5 items from 2016
“Nope,” says Berger, who explains: Just as his 20-year-old Denver-based company was about to launch its first show, “Work in Progress,” execs learned that Food Network scheduled it at noon. “We needed a name,” he continues. “So I said, ‘We’re in the west, it’s about to air at noon, let’s call it High Noon.’ My friend designed the logo in about 20 minutes and it hasn’t changed since.”
Hitting the bullseye on the fly like that takes a rare combination of industry insight, gut instinct, and sheer luck — and High Noon Entertainment, which Berger runs with co-founders Duke Hartman (COO) and Sonny Hutchison (chief administrative officer) — has a surfeit of all three.
- Randee Dawn
High Noon Entertainment has left a distinctive mark on reality TV during its 20 years in the business. With a mission statement that promises to “discover unknown breakout characters, create entertaining formats around them and tell their stories with authenticity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor,” the company managed to find success while eschewing many of the genre’s most lowbrow tropes. Variety got the stories behind three signature series — the mouth-watering “Cake Boss,” inspiring “Fixer Upper,” and invigorating “Tough Love” — that helped establish High Noon as a true force in the world of unscripted television.
Inspiration: While competing on “Food Network Challenge” in 2007, Valastro emerged as a perfect reality star: charismatic, hyper-verbal, and funny. Plus, he really knew his way around a cake and »
- Randee Dawn
Today, “American Idol” has sung its last tune and Seacrest is a global phenomenon. But in 2016, would he have even gotten his shot at fame?
In the highly competitive era of peak TV, the Big Four are taking fewer risks on unknown talent when it comes to unscripted programming, placing all their bets on A-listers.
The reality show lineup of the 2016-17 season is a who’s-who of superstars. Arnold Schwarzenegger is taking over you-know-who’s seat on “The New Celebrity Apprentice”; Alec Baldwin is hosting “Match Game”; Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys are spinning around in “The Voice’s” red chairs; Michael Strahan is hosting “$100,000 Pyramid”; Simon Cowell returned to the States with “America’s Got Talent”; and Steve Harvey is the face of three series with two more on the way.
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
Is Drew Barrymore getting into the talk show business? According to Variety, the actress is possibly developing her own talk show with Warner Bros. and Ellen DeGeneres’ A Very Good Production banner.This wouldn't be Barrymore's first foray into television. She's previously produced on the Esquire series Knife Fight, VH1's Tough Love, and will narrate NBC's new unscripted series First Dates.Read More… »
Might Drew Barrymore soon add “talk show host” to her resume?
Barrymore is already in business with Warner Bros. TV’s Shed Media as the narrator of the upcoming NBC unscripted series “First Dates,” also from DeGeneres’ shingle. That show trains cameras on couples who are going on first dates at the same Chicago restaurant.
Sources emphasized that there’s no deal in place for Barrymore on the talk show front yet, but the conversations have been ongoing. If a deal were to come to fruition, DeGeneres would be an exec producer.
A representative for Warner Bros. declined to comment.
- Cynthia Littleton
5 items from 2016
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