CableFAX caught up with Amy Winter, GM and EVP of TLC, to discuss the net’s programming plans for the upcoming year and the recent controversy surrounding the reality show “All-American Muslim.”
What are the main things you look for in a show?
I look for interesting characters in unusual situations that pique your curiosity. TLC lives in the space where the remarkable collides with the relatable. There is always something uniquely compelling about our shows that gets you to the table, but once there, hopefully you’ll fall in love with the people on our air and stay for more.
From a ratings perspective, what kinds of shows—or themes within shows—have not worked for you?
People want to root for the characters they see on TLC. Often times we have seen that if we put a mean-spirited person or show on the air that our viewers just cannot connect with them.
Recently the TLC show “All-American Muslim” has been in the news. Lowe’s Home Improvement pulled advertising from the show after a conservative group complained and Kayak.com has pulled ads as well. But others, such as Russell Simmons, have expressed support. How has this affected business?
“All-American Muslim” has sparked great discussion and reactions both against and in support of the series. We stand behind the series and we have strong advertiser support.
Why do you think it’s the right time to air a show that chronicles the lives of a Muslim family? Do you intend to tackle any other religion-themed reality shows?
TLC has a track record of going into communities that people know very little about and opening them up for our viewers to experience.
What are your goals for the New Year? What’s up next for TLC?
We are excited for some of the new series entering in early first quarter like “Hook, Line & Sisters” or “Extreme Couponing All-Stars.” Also some hit series return like “NY Ink” as well as “Hoarding: Buried Alive.” We plan to continue to dominate in all things wedding. In addition, we are looking forward to continue to explore subcultures including the exciting debut of our American adaption of the hit series “My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.” It should be a great year filled with some exciting new content.