TV Upfront

E! Developing Nine Scripted Shows, But More Reality Will Arrive First

'Opening Act' Singing Competition, 'Married to Jonas' Coming Soon

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E! Entertainment is revealing its first slate of scripted projects and a focus on music programming ahead of its upfront presentation to advertisers Monday evening.

The unscripted 'Married to Jonas' follows the wedded life of Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa.
The unscripted 'Married to Jonas' follows the wedded life of Kevin Jonas and Danielle Deleasa.

The celebrity news and entertainment network, owned by NBC Universal, said it is developing nine original scripted series, including "Upstarts," a show from Kevin Spacey about the digital gold rush in 1990s Silicon Valley; "Dorothy," a modern-day spin on "The Wizard of Oz"; and "Amy Devlin Mysteries," a cop procedural.

The revamped network lineup is part of a broader rebranding effort that includes a new logo, a brand campaign and the tagline "Pop of Culture." This comes as E!'s ratings , like much of the cable sector, have come under pressure. The network is off 6% in its target demographic season-to-date, according to a UBS report citing Nielsen data.

The network has said it expects the first of its scripted series to premiere in 2013. But it will kick off other programming under the new banner on June 9 with an "American Idol"-like singing competition show from Nigel Lythgoe called "Opening Act." Each week producers will pick an unknown musical group from online and surprise the artist with the chance to open concerts for stars like Rod Stewart and Nicki Minaj.

Another unscripted series in the music space, "Married to Jonas," will follow the married life of Kevin Jonas and hairstylist Danielle Deleasa.

The network has also picked up a talk show from comedian Whitney Cummings and a reality show revolving around Clint Eastwood and his family, although the emphasis is much more on his family than on Mr. Eastwood.

E! previously announced that it has extended its relationship with the Kardashians, its best-known reality fare, for three years.

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CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, the original headline on this article erroneously said "E! Green-Lights Nine Scripted Shows." The network has nine scripted series in development but it has not yet approved them to go further.

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