BIO Channel recorded its two most-watched quarters in network history in fourth quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010. The network also, for the first-time ever, hit the 100,000 mark in the target adults 25-54 demo in first quarter 2010. On the heels of this success, BIO continues to increase its investment in original programming with the addition of three new series – including a second series from Emmy winner William Shatner – and four news specials to join its slate of five returning original series and 50 new hours of the Emmy-award winning “Biography” series in 2010, it was announced today by Bob DeBitetto, President and General Manager of A&E Network and BIO Channel.
After a record-breaking fourth quarter in 2009, BIO notched its best quarter ever in first quarter 2010 with double digit increases across all key demographics. Year-to-date, BIO is up 8% in adults 25-54 and 10% in adults 18-49 versus the same time period in 2009 and 10% in adults 25-54 and 11% in adults 18-49 compared to full year 2009.
Since repositioning BIO as the leading television destination for true stories about people, the network has grown dramatically – doubling its adults 25-54 and 18-49 delivery. In 2009, BIO recorded its youngest year ever with the median age dropping an impressive nine years following the network repositioning less than three years ago.
“BIO continues to be one of the best growth stories in cable,” said DeBitetto. “Our significant investment in original programming continues to grow the brand while maintaining the level of quality our viewers have come to expect from the network. Over the past three years we have built upon the powerful foundation offered by the iconic Biography brand; yet we have expanded and developed new franchises with a new voice, with a focus on interesting people and their true stories in a fresh, honest and entertaining voice.”
In 2009, BIO launched the network’s #1 original series of all time, “Celebrity Ghost Stories” among all key demos, which more than doubled BIO’s prime average. The series was one among six series that averaged more than 100,000 adults 25-54 and joins the hit series “I Survived” – which has grown for two consecutive seasons – as BIO’s second series to double the prime average in adults 25-54.
The network’s distribution has also expanded; BIO is now available in 58.8 million homes – representing an 8% increase in growth year-over-year and is expected to be available in more than 60 million households domestically by the end of 2010. BIO continues to honor its concentrated commitment to high definition content with all productions shot in HD since 2007. By the end of 2010, 80% of all prime programming will be in HD.
With a focus on true stories about fascinating people, BIO proves that the truth about people is always more entertaining than fiction. The upcoming slate includes:
Shatner’s Aftermath (6 x 1 hour)
Premieres 3Q 2010
What would happen if your private life suddenly became public? Overnight, with no warning, you were transformed from ordinary American into breaking national news? “Aftermath,” created by William Shatner, not only takes viewers back to the dramatic events that riveted the nation, but sits them down with the actual news makers and their families to find out how their lives have changed in the years since they made headlines. Episodes include Jessica Lynch, The DC Sniper Victims, The Unabomber, Bernhard Goetz, Mary Kay Letourneau, and the Weaver Family of Ruby Ridge. Archive footage and re-enactments round out the storytelling, and Shatner’s sharp intellect and sense of humor will put a new spin on old stories in a way that only he can.
“Shatner’s Aftermath” is produced by GRB Entertainment. Executive Producers for GRB are Gary Benz, Michael Branton, Ted Haimes and William Shatner. Executive Producers for A&E are Robert Sharenow and Andy Berg.
I Survived… Beyond and Back (6 x 1 hour)
Premieres 4Q 2010
Based on the success of the pilot of this spin-off of the hit series “I Survived… ” BIO has ordered six episodes of “I Survived… Beyond and Back.” The one-hour series profiles the extraordinary stories of people who have flat lined – literally died – and come back to life. Each one-hour episodes features a first-person account of a survivor’s experience coupled with the testimony of medical personnel and family members who were present at the moment of death and can verify the authenticity.
“I Survived… Beyond and Back” is produced by NHNZ for BIO. Judith Curran is executive producer and Janice Finn is series producer for NHNZ. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow and Laura Fleury.
My Ghost Story (8 x 1 hour)
Premieres Saturday, July 17 at 10PM ET
Based on the success of the pilot, BIO has commissioned eight one-hour episodes of “My Ghost Story.” The series features true and unbelievable stories of the paranormal 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, viewers will have no choice but to believe their eyes.
“My Ghost Story” is produced by Mark Phillips Philms & Telephision with Mark Phillips serving as executive producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Jessica Morgan.
Biography (46 x 1 hour, 2 x 2 hours)
50 new hours of “Biography” 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 Ellen DeGeneres, Vanessa Williams, Ed O’Neill and Black Sabbath as well as two in-depth two-hour specials that take a look inside the lives of pop culture icons Jimi Hendrix and John Belushi and will feature never-before-seen and rare footage, recordings and photographs.
BIO Executive Producers are Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.
Shatner’s Raw Nerve (13 x 30 min)
Season Three Premieres 4Q 2010
Emmy-Award winner William Shatner comes back for a third season with his unique celebrity interviewing style in his critically-acclaimed talk show “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.” In each 30-minute episode, Shatner will attempt to probe his guest’s most fascinating and sensitive subjects and touch upon a “Raw Nerve,” quite often capturing celebrities at their most unexpected. Shatner will explore life’s most intriguing questions, and unearth stories that are most surprising, revealing, funny, touching or even bizarre during intimate interviews on Shatner’s personally designed “S” shaped couch. Guests will include an array of fascinating figures from the pop culture universe.
“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.
Celebrity Ghost Stories (18 x 1 hour)
Season Two Premieres Saturday, July 17 at 9PM ET
BIO Channel’s #1 series continues to explore the paranormal world through the deeply personal stories of our favorite stars in season two of “Celebrity Ghost Stories.” Each episode will feature celebrities’ real life encounters with the paranormal; from deeply emotional and revealing encounters with departed loved ones to run-ins with angry spirits in haunted spaces. In each episode of “Celebrity Ghost Stories,” viewers will see several first-person celebrity narratives by respected actors, musical artists, and athletes. Cinematic recreations bring to life the personal accounts of stars who believe they have experienced the other side – and their narrations quite often reveal a side to the celebrity that has never been made public. Season two stories include: Billy Baldwin, Joan Collins, Alice Cooper, Michael Imperioli, Shirley Jones, Jermaine Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Laura Prepon, Matthew Settle, Karina Smirnoff, Michael Urie and Marissa Jaret Winokour.
“Celebrity Ghost Stories” is produced by Jarrett Creative for BIO Channel. Executive Producers for Jarrett Creative are Seth Jarrett and Julie Insogna Jarrett. Co-EP for Jarrett Creative is Summer Strauch. Executive Producers for BIO Channel are Robert Sharenow, Thomas Moody and Jordana Hochman.
I Survived… (10 x 1 hour)
Season Five Premieres Sunday, July 25 at 9PM ET
The new season will feature 10 one-hour episodes exploring first-person accounts of extraordinary true-life tales of those who were catapulted into extraordinary unforeseen life-threatening situations and found the strength and courage to endure. 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. Michael Stedman is executive in charge of production and Alan Hall is series producer for NHNZ. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Laura Fleury and Colleen Conway.
Mobsters (7 x 1 hour)
Season Three Premieres 4Q 2010
The new season of “Mobsters” features seven 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: “Mad Dog” Sullivan, Albert Anastasia, “Fat” Tony Salerno, Danny Green, Mafia Cops, Tommy “Karate” Pitera, “Gas Pipe” Casso.
“Mobsters” is produced by Tower Productions with Jonathan Towers as executive producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Tom Moody and Peter Tarshis.
Ray Charles’ America (1 x 2 hours)
Premieres 3Q 2010
To commemorate the 80th anniversary of Ray Charles’ birth, BIO presents the two-hour special “Ray Charles’ America,” an in-depth, uncensored look at a life full of turmoil and triumph, and a music career like no other. Despite growing up dirt-poor, blind and ultimately, orphaned, Ray Charles went on to achieve more than almost any musician in American history. He refused to acknowledge the racial boundaries placed on popular music and melded jazz with country, blues with orchestral music, and gospel with pop. Produced in cooperation with Charles’ Estate, the film will include more than 25 of his songs, and unprecedented access to never-before-seen photos and video. Interviews will include Bill Cosby, Quincy Jones, Jesse Jackson, Will.i.am, Slash, Stevie Wonder, and Willie Nelson, among many others.
“Ray Charles’ America” is produced by Tremolo Productions. Tony Gumina and Valerie Ervin serve as executive producers. Robert Sharenow and Andy Berg are executive producers for BIO.
Jaws: The Inside Story (1 x 2 hours)
Premieres June 16 at 9 PM ET
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. Features new interviews with Spielberg, actor Richard Dreyfuss, producer Richard Zanuck, screenwriter Carl Gottlieb and other cast and crew members from the film.
“Jaws: The Inside Story” is produced by Pangolin with Kevin Bachar serving as executive producer. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.
THE Silence of the Lambs: The Inside Story (1 x 2 hours)
Premieres 3Q 2010
“The Silence of the Lambs: The Inside Story” takes viewers deep within the labyrinth of one of cinema’s most thrilling films. With interviews from cast and crew, including stars Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, viewers will find out how a young director trained in B-movies and cheesy comedies managed to make one of the most chilling films in decades, and how a studio in the midst of collapse could turn out a film that took the box office and Oscars by storm. “Inside Story” examines how, after fighting for and being passed over for the role, Foster was able to make the transition from child star to silver screen sensation, and how an all-but-retired Hopkins was coerced back into the Hollywood scene to create one of the most indelible villains in film history. And that despite the darkness of the subject matter, Jonathan Demme and the crew managed to withstand a bone-chilling Pittsburgh winter to work at the top of their game and turn out an unforgettable film that resonates to this day.
“The Silence of the Lambs: The Inside Story” is produced by Stage 3 Productions with Kelly Ryan, Steve Cipollone and Jordan Schwartz as executive producers. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.
Halloween: The Inside Story (1 x 2 hours)
Premieres 4Q 2010
BIO goes behind-the-scenes of one of the most successful film franchises of all time in “Halloween: The Inside Story” uncovering John Carpenter’s frightfest that redefined the horror genre in the late 1970s. Shot over 21 days in 1978, for just $300k, Halloween became the most profitable independent movie ever made, earning $47 million at the box office and making a star of then unknown Jamie Lee Curtis. “Inside Story” uncovers how writer and director John Carpenter made movie magic on a shoestring budget even cutting costs by composing the theme song and how production designer created one of the most iconic horror villains in movie history by spray painting a mask of Captain Kirk. Interviews include Jamie Lee Curtis, John Carpenter and Rob Zombie.
“Halloween: The Inside Story” is produced by Stage 3 Productions with Kelly Ryan, Steve Cipollone and Jordan Schwartz as executive producers. Executive Producers for BIO are Robert Sharenow, Peter Tarshis and Tom Moody.