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FitTV Exercises Right to Broaden Programming

4/04/2005 3:55 AM Eastern

FitTV will continue to expand its lineup beyond exercise with more than a half-dozen new series this upcoming season, ranging from a reality program called The Gym to a show hosted by Gabrielle Reece.

The six to eight new shows FitTV will serve up include Insider Training, which is hosted by Reece and will launch in September; and The Diet Doctor, which bows in June and features Dr. Melina Jampolis. The network, part of the Discovery Networks U.S. staple, will also screen some specials with actress and fitness writer Marilu Henner.

“Looking at 2005 through the upfront, where I put my energy for FitTV was really on broadening the network,” senior VP and general manager Carole Tomko said. “The Gym is going to be our first reality series, but you’re going to see this year — as well as through ’06 — nutrition, lifestyle, adventure, motivation, self-help.”

FitTV also disclosed it will forge forward without fitness impresario Jake Steinfeld, who was a partner in the network for its relaunch just over a year ago. In January 2004, Discovery relaunched The Health Network, which it acquired for $255 million in cash and equity back from News Corp. in 2001, as FitTV. Fox had formed THN by merging a fitness net Steinfeld founded — originally called FitTV, and later owned by Pat Robertson’s company — with another channel, America’s Health Network.

From relaunch to this June, FitTV will have 16 new series, Tomko said.

September