It’s been a rough year for Ovation — the arts network was dropped from Time Warner Cable at the start of 2013 for having too few viewers, seriously cutting back on its availability. Nevertheless, the channel announced a new slate of original programming at its upfront presentation, with plans to produce over five times the quantity of original content the network had in 2012. Many of the originals will be produced in the network’s newly launched Ovation Studios in Santa Monica.
The new series include “Cinema Confidential,” consisting of Elvis Mitchel’s LACMA interviews with film figures like Brad Pitt, Judd Apatow and George Clooney, and the network’s most high-profile get, the exclusive U.S. broadcast of the British scripted miniseries “A Young Doctor’s Notebook,” starring Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe. (It originally aired on Sky Arts in the U.K. last year. In addition to the five announced series, Ovation also a slate of unscripted shows in development. Here’s the list, descriptions courtesy of the network.
The Kuhnert Chronicles
Hosted by Harvard professor, international art expert and classical theater director Flynn Kuhnert and his sister Tara Kuhnert, this weekly series transports viewers on exciting journeys across the globe, through the annals of art history, all from Flynn Kuhnert’s very own art-filled Beverly Hills mansion. Flynn’s infectious personality and encyclopedic art knowledge permeate every story, as he connects art history with contemporary art and cultural phenomenon. And thanks to the critical, anchoring watch of his sidekick and sister, Tara, Flynn never gets too highbrow. The Kuhnert Chronicles premieres summer 2013, only on Ovation. (12 x 1hr)
The Art of …
This series looks at the many creative pursuits that may not be regarded as “art,” but are practiced by disciplined, dedicated and hungry dreamers worthy of being called “artists.” Each week, The Art of… profiles three people whose boundary-pushing work elevates their work to the level of art. Focusing on the celebrated as well as the undiscovered, this series explores the creative process behind each featured art form and uncovers how and why these artists do what they do. From tattoo and street artists, to mechanics and mixologists, this series reveals the passion that keeps these artists motivated and inspired. The series premieres this July, only on Ovation. (20 x 1hr)
Through interviews, field reports, commentary and user-generated content, Culture Pop will showcase the newest events and personalities in every creative field. From music and film, to reports on emerging artists working in genres as varied as photography, architecture and interior design, this show makes art accessible to everyone. Countdowns and top 10 lists compile the week’s must-see events and must-know-about artists, providing a cross-cultural primer for a diverse audience with multi-faceted interests and passions. The series premiere this June, only on Ovation. (26 x 1hr)
Award-winning actors, directors, and screenwriters sit down at the Bing Theatre at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) with celebrated film critic Elvis Mitchell (New York Times, LA Weekly) and offer insider insight into how creative teams were assembled, how projects found their footing, and the circumstances that kept each film from falling apart. On Cinema Confidential, Hollywood heavyweights like Brad Pitt, Judd Apatow, George Clooney and Seth Rogen explain how their projects began, the challenges they faced, the rewrites, re-shoots, personalities and pitfalls that went into the famous movies they’ve made. This series premieres this summer, only on Ovation. (11 x 1hr)
A Young Doctor’s Notebook
Produced by the BBC and premiering in the US exclusively on Ovation, this scripted series stars Jon Hamm (Mad Men, 30 Rock) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, The Woman in Black). Based on the book by Mikhail Bulgakov, A Young Doctor’s Notebook is the darkly humorous account of the experiences of a newly graduated young doctor who lands a post at a small hospital in a remote village during the Russian Revolution. The story is told through the eyes of the doctor’s older, opiate-addicted self (Hamm) as he narrates the action from his own notebooks. The series premieres this summer, only on Ovation. (4 x 1/2-hr)
Four more 2013 original programs will be announced in June.
Extreme Art – Artists who go to mind-blowing lengths to create their extreme art.
The Mentor – Successful artists in every medium pay tribute to the art teachers, vocal coaches, and dance school directors who were instrumental in their formative years.
Pickup Artists – One man’s garbage is another’s masterpiece. You won’t believe the art the country’s dumpster divers create with your throwaways.
Popstalgia – In this series passionate collectors show off their prized items and illustrate how certain objects – like posters, trading cards, and ticket stubs – connect us to emotional moments in pop culture history.
Confessions of a Gallerista – Get to know gallery owners, PR powerhouses, super critics, and the super elite who frequent the glitziest of gallery openings and events.
I Can’t Do That – The artistically challenged are matched with the experts to teach them to excel in activities they never thought they could. From ballroom dancing, to stand up comedy to sculpting a masterpiece, this is a crash course in achieving their artistic dreams.
The Nutcracker: Behind the Curtain – Young dancers from across the country compete to perform in a national production of The Nutcracker and the ultimate prize — performing on an iconic New York City stage.
Prodigies – This profile series uncovers a generation of artists destined to make their mark before they reach adulthood.