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CNBC Pulls Back Curtain On ‘CNBC Prime’

At the Television Critics Association Winter press tour in Pasadena, CNBC pulled back the curtain on its primetime unscripted programming block, dubbed CNBC Prime, and announced the pickup of two new shows. CNBC Prime will debut Tuesday, March 5 with previously announced pickups “Treasure Detectives” and “The Car Chasers.”

The two new shows are “The Big Fix,” which follows an expert in business turnarounds as he helps struggling businesses, and “Family Business Project” (working title) a competition show giving small, family-owned businesses the chance to win big money.

During the announcement, CNBC clarified what it was trying to do in primetime in a way it hasn’t done before. The closest analogy would be that of Nickelodeon and Nick at Nite. During the day, Nickelodeon is a network for kids, but in the evening, it becomes “Nick at Nite,” a network for baby boomers with programming designed to appeal to their sensibilities.

Here is how CNBC described it:

By day, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news providing real time market coverage and financial information. The inherent conflict of buy and sell and fear and greed that plays out on the air every day moves to the evening with colorful characters involved in gripping, emotional storylines that live in a world of ambition, achievement, affluence and consequences. By night, CNBC Prime is an entertainment network with a programming slate that is an extension of CNBC’s distinct brand.

The full announcement:

CNBC EXPANDS PROGRAMMING SLATE GREENLIGHTING TWO ADDITIONAL UNSCRIPTED SERIES ON CNBC PRIME

PASADENA, CA. — January 7, 2013 — CNBC today unveiled the network’s primetime rebrand, CNBC Prime, which will debut March 5. The rebrand includes a new look, a new attitude, a new reality and a new logo that embodies the shift in primetime programming. By day, CNBC is the recognized world leader in business news providing real time market coverage and financial information. The inherent conflict of buy and sell and fear and greed that plays out on the air every day moves to the evening with colorful characters involved in gripping, emotional storylines that live in a world of ambition, achievement, affluence and consequences. By night, CNBC Prime is an entertainment network with a programming slate that is an extension of CNBC’s distinct brand.

“It’s an exciting time at CNBC,” said Hoffman. “We are capitalizing on the success of our network. We’re no longer about bulls and bears when we are off the clock. The theme of money threads through everything we do, but the programming equity in primetime lies in the stories and characters themselves.”

Building on the momentum of CNBC Prime, the network also announced today it has greenlit two additional series. FAMILY BUSINESS PROJECT (working title) from Embassy Row and executive produced by Michael Davies, gives owners of small family businesses a chance at a game-changing big money prize. Family businesses may be the backbone of our economy and given these tough times, many of them are struggling to stay afloat. Each week, “Family Business Project” will feature three family businesses that are desperate for cash. They will compete in hopes of winning a substantial dollar prize that may save their businesses from shutting its doors. While the families will make their case to a panel of judges, the real power lies in the hands of the audience who will ultimately make the call and decide which family business is most deserving of the investment.

THE BIG FIX (working title), from THE Company and executive produced by Justin W. Hochberg and Charlie Ebersol, follows Marcus Lemonis, self-made master of business turnarounds with a portfolio of over 100 successful companies. Marcus is doing something no one has ever done before. He’s putting over $2 million of his own money where his big mouth is in order to turn around failing companies all across America. Marcus will make you an offer you can’t refuse. And once he’s inside your business, he’ll do anything and everything to turn your business around. Even if it means firing the president, promoting your secretary or doing the work himself. If you have a business that’s in trouble and think your management team can survive America’s turnaround king, then you’re ready for “The Big Fix.”

These projects are part of the network’s ongoing strategy to explore new formats in primetime. Both series will premiere in the spring.

The announcements were made today by Mark Hoffman, CNBC President and CEO, and Jim Ackerman, CNBC’s SVP of Primetime Alternative Programming.

“In prime, we’re taking a more personal look at business and money,” said Ackerman. “That backdrop encompasses all the elements of great story. These are shows that speak to the American Dream. It’s about ambitions and second chances; failure and success.”

The network has already announced two series set to premiere on Tuesday, March 5, “Treasure Detectives” at 9pm ET/PT and “The Car Chasers” at 10pm ET/PT. These are the first new series to kick off CNBC Prime.

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