New shows in Atlanta: “Bossip on WE,” ABC’s “Gospel of Kevin,” “WAGS Atlanta,” “Dynasty”

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 16: Jason Ritter attends the 2017 ABC Upfront on May 16, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

This was posted on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 by Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Several new TV shows are being produced in Atlanta right now, ranging from a gossip show to a “Step Up” spinoff to an ABC comedy to a yet another “Real Housewives”-style show.

Here’s a  quick overview:

“Bossip on WE-TV” WE-TV – As the publicist described it to me via email, “it’s basically a TMZ-style show from the premiere entertainment website for African Americans, Bossip, which dishes the latest breaking news, hottest gossip and up-to-the-minute exclusives in entertainment.”  It’s a six-week test run. The managing editor will talk about the latest gossip with her staff, which is very much like Harvey Levin and TMZ.

Could it work? Of course. America seems to have an endless appetite for gossip, even on TV. And many of WE-TV’s most successful reality shows target a similar audience e.g. “Braxton Family Values,” “Growing Up Hip Hop.”

“Gospel of Kevin” ABC – since re-named “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World”

Jason Ritter (John’s son, “Joan of Arcadia,” “Parenthood) stars in what appears to be a comedy about spirituality. He is a not-so-good guy who sees an asteroid land nearby. After touching said asteroid, he is tapped by a guardian angel to do good for the world. But the angel has a big project on her hands.

Could it work? It’s definitely not the usual pitch so ABC gets props for trying something different and taking a risk. But different only occasionally equals hit. Check out the extended trailer:

“Step Up: Hightower” YouTube Red

This is a spin-off of the dance movie franchise that debuted in 2006 and gave Channing Tatum an early big break (and his future wife.). Four more “Step Up” films have aired and this is the first TV series. No details on casting has been released but production has begun. (UPDATE: Three hours, I posted this, cast info came out: Ne-Yo is the star along with Naya Rivera of “Glee” fame.)

Could it work? This is the first big-budget drama YouTube Red has created since it launched as an ad-free subscription service two years ago. According to a story on theverge.com, for its first season, YouTube produced 27 films and series. This year, the company plans to produce more than 40 originals, and will reportedly commit hundreds of millions of dollars to the effort. While 1.5 billion people view YouTube videos each month, a very tiny fraction pays a subscription. Will this draw more subscribers? That’s the goal.

“WAGS Atlanta” E!

This is a spinoff set to premiere later this fall. The name stands for “Wives and Girlfriends of Sports Stars.” It’s similar to the “Real Housewives”/”Basketball Wives” concept. The original series located in Los Angeles debuted in 2015 and has averaged about 500,000 overnight viewers. That is hardly a hit but obviously good enough for E! to create “WAGS Miami” and “WAGS Atlanta.” The cast for Atlanta has not been officially revealed.

Can it work? This assumes there’s a seemingly endless supply of viewers who want to watch yet another show like this. That’s a big if.

“Ambulance” CBS

This show is actually in pre-production but is listed on the Georgia Film office site. This is going to be a one-hour alternative series that follows emergency medical workers and the 911 dispatchers as they tackle life-threatening emergencies. This idea came from the BBC. An air date has not been set. It might be a summer 2018 fill-in series or something CBS could plug in during the winter or spring.

Can it work? Scripted dramas featuring paramedics have done well, including “Third Watch” and “Chicago Fire.” This seems to be a relatively low-risk unscripted offering for CBS, but CBS does require higher ratings for survival than many other networks.

ALSO:

  • WE-TV is setting up production for another season featuring Mama June of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” fame. The first season, which aired earlier this year, focused on her weight loss. Now can she keep it off and will she be able to draw suitors?

Nathalie Kelley and Grant Show star in a reboot of “Dynasty” on the CW.

  • The CW reboot of “Dynasty” has also begun production. This is the focus on the richest of the rich and is a modern-day version of the 1980s prime-time soap. Grant Show (“Melrose Place,” “Devious Maids”) plays oil baron Blake Carrington. Nathalie Kelley (“Vampire Diaries,” “Unreal”) is his scheming wife. Elizabeth Gilles (FX’s “Sex&Drugs&Rock-n-Roll”) plays his suspicious, protective daughter. Here’s a first-look trailer:

 


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