E! unveiled a slate of eight scripted projects Monday as it prepares to diversify its programming lineup.
The cable channel synonymous with “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and entertainment news has been developing its own scripted programming since last April.
The new projects announced on Monday at its upfront event in New York include several that have prominent actors and producers attached, including Kevin Spacey, Josh Schwartz, and Ryan Seacrest.
Schwartz, who produced “The O.C.,” “Chuck,” and “Gossip Girl,” has teamed with Stephanie Savage for “Laurel Canyon,” about a young woman who returns with her son to her dysfunctional, extended family after her rock-star father has passed away. It’s based on writer/producer Karen Croner’s own experiences.
The channel, which is owned by NBCUniversal, is also developing “Songbyrd,” based on the life of Grammy-winning songwriter Diane Warren. It follows a young, prolific songwriter of some of the best love songs who struggles to find love in her personal life after her inspiration is revealed to be a lie. The project had previously been set up at NBC.
Meanwhile, Spacey has signed on as executive producer of “Fortunate Son,” which centers on a society golden boy in Los Angeles who bounces between his privileged life on the city’s Westside and his police informant work in the slums.
E! is also developing “Expectations,” from “Rain Man” writer Ron Bass, which is based on Charles Dickens’ novel “Great Expectations.”
“The Stand-In” is billed as a “darkly psychological re-telling of ‘The Prince & the Pauper,’” but featuring a famous actor. It’s being produced in part by Ryan Seacrest’s production company.
The channel also has “The Shoreline,” about the golden child of a small coastal town in South Carolina who returns home to see that a major Hollywood production has moved in and is the dividing the town by class. And “Dirty/Pretty” is a dark comedy centering on a blue-collar guy from south Boston who gets scouted to be a model in Miami.
There is also “The Royals,” which uses the frame of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to tell the story of men and women corrupted by power, wealth, and desire.