What’s the overriding brand promise of Ovation? Convey that art is “not just cooped up in museums or concert halls, but all around us in our everyday life,” programming chief Kris Slava said.
As the network moves into upfront mode, it’s dialing up an “Art No Limits, Art No Boundaries” tag. Headlining its high-pop culture orientation is the coming “A Chance to Dance,” a reality competition series where the hosts have scoured the country for talent, hoping to transform the group into a dance company.
Producers include “American Idol” showrunner Nigel Lythgoe and son Simon, with a summer debut planned. Nigel Lythgoe is also behind Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” which has aired on Ovation.
Another art-genre unscripted series in development is tabbed “The Art Factory,” which focuses on the husband-and-wife team behind a noted architectural studio.
Ovation, whose owners include the Hubbard Media Group, is now in 51 million homes. The audience has an average age of 47, with 60% falling in the 25-to-54 demo, the network said.
Ovation, which made programming announcements at a pre-upfront event in New York Thursday, is using Saturdays for scripted original programming, largely U.S. premieres of shows from abroad. Four series set for this summer have roots in novels:
“Cloudstreet,” based on the Tim Winton novel, will debut June 2. The drama focuses on two rural Australian families in the mid-20th century who endure tragedies and move to the city to restart their lives.
“The Runaway,” with roots in a Martina Cole novel, touches on childhood sweethearts reconnecting and a London East End criminal underworld.
“Bouquet of Barbed Wire," based on the novel by Andrea Newman, focuses on a “father’s obsessive love for his daughter and how secrets from the past return to haunt them.”
“What To Do When Someone Dies” (based on the novel by Nicci French) focuses on a woman leading “a double life … until tragic events reveal who she really is,” while a death helps her move toward discovering who killed her husband.
Programming head Slava stated the shows offer “emotional storytelling that has an artful, literary connection.”