Discovery Communications will launch a new cable channel targeted at upscale males later this year, the company announced Thursday.
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Dubbed Velocity, the new network will feature programming about sports, cars, travel and adventure. It will replace Discovery's HD Theater and will be broadcast in more than 40 million homes when it launches in late 2011.
"Velocity continues Discovery's tradition of maximizing the value of each of its cable platforms. It is going to be a game-changer," David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications said in a statement. "As the first network devoted to the upscale men's market, Velocity will be a hub for viewers within this key demographic, as well as the wealth of advertisers that target them."
Like the channel that preceded it, all of Velocity's programming will be presented in high-definition. HD Theather programs Inside West Coast Customs and Chasing Classic Cars are expected to remain on Velocity after the change.
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Elsewhere at Discovery, Oprah Winfrey's OWN renewed four of its original series and ordered six new programs.
As previously reported, Our America with Lisa Ling will return for a second season, as will In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman, Enough Already! With Peter Walsh and Oprah Presents Master Class.
As for the new series, Confronting focuses on the mediation process between a victim and his or her offender and I Owe You My Life chronicles the stories of everyday people who, despite great risk, went to heroic lengths to protect others. My Mom and Me dissects unusual mother-daughter relationships; Unfaithful: Stories of Betrayal focuses on couples struggling with infidelity; Louie Spencer Dance Project follows the famous choreographer as he takes over a New York dance center; and Sweetie Pies explores former backup dancer Robbie Montgomery's trials as she opens her second restaurant in New York.
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TLC, meanwhile is expanding their slate of programming with more babies, makeovers, weddings and... gypsies? The network has acquired the rights to the British hit, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings, a seven-part series that will debut on May 29. The network is also developing an American version of the concept, which, according to the announcement, is an "arresting portrait of the secretive, extravagant and surprising world of gypsies and travelers." The new show is tentatively titled Gypsyville.
Other new shows ordered by the network include a duo of Say Yes to the Dress spin-offs, Randy to the Rescue and Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids. TLC also ordered celebrity-fronted shows including Niecy Nash's Wedding Bash and I Kid with Brad Garett, which features the former Everybody Loves Raymond star interviewing kids about everything from religion to politics and current events.