When a young programming executive at the History channel first pitched the idea of following a group of Louisiana Cajuns who hunt alligators, "the poor guy got laughed out of the room," says the network's president, Nancy Dubuc. But instead of dropping the idea, he kept bringing it up — and kept getting laughed at.
"But by the fourth meeting, you had to pause," Dubuc says. "If somebody is as passionate as he was about something, what's the harm in letting them run with it?" That germ of an idea turned into Swamp People, an unlikely hit that ...
Craig Piligian knows a thing or two about aggressive TV shows. The producer's stable of reality series about tough guys doing rough things has included Dirty Jobs, American Chopper, Swamp Loggers and The Ultimate Fighter. Now Piligian is behind Full Metal Jousting, which gives the medieval sport a full-contact, modern-day twist. The show, which airs Sundays at 10pm on History, awards cash to the jouster (decked out in suits of steel) who survives the most collisions. Piligian took time to tell us why we should man up and watch...
Now that Amanda Knox's Italian murder conviction has been overturned, Lifetime is racing to update its TV movie, Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy. As a stroke of luck for Lifetime, the cable network had already scheduled a re-airing of the film on Tuesday, October 4.
Now Lifetime is planning to quickly add a new brief opening to the movie, an "epilogue" of sorts detailing Monday's news, as well as
"Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss knows her life sounds a bit strange. But Fleiss' three-year stint in jail, run-ins with exes like Tom Sizemore and struggles with drugs sound almost normal compared to her other addiction: Caring for more than 20 exotic macaw parrots.
Fleiss' relationship with those birds forms the basis of a new Animal Planet special, Heidi Fleiss: Prostitutes to Parrots. The one-hour program, from Craig Piligian's Pilgrim Films and Television, airs Sunday at 10 p.m. and doubles as the pilot episode to a potential series.
Fleiss, who lives in Pahrump, Nevada (where she continues to consult for brothels), was pitching another reality show concept with her brother when Piligian suggested turning the camera on her and her birds. It's an expensive hobby, one that she supports by running a laundromat and a doggie day care — as well as starring in reality shows (like this one and Celebrity Rehab).
With her macaws squawking in the background, Fleiss spoke with TV Guide Magazine about her love/hate relationship with the birds; her brutally honest take on Dr. Drew Pinsky; why she didn't care for Mike Tyson's Animal Planet show; and how she manages to stay sober.
The executive producer behind Lifetime's controversial Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial in Italy is defending the project, calling it a nonjudgmental look at the American convicted of killing her roommate in Italy.
"This is a factual drama and we feel we did a very fair and balanced telling of the story, crafting a script from court records and other public documents," executive producer Craig Piligian tells TV Guide Magazine. "At the end of the movie people will be wondering whether she really did or didn't do the things she's accused of," he says...