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WE Ramps Up Reality

3/21/2009 2:00 AM Eastern

Armed with a new tagline and strong 2008 ratings performances, WE TV will launch seven new reality series in 2009 targeted to its young, female core audience.

As part of its upfront pitch to advertisers, WE TV last week said its upcoming schedule will offer more than 50% original content, bolstered by fare encompassing three branded genres: “WE Go Bridal,” to showcase its wedding shows like Bridezillas; “WE Reveal,” featuring life stories of “intriguing” women; and “WE Transform, “ offering real-life stories of personal change.

Under the new tagline, “Simply Fascinating,” WE TV hopes to build upon its 2008 ratings performance, which saw record primetime viewership growth among the network's core female 18-to-49 demo, (104,000 viewers, up 39% compared to 2007), as well as women 25 to 54 (102,000, up 34%). Much of that growth was led by shows such as Bridezillas, the network's signature bridal-tinged show, and freshman series The Locator, the most-watched series in network history.

“In the past year, we have seen significant growth among all key demos, which has made WE TV very attractive to the advertising community,” WE TV president and general manager Kim Martin said in a statement. “When selecting new programming that we feel will resonate with our viewers, the principles of WE Go Bridal, WE Reveal and WE Transform are always foremost in our minds. Holding fast to this approach has led to powerful and captivating new series that connect with our target audience and differentiates WE TV in the television landscape. Maintaining this strategy is important to our long-term success and brand-building.”

Along with returning series such as The Locator, Bridezillas and Secret Lives of Women, the new shows scheduled to debut on WE TV in 2009-10 season include Jilted, a reality series in which a wanna-be bride seeks answers as she pops the question to her boyfriend; Raising Sextuplets, which follows the challenges of raising a new family of six children; Most Popular, a new game show featuring U.K. entertainer Graham Norton; and Platinum Babies, which follows the lives of pampered babies and their upscale parents.

Also slated are diet series I Want to Save Your Life, adoption show Adoption Diaries and the fashion-based You're Wearing That.

In developing its programming slate, WE TV pointed to an update of last year's network-commissioned female psychographic research study that identified WE's target audience — approximately 20 million women — as “Uber I Do-er's:” optimistic, resilient, trend-smart, key decision makers in the home and thoughtful, discerning spenders despite today's tough economic environment.

“Clients understand who our audience is more than ever before — this helped us to secure over 22 new upfront advertisers last year,” executive vice president of WE TV national advertising sales Scott Collins said. “With the Uber I Do-er, we have once again identified a new segment of the women's marketplace that is not afraid to spend money, and that difference will continue to make WE TV a must-buy women's network for advertisers.”

September