We asked executives in the industry what the joys and hurdles of expanding on a popular franchise are. Here’s what they had to say.

Dan McDermottDan McDermott
President, Entertainment and AMC Studios
AMC Networks

It’s important to give existing fans some of the things they love and also some things they haven’t seen before. That’s one of the reasons we’ve set our new series in ‘The Walking Dead’ Universe in such interesting and novel locations—like Manhattan and Paris. At the same time, it’s critical that extensions of successful franchises also bring new viewers along for the ride. You need to expand the aperture of your invitation and serve both audiences.

Loren Ruch
Head of Content
HGTV

At HGTV, we often expand our most successful franchises in unique and inspiring ways. The joys come from finding ways to enhance a series by adding elements that our audiences love. For example, the success of our core show ‘Home Town’ made it a no-brainer to expand to a larger tentpole with ‘Home Town Takeover,’ which rated wonderfully for us! The hurdles come from not wanting to fall into tropes of playing it too safe when you expand a franchise, or viewers may not even notice that you’re presenting them with something new. Years ago, we brought back one of our signature series from years earlier, and viewers didn’t even know it was a new version.

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