Here’s a look at some of the hottest content on Cable TV.
(Listed by network in alphabetical order.)
How are you marketing it successfully to subscribers?
Here are a few thoughts: How about hosting a trivia sweepstakes using social media? Or building a microsite for fans to share thoughts on the latest episodes and receive exclusive behind the scenes content as they collect badges for engagement? Maybe hold a series of live webinars with cast members or a memorabilia tour?
At SWIRE, we’ve got tons of ideas. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call us. We’ll help you generate a real buzz.
Synopsis: A&E Network introduces the Robertsons, a Louisiana bayou family living the American dream as they operate a thriving business while staying true to their family values and lifestyle. Ask anyone in Louisiana and they’ll tell you that the bayou state’s favorite first family doesn’t live in the governor’s mansion but in the backwoods, where the Robertsons’ rags-to-riches story is still unfolding. A homegrown mom-and-pop operation, Duck Commander has become a sporting empire by fabricating top-of-the-line duck calls and decoys out of salvaged swamp wood. This newly minted multimillionaire family is kept in line by business-savvy Willie, who runs Duck Commander with the help of his brother Jase, their respective wives Korie and Missy, patriarch and founder of the company, Phil, and uncle Si. Together they run a booming business that employs half their neighborhood, but at the end of the day, you can find the whole family around matriarch Miss Kay’s dinner table. Each episode brings a new set of challenges, met with a special brand of Southern know-how and a down-home sense of humor.
Synopsis: HOARDERS premieres its sixth season with the series’ most dramatic stories and fascinating looks into the world of extreme hoarding; a mental disorder marked by an obsessive need to collect things, even if the items are worthless, hazardous or unsanitary. Whether facing eviction, the loss of their children, or divorce, all are desperately in need of help as they embark on the biggest emotional transformations of their lives. Hoarders, which was nominated for a 2011 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Reality Program, is produced for A&E by Screaming Flea Productions. Executive producers are Matt Chan, Dave Severson, and Mike Kelly. Co-executive producer is George Butts. Executive producers for A&E are David McKillop, Elaine Frontain Bryant and Jessica Morgan.
Synopsis: The A&E original real life series STORAGE WARS follows four professional buyers and their teams as they scour repossessed storage units in search of hidden treasure. Part gamblers, part detectives, these seasoned veterans have found everything from coffins and Picasso paintings, to the world’s most valuable comic book collection – paying as little ten dollars per unit for a lot of items valued in the millions.
Pretty Little Liars
Synopsis: Pretty Little Liars is an ABC Family original series about five best friends and their life in a seemingly idyllic community. Until the night Alison goes missing. And then Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily start to receive messages from the anonymous “A” who knows all of their secrets. Suddenly, their picture-perfect world begins to unravel as lies and betrayal threaten everything they hold dear. . . including their lives. Based on the popular book series, Pretty Little Liars returns Tuesday, January 8 at 8/7c on ABC Family.
Melissa & Joey
Synopsis: Melissa Joan Hart portrays Mel, the grown-up former wild child of a political family who is now a local politician herself. When her sister ends up in prison and brother-in-law flees after a scandal hits, Mel must take responsibility for her teenaged niece Lennox and adolescent nephew Ryder. Spread too thin to manage by herself, help comes in the unlikely form of Joe (Lawrence) who, desperate for a job, moves in and becomes the family’s “manny.”
Synopsis: Based on one of the most successful and popular comic books of all time, written by Robert Kirkman, AMC’s The Walking Dead captures the ongoing human drama following a zombie apocalypse. The series follows a group of survivors, led by police officer Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers, Strike Back), who are traveling in search of a safe and secure home. However, instead of the zombies, it is the living who remain that truly become the walking dead. Jon Bernthal (The Pacific, The Ghost Writer) plays Shane Walsh, Rick’s sheriff’s department partner before the apocalypse, and Sarah Wayne Callies (Prison Break), is Rick’s wife, Lori Grimes. Additional cast include: Laurie Holden, Steven Yeun, Norman Reedus, Jeffrey DeMunn, Chandler Riggs, Iron E. Singleton and Melissa McBride. Guest stars include: Lauren Cohan, Scott Wilson and Pruitt Taylor Vince.
Synopsis: Breaking Bad follows protagonist Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a chemistry teacher who lives in New Mexico with his wife (Anna Gunn) and teenage son (RJ Mitte) who has cerebral palsy. White is diagnosed with Stage III cancer and given a prognosis of two years left to live. With a new sense of fearlessness based on his medical prognosis, and a desire to secure his family’s financial security, White chooses to enter a dangerous world of drugs and crime and ascends to power in this world. The series explores how a fatal diagnosis such as White’s releases a typical man from the daily concerns and constraints of normal society and follows his transformation from mild family man to a kingpin of the drug trade.
Synopsis: The series revolves around the conflicted world of Don Draper (Hamm), the biggest ad man (and ladies man) in the business, and his colleagues at the Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce Advertising Agency. As Don makes the plays in the boardroom and the bedroom, he struggles to stay a step ahead of the rapidly changing times and the young executives nipping at his heels. The series also depicts authentically the roles of men and women in this era while exploring the true human nature beneath the guise of 1960s traditional family values.
The Daily Show
Synopsis: One anchor, several correspondents, zero credibility. If you’re tired of the stodginess of the evening newscasts and you can’t bear to sit through the spinmeisters and shills on the 24-hour cable news network, don’t miss The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the nightly half-hour series unburdened by objectivity, journalistic integrity or even accuracy. The Emmy and Peabody Award-winning Daily Show takes a reality-based look at news, trends, pop culture, current events, politics, sports and entertainment with an alternative point of view. In each show, anchorman Jon Stewart and a team of correspondents, including Aasif Mandvi, John Oliver, Wyatt Cenac, Jason Jones and Samantha Bee, comment on the day’s stories, employing actual news footage, taped field pieces, in-studio guests and on-the-spot coverage of important news events. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — it’s even better than being informed.
Synopsis: South Park is an American animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language and dark, surreal humor that lampoons a wide range of topics. The ongoing narrative revolves around four boys—Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick—and their bizarre adventures in and around the titular Colorado town.
Synopsis: In the face of an economic meltdown, six men will risk everything to strike it rich mining for gold in the wilds of Alaska. Todd Hoffman of Sandy, Oregon, along with his father, are leading a group of greenhorn miners in search of the American dream and a new frontier. Gold fever is back, and the rush is on, but they have just five months to set up a gold mine and strike it rich before winter closes them down. While leasing a gold claim in Alaska, Todd and company must ward off bears, build homes for their families, and keep the operation running as they take fate into their own hands with a make or break venture that will change their lives forever.
Bering Sea Gold
Synopsis: Bering Sea Gold (also known as Gold Divers) is a reality television series set in Nome, Alaska that airs on Discovery Channel, with reruns also airing on TLC. It is from the creators of the Deadliest Catch reality TV show.
Synopsis: Discovery Channel’s all-new series MOONSHINERS tells the story of those who brew their shine – often in the woods near their homes using camouflaged equipment – and the local authorities who try to keep them honest. Viewers will witness practices rarely, if ever, seen on television including the sacred rite of passage for a moonshiner – firing up the still for the first time. They will also meet legends, including notorious moonshiner Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton. Deep in Appalachia, where many shiners live, there are some areas where more sugar is sold than local residents could consume on their own. The main ingredients in moonshine “mash” are water, sugar, corn and yeast. It’s also no accident moonshine season is from June to October – the height of the corn harvest and the peak of foliage to hide the illegal operations.
Synopsis: BBC’s hit motoring show is more than just a show to review new cars. Top Gear is essential viewing. Not just for petrol heads, it also has a huge following amongst people with little or no interest in cars – both male and female. This is due to the show’s irreverent approach to motoring, the humour and the priceless chemistry between the show’s presenters. A global audience of 350 million can’t be wrong.
Synopsis: The show follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they travel primarily around the greater Midwestern United States in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, buying antiques and collectibles (“picking”). They work with Danielle Colby-Cushman, who runs the office of their business, Antique Archeology, from their home base in Le Claire, Iowa and later at their newer location in Nashville, Tennessee. Mike and Frank go on the road, not only following up leads Danielle has generated, but also “freestyling”, that is, stopping at places that look like they might hold things worth buying.
Synopsis: From the network that brought you the hit scripted miniseries Hatfields & McCoys comes the extraordinarily complex and violent world of Vikings, a new scripted series on HISTORY. Filled with conflict, warfare, and bloodshed, this new drama portrays the world of these Dark Age raiders, traders, explorers through the eyes of Viking society.
Wizards of Waverly Place
Synopsis: Alex and Justin are sent back to level one in the wizard competition after “exposing” wizardry in “Alex Tells the World”, leaving Max as the most expected to become the family wizard. In “Alex Gives Up”, Alex quits the competition, but eventually decides to stay in the competition in “Journey to the Center of Mason” to be with Mason. Before then, Harper tries to get Alex to enjoy life without wizardry. Meanwhile, Justin tries to tutor a class of delinquent wizards.
Good Luck Charlie
Synopsis: The series follows two teenagers, Teddy (Bridgit Mendler) and PJ Duncan (Jason Dolley) and their 10-year-old brother, Gabe (Bradley Steven Perry), whose parents enlist their help when they return to work after the birth of their fourth child, Charlotte (nicknamed “Charlie”). With their parents juggling full time careers, they pitch in, getting very familiar with baby formula, burps, clothes, and babysitting while navigating typical teenage life. In each episode, Teddy creates a personalized video diary for Charlie. Each video will chronicle Teddy’s daily adventures and mishaps for Charlie to use as advice when her big sister is no longer living at home.
Synopsis: A.N.T. Farm is a Disney Channel sitcom which premiered on May 6, 2011 as a special preview and continued as a regular series on June 17, 2011. The pilot episode, “transplANTed” aired after the series finale of The Suite Life on Deck. The series was created by Dan Signer, a former writer and co-executive producer of The Suite Life on Deck and creator of the Disney XD series Mr. Young.
Phineas and Ferb
Synopsis: An animated comedy about two stepbrothers who find inventive things to do on each day of their summer vacation such as building a roller coaster out of materials you would find in your everyday home like Popsicle sticks, indoor plumbing, etc. Unbeknownst to them, their pet platypus, Perry, leads a double life as a secret agent.
Synopsis: SportsCenter is a daily sports news television show, and the flagship program of American cable network ESPN since the network launched on September 6, 1979. Originally broadcast only daily, SportsCenter is now shown up to twelve times a day, replaying the day’s scores and highlights from major sporting events, along with commentary, previews and feature stories.
Around the Horn
Synopsis: Welcome to “the show that scores the argument.” Around the Horn features host Tony Reali and four reporters from across the country debate the hottest issues of the day with points awarded for good arguments. In this sport of competitive banter, the winner gets 30 uninterrupted seconds to discuss the topic of their choice. Tony Reali has hosted since February 2004, after original moderator Max Kellerman left the program.
Synopsis: Baseball Tonight airs nightly throughout the baseball season, giving game highlights, expert analysis, and commentary on the day’s events in Major League Baseball. Featured segments include Out of the Box, Web Gems, and Touch ‘Em All. Presented in HDTV on ESPNHD.
Iron Chef America
Synopsis: The Series is an American cooking show based on Fuji Television’s Iron Chef, and is the second American adaptation of the series, following the failed Iron Chef USA. The show is produced by Food Network, which also carried a dubbed version of the original Iron Chef. Like the original Japanese program, the program is a culinary game show. In each episode, a new challenger chef competes against one of the resident “Iron Chefs” in a one-hour cooking competition based on a secret ingredient or ingredients, and sometimes theme.
Synopsis: Each week on Cupcake Wars, four of the country’s top cupcake bakers face off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains. The sweet prize: $10,000 and the opportunity to showcase their cupcakes at the winning gig. Whether a special Ace of Cakes anniversary celebration, a star-studded magazine party or an A-list celebrity golf tournament, these Cupcakes Wars really heat up. Candace Nelson (owner of Sprinkles Cupcakes) and Florian Bellanger (chef and co-owner of online macaroon company MadMac) serve as permanent judges with a third rotating judge each week, and Justin Willman hosts.
Worst Cooks in America
Synopsis: Follow “bad” home cooks as they overcoming a series of high-pressure culinary challenges to help triumph over their inability to cook. Lead by top Food Network chefs the two who make it to the end will have to prepare a three-course, restaurant-quality meal for a panel of food critics who think they are tasting dishes prepared by top-chefs.
Synopsis: SpongeBob SquarePants (often referred to simply as SpongeBob) is an American animated television series, created by animator Stephen Hillenburg. Much of the series centers on the exploits and adventures of the title character and his various friends in the underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series’ popularity has prompted the release of a media franchise, contributing to its position as Nickelodeon’s highest rated show, the most distributed property of MTV Networks, and among Nicktoons’ most watched shows.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Synopsis: From their home in the storm sewers of Manhattan, four Ninjitsu-trained turtles, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello and their sensei, Master Splinter, battle evil.
Fairly Odd Parents
Synopsis: Timmy Turner is a 10-year-old boy who wishes for a perfect life. Unfortunately, he has parents who work full time and often neglect him in favor of their own desires, and while they are out, he has an evil babysitter, Icky-with-a-V, who revels in tormenting him. By his side are his constant companions, his fairy godparents Cosmo (the idiot) and Wanda (the perfect straight-woman). Hilarity ensues as Timmy wishes himself into–and out of–all sorts of magical situations!
The Big Bang Theory
Synopsis: Created by writer/producers Chuck Lorre (of Two and a Half Men) and Bill Prady (of Gilmore Girls) comes The Big Bang Theory, a sitcom that shows what happens when hyperintelligent roommates/physicists Sheldon and Leonard meet Penny, a beautiful woman moving in next door–and realize they know next to nothing about life outside of the lab. Rounding out the crew are the smarmy Wolowitz, who thinks he’s as sexy as he is brainy, and Koothrappali, who suffers from an inability to speak in the presence of a woman. The show distinguishes itself by being unafraid to toss scientific references and technobabble into an otherwise standard sitcom, even employing a physicist to keep things accurate. In doing so, it allows Sheldon and Leonard to do for science what Frasier’s Crane brothers did for fine dining, art, and opera.
Synopsis: The Griffin household includes two teenagers, a cynical dog who is smarter than everyone else, and an evil baby who makes numerous attempts to eradicate his mother. Heading up this eclectic household is Peter Griffin. Peter does his best to do what’s right for the family, but along the way, he makes mistakes that are the stuff of legends. The Griffin household includes two parents Peter and Lois, two teenagers Chris and Megan, a dog who is smarter than everyone else in the house Brian, and a mutant baby Stewie who makes numerous attempts to eradicate his parents and siblings.
Men at Work
Synopsis: Men at Work follows the misadventures of four buddies who work together at a magazine. Daniel Masterson plays the recently dumped Milo, whose friends are determined to help him get back in the game. James Lesure is Gibbs, a photographer and successful ladies man. Michael Cassidy plays Tyler, a features writer who brings a dose of style and sophistication to the group. Adam And Busch is Neal, a somewhat nebbish reporter and the only one in the group with a steady girlfriend. Together, the four serve as each other’s wingmen as they help each other navigate work, friendship and women.
Synopsis: Cake Boss is an American reality television series, airing on the cable television network TLC. The series is set at Carlo’s Bake Shop in Hoboken, New Jersey and stars Buddy Valastro, the shop’s owner, his retired mother, four older sisters, and three brothers-in-law in their everyday life of running a bakery store.
Honey Boo Boo
Synopsis: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is a reality television program on TLC that features seven-year-old child beauty pageant participant Alana “Honey Boo Boo” Thompson, along with her mother June Shannon, father Mike Thompson, and three older sisters. The show is mostly filmed in and around the family’s hometown in rural McIntyre, Georgia, United States.
Say Yes to the Dress
Synopsis: Say Yes to the Dress is a TLC reality series which follows events at Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan. The series shows the progress of individual sales associates, managers, and fitters at the store, along with profiling brides as they search for the perfect wedding dress. Common themes include: overwhelming advice of friends and family, the ability of the “perfect dress” to help a bride overcome personal difficulty, struggle with weight and body image concerns, and the challenge of staying in budget, especially in the case of dresses by Kleinfeld’s exclusive designer, Pnina Tornai (one of the few designers ever mentioned by name in the show). Dresses sold on the show range from $1,300 to $40,000.
Rizzoli & Isles
Synopsis: RIZZOLI & ISLES follows Boston detective Jane Rizzoli (Harmon) and medical examiner Maura Isles (Sasha Alexander), complete opposites and good friends who solve crimes and bust some of Boston’s most notorious criminals. Growing up at opposite ends of the economic spectrum, the two remain strikingly different from one another in many ways. Jane, the only female detective in Boston’s homicide division, is a tough and gutsy cop who doesn’t let her guard down (except with Maura), dodges her overprotective mother and is better at basketball than her brother. Maura, meanwhile, is usually more comfortable among the dead than the living. She is always impeccably dressed in designer duds with a steady, sometimes icy temperament. And she is working on curbing her tendency to diagnose the people she meets – including her first dates. Jane and Maura often find themselves working together as both use their brilliant minds and expertise to figure out the “who done it” as well as the “how done it” of Boston’s most complex cases.
Synopsis: Over the past six years, Kyra Sedgwick’s Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson has put some of Los Angeles’ most brutal killers behind bars. With her keen investigative instincts and brilliant interrogation techniques, Brenda often closes her cases by eliciting a confession or cornering a suspect through sometimes-questionable methods. Now, Brenda’s tactics are coming under the scrutiny of the L.A.P.D.’s new Chief of Police, who is on the verge of announcing an extensive reorganization that could spell the end of Major Crimes. The situation also has the potential of fracturing the family-like dynamic within the squad.
Synopsis: The Mentalist stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned.
Law & Order SVU
Synopsis: This hard-hitting and emotional series from NBC’s “Law & Order” brand chronicles the life and crimes of the Special Victims Unit of the New York Police Department, the elite squad of detectives who investigate sexually based crimes. Created by Emmy Award-winning producer Dick Wolf, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is now entering its tenth season. The program has received numerous citations from community-based organizations for the social issues it tackles, and the cast members are frequently recognized for the work they do off-screen to promote personal health and safety and other volunteer efforts and initiatives.
Synopsis: Suits is a USA Network television drama series created by Aaron Korsh, starring Patrick J. Adams as Michael “Mike” Ross and Gabriel Macht as Harvey Specter. The series, set at the fictional law firm Pearson/Hardman in New York City, follows Ross after he stumbles into a job interview with Specter, who is searching for an associate. Ross is undoubtedly the best candidate for the position, a position he obtains without having a law degree.
Synopsis: NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) is more than just an action drama. With liberal doses of humor, it’s a show that focuses on the sometimes complex and always amusing dynamics of a team forced to work together in high-stress situations. From murder and espionage to terrorism and stolen submarines, these special agents travel the globe to investigate all crimes with Navy or Marine Corps ties.
Synopsis: The Superstars and Divas of WWE invade your living room every Monday night as part of the longest-running episodic television program on cable TV. WWE Monday Night Raw airs LIVE at 8/7 CT on USA Network.
Synopsis: Originally from the minds of the Bravo Network, supermodel Heidi Klum, and Elle Magazine comes Project Runway (a spinoff of the Emmy-nominated series Project Greenlight), an all-new behind-the-scene documentary series and competition set in the other most glamorous business in the world: the fashion industry. For the ninth season, cameras will roll for fourteen episodes as up-and-coming designers compete in weekly challenges and are given all the resources of a top designer to prepare a competitive runway show for the next New York Fall Fashion Week. Supermodel Heidi Klum co-developed the series and appears as one of the celebrity judges. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz of Project Greenlight serve as executive producers.
Synopsis: Set in Pittsburgh’s renowned Abby Lee Dance Company, owned and operated by notoriously demanding and passionate instructor Abby Lee Miller, the series follows children’s early steps on the road to stardom, and their doting mothers who are there for every rehearsal, performance and bow…all under the discerning eye of Miller. Seeing the highs and lows surrounding competition season delivers an intriguing and dramatic look at the cast’s frantic pursuit of the ultimate National Dance title.