ATLANTA, April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- GMC TV, America's leading television destination for "Uplifting Entertainment," unveiled today its most ambitious upfront original programming slate in the network's eight-year history. GMC TV, the fastest-growing entertainment network in ad-supported cable, up 80% among W25-54 (source 1), is presenting dynamic 2013-2014 opportunities to advertisers during the upfront, across a slate of 66 originals, including GMC World Premiere Movies, GMC World Premiere Series and GMC World Premiere Stage Plays. The upfront presentations are held on GMC TV's Upfront Tour Bus, which serves as the network's mobile venue for client meetings and events.
In addition, the network said it is accelerating the timetable for its recently announced name change to UP, the latest stage in the channel's evolution as America's leading television destination for "Uplifting Entertainment." The changeover will occur on June 1 instead of September 1 because of overwhelmingly enthusiastic response by advertisers, distributors and the general viewing public. The fresh, new brand initiative is designed to communicate a clear sense of the network's unique brand position, which has always been, and will continue to be, "Uplifting Entertainment."
"The response to our rebrand has been phenomenally positive," said Charley Humbard, president and CEO, GMC TV. "The beauty of UP is that it needs no explanation. It captures the essence of our brand – uplifting entertainment - and will lend itself to many interesting and fun creative executions both on-air and in print. This is a tremendously exciting milestone in the history of our network."
The network enters the 2013-14 upfront season with significant ratings momentum. In addition to being the fastest-growing entertainment network in ad-supported cable in 2012 among W25-54 (+80% growth), GMC in 2012 was the second fastest growing among A25-54 (+67%), A18-49 (+50%) and W18-49 (+62%) (source 2).
Mary Jeanne Cavanagh, executive vice president, ad sales, GMC TV, said, "We have a winning formula for success in the upfront marketplace with upsides on every front; our new name UP, which solidifies our unique brand promise has been embraced by advertisers; our ratings are at an all time high and continue to grow; our distribution is up - 10 million over a year ago. Add to that, our robust slate of originals, our best scatter market ever and the result is a strong opportunity for our advertisers. Our early discussions with advertisers indicate that they embrace GMC's platform and we anticipate a very strong 2013-14 upfront."
Brad Siegel, vice chairman, GMC TV, added, "We have the wind at our backs and are looking for even bigger things ahead in 2013-14. America is embracing us as a leader in uplifting family entertainment programming environment. As we solidify our brand promise with our new name, UP, we will continue to deliver quality programming that is uplifting, inspiring and entertaining. During this year's upfront we look forward to bringing more advertisers and marketers on board as well."
GMC's originals for 2013 include:
GMC World Premiere Movies
FINDING NORMAL (May 2013). Dr. Lisa Leland is a brilliant surgeon sentenced after a traffic accident to do community service – as a doctor – in Normal, population 332. In a town with no wi-fi, no lattes and no credit cards, Lisa begins to find herself and discovers what a meaningful life is all about. Stars Candace Cameron Bure, Lou Beatty Jr., Trevor Marshall St. John, Andrew Bongiomo and Mark Irvingsen.
THE PERFECT SUMMER (June 2013). A somewhat nerdy high school senior who spends all his time on his computer decides to learn to surf to capture the attention of a gorgeous surfer girl who moves next door.
JIMMY (June 2013). Young Jimmy Mitchell is asked to testify as a defense witness in a criminal trial when he accidentally hears a shocking confession and ultimately finds himself in a dangerous situation from which there is no escape. Based on the book by Robert Whitlow.
IN THE MEANTIME (July 2013). A GMC Faith and Family Screenplay Competition winner at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), this is the story of a woman at a crossroads in her life. Her relationship with her fiance has hit a snag and she is looking for focus. At her sister's suggestion she starts working at a local community center and joins the fight to save the center and finds real love along the way. Stars: Kali Hawk, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Terri J. Vaughn, Thomas Mikal Ford, David Mann, Tamela Mann, Demetria McKinney Rodney Perry and Musiq Soulchild. Directed and executive produced by Roger M. Bobb Screenplay by Nzinga Kadalie Kemp.
TEACHERS (August 2013). Manny Cortez is uprooting his family so that they can go to Westbrook High where his beloved late father was the football coach. No sooner does the Cortez family move into the Westbrook school zone than it is announced that Westbrook will close due to budget issues. The staff, students and parents decide to fight back.
GUESS WHO'S COMING TO CHRISTMAS (November 2013). A jaded rock star, in order to repair his tarnished image, publicly agrees to fulfill a kid's Dear Santa Christmas wish. To his dismay, he ends up agreeing to spend the holidays in small town America and performing in the local holiday Christmas concert. Stars: Drew Lachey, Mackenzie Porter.
SILVER BELLS (December 2013). Bruce Dalt is an ambitious television sportscaster who approaches the holidays as he does life - competitively. This philosophy has put a strain on his family, and when Bruce gets into a physical scuffle with a ref at his son's basketball game, the holidays take a turn for the worse. Stars: Bruce Boxleitner, Antonio Fargas, Kenton Duty, Bridgett Newton, Laura Spencer and Kevin Downes.
GMC World Premiere Series
HEARTLAND – Season 4 (June 2013 premiere; 16 new one-hour episodes). The beloved family series continues with new episodes.
FAMILY ADDITION WITH LEIGH ANNE TUOHY (Premieres June 2013; six, one-hour episodes). This series will follow the lives of families who have been fostering children and are on the verge of adopting one or more of their foster children. The show will feature families as they go through the process of adding a new family member and make over part of their homes to accommodate the newest addition to their families. Leigh Anne Tuohy is best known for being the powerhouse real life inspiration behind the blockbuster film, The Blind Side, which earned Sandra Bullock an Academy® Award for Best Actress. An advocate for the underdog, Leigh Anne's family fostered and then adopted Michael Oher and changed his life forever - or as Leigh Anne would say, Michael changed their lives forever. Leigh Anne is joined by Team Tuohy which includes Tuohy's daughter, Collins Tuohy, a noted inspirational speaker and Special Educator "Miss Sue" Mitchell (the character played by Kathy Bates in The Blind Side).
BULLOCH FAMILY RANCH (Premieres July 2013; seven, one-hour episodes). Meet Julie and Rusty Bulloch. Together, they are the proud parents of 25 kids; however, only two are biological. The rest are teens who have been dealt a difficult hand in life, from being homeless to gang life. Julie and Rusty welcomed each of them into their central Florida ranch for a LAST SECOND chance at getting on the right track.
From the producers of "Hatfield and McCoy's", "R&B Divas" and Gene Simons' "Family Jewels", this hour long GMC World Premiere Special investigative show will explore the mysterious and exciting world of unexplained events. In a time when people desperately want to believe in miracles, "Miracle Hunters" will give hope that they exist while also debunking those that don't make the cut. The "Miracle Hunters'" team will travel around the country profiling amazing and inspirational events, capturing the world of the impossible and the endlessly fascinating.
GMC World Premiere Stage Plays
WHAT WOULD YOU DO FOR LOVE (May 2013). Reggie Brooks is just an average guy working as a fitness trainer in a neighborhood gym. After being notified that he has come into a lump sum of money years after his parents perished in the tragedy of 9/11, Reggie decides that it's best to keep his new multi-millionaire status under wraps. Tired of hearing his best friend whine about meeting a good woman, Reggie's friends challenge him to go on a dating blitz in an attempt to find a wife in 30 days or less.
LOVE WILL FIND A WAY (June 2013). Reggie Brooks travels to Paris with Troy, his wife Piper and her sister Paula who starts to have feelings for Reggie. But when they return from Paris, Reggie decides to give a relationship with Lucky a try after she changed her mind about wanting to have kids. But Paula becomes suspicious when she starts finding out the truth about Lucky…is she hiding something?
Other highlights on GMC's 2013 slate include the annual Dove Awards music special (October 2013). In addition, GMC will once again be America's Christmas Channel with a robust selection of holiday-themed programming, as well as America's Easter Celebration Destination with a themed slate of Bible movies and other specially-selected holiday entertainment.
About GMC TV
GMC TV, (www.watchGMCtv.com) based in Atlanta, is America's favorite network for uplifting music and family entertainment. The network presents original and acquired movies, series, stage plays and music specials along with gMovies, the first faith-friendly streaming movie service. The GMC TV brand is reflected in "Uplift Someone," the network's successful pro-social initiative. GMC TV can be seen in more than 62 million homes on various cable systems around the country, as well as DIRECTV on channel 338, DISH Network on channel 188, and Verizon FiOS on channel 224. Follow GMC TV on Facebook and Twitter at http://facebook.com/gmctv and http://twitter.com/gmctv.
Source 1: Nielsen LSD M-Su 6a-6a 12/27/10-12/25/11 vs 12/26/11-12/30/12, W25-54 AA (000), rank % growth v YA.
Source 2: Nielsen LSD M-Su 6a-6a 12/27/10-12/25/11 vs 12/26/11-12/30/12 AA (000), rank % growth v YA among General Entertainment nets
SOURCE GMC TV