Discovery Networks International Creates International Production and Development Arm for TLC
Executive Producer of TLC’s Hit Series CAKE BOSS Jon Secrhist and Rose D’Or Award Winner Sarah Thornton join TLC International
(Silver Spring, Md.) Discovery Networks International (DNI) today announced the creation of a new unit charged with creating content for TLC International, DNI’s new flagship entertainment and lifestyle network targeting women 25-49.
“The international launch of TLC is a key priority for Discovery, and one of the drivers for success will be creating compelling local content and extra-ordinary characters that resonate with audiences around the world,” said Silberwasser. “While we will leverage the pipeline of rich content across TLC and Discovery’s portfolio of networks, we will focus our efforts on creating distinct programming designed specifically for TLC on an international and local level. That combination of content sources will establish a firm foundation to make TLC a true global success.”
The new production and development unit will be overseen by Luis Silberwasser, Senior Vice President and International Head of Content, DNI. Darcy Tomlin, Vice President, Programming, DNI, will run the day-to-day operations for TLC International from Discovery’s Silver Spring headquarters. Jon Sechrist, based in New York, will focus on the production and development of lifestyle programming across all international markets. Sarah Thornton has been named Head of Development and Production for TLC across Europe, Middle East and Africa, and is based in London.
“Jon’s skill and deep experience with TLC and hit series Cake Boss will be an important contribution to the success of TLC International. Sarah brings a strong track record for creating and producing compelling formats. We now have a team that is eager to work with leading creative agencies to develop the next big hit and make TLC a great lifestyle and entertainment proposition.”
About Jon Sechrist
Sechrist joins DNI from TLC, where he developed and produced the network’s breakout hit Cake Boss and new series The Next Great Baker, a competition elimination format that has Buddy searching for a the next rising talent in the baking world. Sechrist is also credited with executive producing notable specials including the 650 lb. Virgin, Conjoined Twins and Child Frozen in Time. In addition, Sechrist developed and produced BBQ Pitmasters and produced Sister Wives.
Prior to joining Discovery, Sechrist was an ABC programming executive overseeing All My Children and One Life To Live as well as being a 10-year veteran of MTV Networks where he helped launch MTV.com and was a founding creative behind the network, Logo.
About Sarah Thornton
With more than a decade of experience in the programming industry, Thornton, a specialist in establishing new formats and re-formatting existing shows, joins DNI from Pulse Films where she recently directed the penultimate episode of Pineapple Studios, which has since been shortlisted for a Rose D’Or award.
Additional career highlights include producing and reformatting numerous series for the BBC such as Don’t Get Done Get Dom, Animals at Work, Undercover Dads and Heir Hunters; two years in Indonesia for Star Network Asia where she worked as Creative Head of Production. Prior to that, Thornton established the format for Hider in the House, a BBC2 program which had four successful series and went on to win a Rose D’Or in the Best Entertainment category.
About TLC International
TLC, one of the fastest-growing female targeted channels in the United States, is a new global entertainment and lifestyle network targeting women 25-49. TLC will feature non-scripted and scripted entertainment focusing on everything from food, family, and fashion to travel, health and life events. TLC finds extra-ordinary real life characters and tells their stories in an authentic, original, compelling and meaningful manner.
In addition to the content produced by DNI’s new TLC production unit and the content already available on TLC in the United States, regional schedules will feature a mix of programming from Discovery Networks portfolio of channels including Investigation Discovery, Planet Green and Health Channel, along with original series and specials commissioned by DNI’s regional programming and production teams.
First launched internationally in Norway in March of this year, and most recently in Asia Pacific, TLC will be available in more than 75 countries in 2011, reaching more than 100 million households, making it the most widely distributed female-targeted entertainment lifestyle channel brand in pay-TV.
TLC joins Discovery Communications’ portfolio of global brands that also include Discovery Channel, available in more than 180 markets; Animal Planet, available in more than 170 markets; Discovery Science, available in more than 100 markets; ID: Investigation Discovery, available in more than 20 markets; and Discovery HD, available in more than 80 markets around the world.
In the United States, TLC reaches over 99 million homes and currently ranks as one of the top 10 networks in all key female demographic groups (Women 25-54, Women 18-49 and Women 18-34). In 2009, TLC in the United States delivered its highest ratings in five years, with an increase of 13% or more in all key female demographic groups (Women 25-54, Women 18-49 and Women 18-34). Today, TLC is currently airing 17 new and returning series that average over 1.1 million total viewers including American Chopper: Senior vs. Junior, Kate Plus 8, 19 Kids and Counting, LA Ink, Say Yes to the Dress, Say Yes to the Dress Atlanta, Toddlers & Tiaras, DC Cupcakes, Strange Sex, The Little Couple, BBQ Pitmasters, Cellblock 6: Female Lockup, Fabulous Cakes, Hoarding: Buried Alive, Police Women of Memphis and Mall Cops: Mall of America.
About Discovery Communications
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the world’s number one nonfiction media company reaching more than 1.5 billion cumulative subscribers in over 180 countries. Discovery empowers people to explore their world and satisfy their curiosity through 100-plus worldwide networks, led by Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Discovery Science and Discovery HD, as well as leading consumer and educational products and services, and a diversified portfolio of digital media services including HowStuffWorks.com. Discovery Networks International distributes 21 international brands, reaching one billion cumulative subscribers with programming available in 40 languages. For more information please visit www.discoverycommunications.com.
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