OWN ANNOUNCES TWO NEW SERIES FROM PROLIFIC PRODUCER WILL PACKER
Multi-Episode Straight-to-Series Orders Include Scripted Drama "Ambitions" and Unscripted Dating Show "Ready to Love"
Los Angeles - OWN announced today two new series from prolific hit-maker Will Packer ("Girls Trip," "Straight Outta Compton," "Ride Along," "Roots") and his Will Packer Media banner: the soapy new drama series "Ambitions" from global content leader Lionsgate and the unscripted dating series "Ready to Love." Packer will serve as executive producer for both series. The new shows mark the first television series to be created under Packer's first-look deal with the network.
The announcement comes as OWN's momentum and diversified programming slate continues to grow. The network recently delivered its highest rated first quarter in four years in the network's key W25-54 demo with year-over-year gains of +6% in W25-54, +15% in African American women and +5% in total viewers. In addition, year-to-date OWN is the #1 cable network for African American women in primetime.
"Will is a creative powerhouse who knows what audiences want," said Erik Logan, president of OWN. "He has an insightful approach to relationships and a keen eye for great storytelling that resonates with viewers across the board. We can't wait to bring these two new series to our viewers."
"Partnering with OWN to bring 'Ambitions' and 'Ready to Love' to their fast-growing lineup of critically acclaimed series is a win-win scenario," said Will Packer, CEO and founder of Will Packer Media. "OWN has been on an incredible streak with its recent slate, and we're looking forward to extending the network's primetime success with these new shows created specifically with the OWN audience in mind."
"Ambitions" (working title) is a multigenerational family saga centered around one woman who, having recently relocated and intent on revitalizing her marriage, finds herself going head to head with some of the most powerful and deceitful players in the city. "Ambitions" will begin production later this year and will debut on OWN in 2019. The new series will be produced for OWN by Will Packer Media in association with Lionsgate/Debmar-Mercury. Will Packer is executive producer. Will Packer Media's Sheila Ducksworth also serves as executive producer and writer Jamey Giddens serves as co-executive producer.
"Ready to Love" (working title), which begins production in Atlanta this spring, will join OWN's popular Saturday night unscripted programming lineup later this year. The dating series will focus on successful men and women of all shapes, sizes and shades, each of whom is looking for lasting love. A unique twist on a typical dating show, "Ready to Love" will specifically bring the perspective of men to the forefront. It will present a unique opportunity to see what men say about dating, when women aren't around. "Ready to Love" will be produced by Will Packer Media and Lighthearted Entertainment. Will Packer is executive producer. Will Packer Media's Kelly Smith and Lighthearted's Rob LaPlante and Jeff Spangler will also executive produce.
The two new series join OWN's primetime programming slate including the popular dramas "Queen Sugar," "Greenleaf," "The Haves and the Have Nots," and "If Loving You is Wrong" - four of the top eight original scripted series on ad-supported cable in 2017 for women 25-54; the hit sitcom "The Paynes," the upcoming dramedy "Love Is__" premiering this summer, and the successful Saturday night unscripted series "Iyanla: Fix My Life," "The Book of John Gray," "Welcome to Sweetie Pie's" and "Black Love." In addition, the network's new drama series from Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney ("Moonlight") will go into production this summer.
About Will Packer Media
Led by Hollywood producer Will Packer, Will Packer Media is a first-of-its-kind production and branded content company focused on the New American Mainstream audience, with an urban millennial core. In partnership with Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures, the company produces episodic scripted and unscripted series across television and digital platforms, compelling content for brand clients, and short-form digital content for millennial audiences. Will Packer's films have earned more than $1 billion, with nine opening at number one at the box office.
About Lighthearted Entertainment
For over 25 years independently owned Lighthearted Entertainment has been prolific in unscripted entertainment, specializing in unique and loud formats that break through the noise. Recent successes include multi-season relationship hits "Are You the One?" on MTV and "Dating Naked" on VH1.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today's most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime, anywhere on WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own.