PEOPLE and Entertainment Weekly are teaming up for a new network, the People/Entertainment Weekly Network, it was announced on Wednesday during the Time Inc. Newfront presentation.
The network, “a free, advertiser-supported streaming video service from the world’s most respected entertainment media brands” with broadcast original series and live-event coverage, among other series.
Check out the full press release on the announcement below.
Today, during its NewFront presentation, Time Inc. (NYSE: TIME) announced plans for a groundbreaking ad-supported over-the-top (OTT) network from People and Entertainment Weekly, revealed that the iconic LIFE brand will be the centerpiece of the company’s virtual reality efforts and previewed its all-video, mobile-first brand devoted to today’s “new famous.” The company also showcased a dynamic array of new programming that included an exclusive production and development project between Sports Illustrated and Kobe Bryant, a new series in which Jenna Bush Hager teams up with Southern Living for Southern in the City, an EW partnership with acclaimed documentarian Morgan Spurlock to launch a new long form documentary series POP DOCS and The Jess Cagle Interview series featuring People and EW Editorial Director sitting down for intimate, candid conversations with the biggest celebrities.
“Today’s showcase represents Time Inc.’s ongoing momentum and unlimited potential. We have a collection of some of the world’s most popular media brands that appeal to millions and we can push them even further. We are going to apply the latest technology to deliver our wide-ranging premium video programming to consumers on their favorite platforms and channels. This will also present a significant opportunity for our advertising partners to work with us to leverage our scale and these platforms to connect with our engaged audiences,” said Rich Battista, President of the Time Inc. Entertainment & Sports Group and Video.
Together, these programming and technology initiatives underscore Time Inc.’s strategy to create premium video content in all formats to be distributed across traditional channels as well as new platforms that are redefining media consumption. The following outlines the company’s latest initiatives:
Groundbreaking OTT Service…The People/Entertainment Weekly Network is a free, advertiser-supported streaming video service from the world’s most respected entertainment media brands, which together have a combined audience of more than 100 million. The network will primarily defined by long form programming consisting of celebrity, pop culture, lifestyle and human interest series, specials and live events. Scheduled to launch this fall across the landscape of digital platforms and devices, the network will offer more than 100 hours of original programming, including new programming daily, and a robust library of more than 50 hours of content.
Life in Virtual Reality…Scheduled for a fall launch, LIFE VR is an innovative video platform from the historic and beloved LIFE brand that will showcase the world through the lens of virtual reality. LIFE VR will be Time Inc.’s dedicated VR platform that offers immersive, next-level storytelling—culled from the company’s 100 global brands such as Time, People, Entertainment Weekly and Sports Illustrated—featuring experiences across every passion via channels on the platform dedicated to news, sports, celebrity, fashion, food, travel, finance and more.
Meet the New Famous…Time Inc. also previewed the next great digital media brand from People and Entertainment Weekly dedicated to the “new famous” that will debut later this year. Created with millennials and teens in mind, the mobile-first, exclusively video platform will cover the lives and work of the popular digital talents of YouTube, Snapchat, Vine, Instagram and more.
More OTT…Xumo, a leading over-the-top (OTT) platform, announced 10 new channels to bring its content lineup to 78 free premium digital channels. The service also has a rapidly expanding distribution network that now includes Sanyo, Magnavox, Philips, Funai Electric Co. brands, as well as LG, VIZIO and Panasonic to now reach nearly 60 percent of all smart TVs shipped in the U.S. Viant, recently acquired by Time Inc., is a joint-venture partner in Xumo.
The following is the full slate of programming presented today.
Dear Basketball (from Sports Illustrated) — Sports Illustrated is teaming up with NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s Kobe Studios and Believe Entertainment Group for an exclusive multi-platform development project devoted to Dear Basketball, Bryant’s poetic tribute to the game. The collaboration includes the world premiere of Dear Basketball, the animated short film on SI.com, as well as a series of SI Films mini documentaries that take viewers behind the scenes of Bryant’s first venture since retiring from the NBA in April. Dear Basketball, the animated film, will be narrated by Bryant and is the embodiment of his epic retirement poem, visually bringing it to life in a new and compelling way with world renowned animator Glen Keane set to helm the new production and five-time Academy Award-winning composer John Williams providing the musical backdrop.
The Jess Cagle Interview (from People and Entertainment Weekly) – Hollywood’s most fascinating stars and creative minds open up about their childhoods, their inspirations, their finest moments and their greatest challenges in this series which showcases in-depth conversations with People and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle. Ryan Reynolds, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa McCarthy, Shirley MacLaine, Sally Field, Anderson Cooper (with his mom, Gloria Vanderbilt) and Chelsea Handler are among the A-list stars featured in this new kind of celebrity interview show that’s moving, funny and surprising and is delivered across multiple platforms, in both long form and shareable, irresistible clips.
Southern in the City (from Southern Living) – New York City sets the scene for this funny, fresh, family-friendly show starring Southern Living Editor-at-Large and NBC News correspondent Jenna Bush Hager. In Southern in the City, Bush Hager will seek out southern traditions and personalities at large in the Big Apple. Bush Hager, a native Texan, finds these quirky, lovable Southerners and shares their inspiring, heart-warming stories and southern specialties, including food, fashion, entertainment and décor.
Entertainment Weekly’s POP DOCS – Revealing the little-known stories behind some of the biggest moments in pop culture history, this new long-form documentary series, executive produced by acclaimed documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock (“Super Size Me”) will bring to light the surprising beginnings and unconventional paths that led to well-known Hollywood endings. The show will ask questions such as: what did a kid show’s casting director see in five aspirational performers that helped them become the next generation of Hollywood A-listers? And how did a little known comedian with a satirical news show become more trusted by America than many of today’s leading news anchors? EW’s POP DOCS is a co-production with Morgan Spurlock’s production company, Warrior Poets. The ESSENCE of America – Presented through an authoritative lens, this uplifting, multi-part series boldly addresses topics that have a direct impact on the African-American community. Highlighting everyday people, the inspirational series aims to expose a broader audience to often-overlooked stories that matter and deserve national attention. Offering solutions and resolution through detailed reporting, each individual special will tackle a specific area of interest in-depth.
New Mom / New Style (from InStyle) – InStyle editor Kahlana Barfield Brown lives for fashion. It’s her job, after all. But she’s six months pregnant and has no idea what’s coming her way. How will she function on two hours’ of sleep? Will she be able to change diapers without cutting her trademark fingernails? Full of these and other questions, Kahlana turns to celebrity moms for guidance. From water breaking to stretch marks to one terrifying nursing bra, Kelly Rowland, Brandy and other stylish moms prepare Kahlana for the most joyful but least glamorous experience she will ever have. New Mom / New Style delivers the unfiltered scoop every new or soon-to-be mom needs to hear, whether she’s barefoot and pregnant or toughing it out in stilettos.
TIME Influential – This new series is inspired by TIME’s unparalleled annual TIME100 franchise and event, which brings together into one room for one night the world’s most influential people–leaders and titans of business, politics, culture, science, and philanthropy. The series features unexpected conversations of global influencers, sharing their histories, passions, and hopes with one another and with the viewer.
Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: Swim Unfiltered — Developed exclusively for social media, this groundbreaking series will give fans personal access to top global trendsetters. You’ve seen them on magazine covers, billboards and runways and taking over your social media feeds, but you’ve never been along for a journey like this. Through exclusive access that only SI can provide, get ready for a behind-the-scenes first-person vantage point for the parties, grueling workouts, glamorous photo shoots and moments of self-reflection and determination with the world’s most beautiful models. The annual SI Swimsuit issue is 12 months in the making, but in reality it happens every single day and in some of the most beautiful locations around the world. With this new series to debut in bi-monthly installments, you’ll learn just what it’s like to be part of the Swimsuit family through the ups, the downs and all the moments in between, and you’ll experience it entirely via social platforms. Unprecedented. Uncensored. Unfiltered.
Broke Gourmet with Gabi Moskowitz (from HelloGiggles) – In this original series, popular food blogger and chef Gabi Moskowitz of The Brokeass Gourmet cookbook takes over the kitchen with friends and celebs to show how to make gourmet meals on a budget while also sharing witty cooking hacks. From “Break-Up Brownies” (sure to make you forget your ex!) to “Hungry & Hangry Nachos” that will blow your mind, Gabi offers Instagram-worthy solutions to everyday cravings and demands. The show is designed for Time Inc.’s HelloGiggles audience of career-oriented, budget-conscious millennial women who love to have fun times and pretty things, and of course, enjoy great food. American Lives (from People and Time) — We interact in shallow, topical ways with countless others every day, but we rarely have the opportunity to go beneath the surface and dig into their lives, feel their heartache, see their joy, witness their regret or know their fears. This series will feature the in-depth stories of overlooked Americans who are all around us. Whether it’s the cute coffee barista, the sad woman on the bus or the determined bicyclist on the sidewalk, viewers will come to know uncelebrated, ordinary people who have lived extraordinary lives. American Lives is co-produced with Madica Productions, producers of Netflix’s hit show Chef’s Table.
DRIVE/TRAIN (from The Drive) – Chris Cantle is obsessed with speed. For years, as a motorsports writer and photographer, he’s covered the action from the sidelines. Now, in the new series, DRIVE/TRAIN, Cantle is putting his own skin on the line, getting behind the steering wheel, handlebars or helm, and challenging professional racers on their own turf. In this 12-episode series, Cantle learns to race motorcycles, rally cars, go karts, jet skis, sand buggies, GT racing cars and any other crazy machine he can get his hands on. Then, it’s a one-on-one showdown against a pro, who has trained for years just to put punks like Cantle in their place. This is one man’s quest to be faster than he ever thought possible.