A&E snags David Hasselhoff, Dee Snider and Bob Saget for new series
Essentially taking a page from its own playbook for new character-based reality and scripted programming, the network is repeating what works -- spinning off "Intervention" in a series that will follow "sober companions" -- and expanding further into proven genres like cop procedurals and family dysfunction.
Along with a dozen returning hit series, including "Dog the Bounty Hunter," "Hoarders" and "Billy the Exterminator," the network plans to launch eight new unscripted series this year and has a handful of scripted dramas in the pipeline, including a miniseries based on the bestselling Robin Cook novel, "Coma," from action filmmakers Ridley Scott and Tony Scott.
Just-announced series will follow Hasselhoff as he becomes a stage dad to his two aspiring singer daughters, Danza as he steps into the classroom as a teacher in Philadelphia, and Saget as he hits the road and drops into people's lives. Snider, best known as the frontman for hair-metal band Twisted Sister, joins Gene Simmons as another of the network's rocker-dad-with-wacky-family stories in "Growing Up Twisted."
Obsession and addiction are still on tap, with a 10-episode series (working title: "I'm Heavy") about people battling their weight problems and "Intervention in Depth: One Man Rehab," which trails addicts after their intervention through a team of sober companions.
Cops are high on the priority list too, with a new one-hour called "The Glades," set in what's left of Florida's Everglades, with a Chicago detective playing a fish out of water in a new Southern post.
Gangs and prisons, fertile territory for any number of cable networks, get attention through "The Peacemaker," a South L.A. reality show about a violence prevention counselor, and "The Squad: Prison Police," focuses on a Tennessee law-enforcement group that's part SWAT, part "CSI."
Sibling network BIO, also announcing its new slate, will get a double dose of William Shatner with his returning series "Shatner's Raw Nerve" and a new offering called "Shatner's Aftermath," looking at the fallout of instant celebrity.
Returning show "I Survived" gets a spinoff dubbed "I Survived ... Beyond and Back," about people who have flatlined and come back to life, and the currently red-hot paranormal trend sparks another series, "My Ghost Story," to add to the heap. BIO already has "Celebrity Ghost Stories," which has been renewed.
-- T.L. Stanley
Photo: Tony Danza. Credit: Mary Altaffer/AP.