During its 2019 upfront presentation Wednesday, March 27, History announced the implementation of three new experiential brand initiatives to “bring history to life for fans across America.”
Leading the initiative is HistoryTalks, a news-based speaker series focusing on key historical events that shaped the American experience. The goal is to provide in-depth discussions, the exchange of ideas, and the celebration of key historical moments with prominent experts, historians, political figures, and more.
Calling it “a huge growth opportunity,” the network is also expanding its presence in the podcast community by launching HistorySpeaks, a companion to the network’s hit series and specials. The podcast will feature behind-the-scenes anecdotes, in-depth interviewers, and exclusive original content.
Its third introduction is HistoryCon, a three-day convention hosted in Pasadena, Calif., beginning April 2020. The convention will serve as the ultimate event for history enthusiasts everywhere, allowing them to learn about, relive, and honor American history.
After 25 years of successful programming, History hopes the expansion into these experiential initiatives will help the brand develop a closer relationship with viewers.
History also announced a slate of new programming to come, including The Tenderloin, the upcoming drama directed and executive produced by Sylvester Stallone. Other additions include new nonfiction series The UnXplained, hosted and produced by William Shatner, and two new docudramas—Washington and The Food That Built America.
The record-breaking live television event Evel Live 2, will premiere July 7 during the network’s third annual car week. Returning for its second season is the unscripted mystery series In Search Of, hosted and executive produced by Zachary Quinto.
A+E Networks kept its announcements shorter this year, announcing the greenlight for its new K-9 competition series, Top Dog, which comes from the producers of its hit series Live PD.
Its documentary series, Biography, will air a four-part television special on six-time CMA Entertainer of the Year, Garth Brooks, featuring never-before-scene footage and interviews.
Lifetime unveiled a parade of new and returning series, starting with the 90-minute documentary, Smart Justice: The Jayme Closs Case. Premiering April 27 at 8 p.m. ET/PT, the special features exclusive interviews from kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart as she helps tell the story of Jayme Closs, the13-year-old who watched her parents die before being kidnapped for nearly a year.
The award-winning series Supernanny, starring 30-year parenting expert Jo Frost, is slated to return to Lifetime for 20 all-new episodes, while newcomer Hopelessly in Love joins the roster, featuring the tragic love stories of some of the world’s most famous couple like Notorious B.I.G. and Faith Evans.
Lifetime announced plans for a scripted miniseries on influential rap duo Salt-N-Peppa, showcasing how they navigated through the tough music industry and came on top as one of the most well-known female duos of all time. Continuing the music theme, the Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, and Missy Elliott-produced feature movie The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel, is also slated to hit the network in 2020.
“Bringing untold stories of phenomenal women to life has been a core tenant of Lifetime,” said Tanya Lopez, EVP of movies, limited series & original movie acquisitions, Lifetime and LMN. “We are thrilled to partner with Cheryl, Sandra, Queen Latifah, Mary, Missy and The Clark Sisters for the new projects that will showcase these iconic women in music to new audiences.”