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Posts Tagged ‘Jim Ackerman’

Inside CNBC Prime, CNBC’s New Primetime Entertainment Block

The stars of CNBC Prime’s “Car Chasers”

Tonight at 9 PM, CNBC will launch its new primetime entertainment block, CNBC Prime. In a stark departure from CNBC’s daytime programming, Tuesday evenings will become dedicated to unscripted reality shows, albeit with a business twist.

“At first I looked at shows that I thought would be organic to CNBC, ‘could I do shows set in the Wall Street space?’ I instantly felt that it might be tough, because it isn’t that visual,” Jim Ackerman, senior VP of primetime alternative programming tells TVNewser. “I came across a pitch about these guys that are flipping cars, and I thought that what these guys do is very much akin to what a commodity broker does, but their commodity happens to be very visual, that commodity has a back-story, that commodity has an emotional impact on the people buying and selling it, and I thought, this could work for us.”

That show is “Car Chasers,” which will kick off the Prime block tonight alongside “Treasure Detectives.” CNBC plans to launch eight or nine series by the end of 2013. Still, regular CNBC or business news viewers may be caught off-guard that a network with such a lucrative dayside news schedule would branch out into entertainment.

“We had been building out vertically, business-related content into primetime for the last couple of years,” says Brian Steel, CNBC’s senior VP of public relations. “We have been successful with the long-form documentaries, and some of the out-of-house produced shows like “American Greed,” and candidly, we were coming off the sixth consecutive year of record operating profit, and we thought it was time to try something different, to try and broaden the audience that we already had.”
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CNBC Unveils New Reality Primetime

Ten months after hiring its first alternative programming executive, CNBC has unveiled its new primetime, made up mostly of reality shows produced by outside production companies.

VH1 alum Jim Ackerman joined as Senior Vice President of primetime alternative programming back in February. Now, we’re about to see what he’s been working on.

In March, CNBC will debut two new shows: “Treasure Detectives” and “The Car Chasers.” “Treasure Detectives” comes from Endemol USA, the company behind “Big Brother” “Wipeout” and others. “The Car Chasers” is from ITV Studios America which produces “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares.”

CNBC has also added four new unscripted projects to its development slate, including “The Next Big Big Thing,” “Money Talks,” “Liquidate Your Life,” and “The Big Fix.” (More details on all those shows after the jump.)

“CNBC is collaborating with some of the most creative minds in reality to develop primetime content that appeals to a broader audience yet still embodies the network’s distinct brand and inherent themes,” said Ackerman.

Like Comcast sibling The Weather Channel, CNBC is turning to alternative programming to bring in viewers looking for something more than market moves and economic discussions. In 2012, the only hour of CNBC’s entire day of programming to show growth was the 10pmET hour, when documentaries air.

CNBC’s new primetime will consist of a mix of the new reality shows, existing programs like “American Greed” and “Crime Inc.” and other in-house documentaries.

The two new shows debut Tuesday, March 5 at 9pm and 10pmET.

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What Reality Shows Should CNBC Order?

Now that CNBC is planning to branch out into reality programming, we thought it would be appropriate to help acclimate Jim Ackerman to his new role, and give him a few ideas.

Here, in no particular order, are some of TVNewser’s CNBC Reality Show Suggestions:

“The Biggest Loser: Wall Street Edition”

“Keeping up with Kenneth Chenault

Jamie Dimon‘s are a Girls Best Friend”

“Are You Smarter Than a Jim Cramer?”

“America’s Next Top Financial Modeling System”

“Top Chef: Cooking the Books”

“The Real Housewives of Davos”

We also solicited ideas from our Twitter followers. Some of their suggestions:

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CNBC Getting into Reality Programming, Hires Jim Ackerman as SVP

Jim Ackerman, a one-time “Dateline NBC” and “Today” show producer who’s been developing series at VH1 for the past several years, is returning to NBC as Senior Vice President of primetime alternative programming at CNBC.

This is a new role at CNBC, which appears to want to break out of the traditional long-form business programming which makes up primetime — corporate portraits, fraud and stories of business tycoons — and add what has become a staple of cable and broadcast TV: reality shows. Ackerman will report directly to CNBC president Mark Hoffman.

“Jim will be responsible for CNBC’s strategy, development and production of new formats, including reality for our networks,” writes Hoffman in a note to staff.

While at VH1 Ackerman oversaw development of shows including “Best Week Ever,” “Celebrity Fit Club,” and “Race-o-Rama.”

In his career, Ackerman has developed projects for Buena Vista, Telepictures, Fox News and HBO and was EP of Lifetime’s “The Jane Pratt Show.” In the 1990s, he worked at CBS News as senior broadcast producer of “CBS This Morning.”

Hoffman’s note after the jump…

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