This is an expanded version of a story that first appeared in the April 19-26 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
WE tv has ordered three new unscripted shows as it expands its original programming to three nights a week.
The AMC Networks-owned cable network has ordered to series The Lylas, centering on Grammy winner Bruno Mars' four musical sisters, matchmaking entry Pregnant & Dating and docusoap The Ruckers: Southern Royals.
WE tv ranks No. 1 among black women ages 18-49 and 25-54 on Thursdays with Braxton Family Values, L.A. Hair, Tamar & Vince and Mary Mary. On Saturdays, the fifth season of My Fair Wedding: Unveiled was up 21 percent after relocating there from Sundays; and Joan & Melissa was up nearly double among women 25-54 in its recent third-season bow after moving from Tuesday.
The Lylas, which stars sisters Tiara, Tahiti and Presley as they move from their home in Hawaii to join big sister Jaime in Los Angeles as they work to record their first album together, will air Friday nights beginning in the fall. The series, which consists of eight hourlong episodes, hails from Asylum Entertainment (The Kennedys), Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, David Garner, Ben Ricciardi, Glenn Carrano, Lauren Gellert and Suzanne Murch.
Pregnant & Dating will join WE tv's Saturday lineup in the summer and focus on five pregnant women as they continue to search for Mr. Right. The eight-episode hourlong series is produced by GRB Entertainment (Intervention) with Gary R. Benz, Michael Branton, Tracy Mazuer, Gellert and Annabelle McDonald on board as executive producers.
The Ruckers: Southern Royals follows three modern African American sisters -- Ruby, Ellen and Ione -- who are the heirs to one of the oldest and most prominent Southern families in the Carolinas. The Kardashian-like entry will follow the trio as they entertain celebrity friends and explore their personal problems, including finances and divorce. The six-episode hourlong series will join the schedule on Thursdays in the fall and is produced by Bunim/Murray Productions (Keeping Up With the Kardashians) with Jonathan Murray, Gil Goldschein, Steven Greener, Datari Turner, Gordon Bijelnoic, Jeff Jenkins, Melissa Bidwell, Gellert and McDonald exec producing.
"This new scheduling strategy, coupled with some amazing programming, presents a clear opportunity for WE tv to grow its audience and for our advertising partners to reach captivated and engaged viewers," WE tv president and GM Kim Martin said.
The three series join Bridezillas spinoff Marriage Bootcamp and the rebooted David Tutera Unveiled, among others, at the network.