By Kevin Downey
If it’s true that syndicated shows that hit the 10-year mark tend to make it to their 20th season, then Connection III Entertainment’s weekend half-hour Made In Hollywood and its educational/informational spinoff Made In Hollywood: Teen Edition are in pretty good shape.
The shows, which are already renewed for this fall in more than 90% of U.S. television homes on stations owned by CBS Television Stations, Fox Television Stations and other groups, will kick off their 11th and 10th seasons, respectively.
“We’re very fortunate,” says Cleveland O’Neal III, founder, CEO and president of Connection III. “It wasn’t long ago that I was driving around the country, station to station, trying to launch my properties.”
The shows this season have a combined 0.8 household rating, according to Nielsen. More than 1.1 million viewers tune into an average episode.
“Teen Edition really got them in stations’ doors,” says Bill Carroll, VP and director of content strategy at Katz Television Group. “It’s what E/I is supposed to be. It has star value, but the stars are talking about the nuts and bolts of writing, storytelling and the technical side of making movies. Cleveland has found that when actors and directors are given a chance to talk to teens about their craft, it’s amazing the degree to which they’ll do that.”
Connection III, which also produces and distributes the teen-focused aspirational E/I show Live Life and Win, is continuing to expand its Made In Hollywood franchise with Made In Hollywood Now. That show focuses on movies currently in theaters, streaming, airing on demand and new to home video. Connection III is slowly rolling it out to stations.
O’Neal says the Made In Hollywood shows stand out from other syndicated entertainment newsmagazines by strictly focusing on the making of movies.
“When I initially came up with this idea, I got a lot of resistance from stations,” says O’Neal. “But then they started to notice that the other entertainment newsmagazines are about gossip. We distinguish ourselves with movie coverage and behind-the-scenes access to movie sets.”