewers will journey from a show's inception through the peak of its success onto its final days on air.

"Primetime Confidential" is produced for BIO by Sharp Entertainment with Matt Sharp serving as Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Jordana Hochman and Tom Moody.

My Ghost Story: Hauntings Revealed - One-hour pilot: Everybody has a ghost story. But how many people have filmed theirs? Welcome to "My Ghost Story: Hauntings Revealed" where true and unbelievable stories of the paranormal are told by the people who lived through them - and actually captured their hauntings on tape. From moving furniture to dark apparitions to violent poltergeists, these harrowing eye-witness accounts of the unexplainable are transformed into more than tales with terrifying visual evidence. In "My Ghost Story," you'll have no choice but to believe your eyes.

"My Ghost Story: Hauntings Revealed" is produced by Mark Phillips Philms & Telephision with Mark Phillips serving as Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow and Elaine Frontain Bryant.

Celebrity Close Calls - One-hour pilot: For many celebrities life can be a dream - but in a split second everything can disappear. In this riveting pilot will meet stars forced to face their own mortality in shocking, unexpected twists of fate. Celebrities will be interviewed to get first person accounts of their traumatic brushes with death as the show cinematically recreates the dramatic moments as well as utilizes archival footage to paint the picture of the moment their lives flashed before their eyes.

"Celebrity Close Calls" is produced by Jarrett Creative Group with Seth Jarrett and Julie Insogna Jarrett serving as Executive Producers. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Tom Moody and Jordana Hochman.


Caddyshack: The Inside Story - Snobs, slobs and a dancing gopher: this is the "Caddyshack" most of us know. But, this two-hour special will go inside the wild ride that was the making of this film, getting the story straight from those who were there: the producers, the stars and the director, Harold Ramis.

"Caddyshack: The Inside Story" is produced by Pangolin with Kevin Bachar serving as Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.

Jaws: The Inside Story - In the summer of 1975, terror gripped the nation as a 25-foot great white shark captured the world and "Jaws" made sure nobody ever felt safe going into the water again. "Jaws" was a huge success, breaking all existing box office records and grossing $470 million dollars worldwide. The film made director Steven Spielberg a superstar, won three Oscars and inspired numerous imitations and countless shark phobias. This two-hour special celebrates this classic, looking back at the movie's origins; the adaptation of an enormous bestseller to the first real "summer blockbuster," and how Spielberg broke new ground in location filming, despite months of setbacks.

"Jaws: The Inside Story" is produced by Pangolin with Kevin Bachar serving as Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.

Tragic Side of Comedy - Why do those who make us laugh the hardest seem to have the most troubled souls? This two hour Biography event, The Tragic Side of Comedy, will look at the fantastic rises and fatal descents of such stars as John Belushi, Richard Pryor, Chris Farley (and others) uncovering the reasons why the gift of laughter often comes with such a steep price tag. We'll hear from friends, lovers, colleagues, and more going deep inside the troubled lives and hysterical work of some of the greatest comic minds of our time.

"Tragic Side of Comedy" is produced for BIO by Sharp Entertainment with Matt Sharp serving as Executive Producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.

About BIO

At BIO, we prove that the truth about people is always more entertaining than fiction. BIO is about real people and their real lives: up close and personal, gritty and provocative, always unfiltered. BIO original series uncover the real drama in people stories: everyday situations with a twist; celebrities going off-script; people-centric crime stories and paranormal events. In addition to being the exclusive home to the Emmy-Award winning Biography� series, the dynamic blend of original and acquired series on BIO includes I Survived..., Psychic Investigators, the William Shatner hosted talk show, Shatner's Raw Nerve and The Chris Isaak Hour a talk and music performance series hosted by Chris Isaak. The 24-hour network is now available in more than 54 million households. The BIO web site is located at www.bio.com.

  [may 2009]  


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