A+E Networks will expand its initiative to integrate short segments during programs featuring celebrities like Tony Harris, Keshia Knight Pulliam, and others. The “cross-branded cut-ins” will appear during popular A&E, History Channel, and Lifetime shows.
A+E is selecting top talent for a campaign designed to increase interest and audience engagement across the network’s channels. The segments debuted on A&E and will roll out across more A+E brands throughout the fall, airing on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.
“We are excited to bring these unique and engaging live interstitials, which will serve to enhance the value of our programming for viewers, distribution partners, and advertisers,” said Rob Sharenow, president of programming at A+E Networks. “This new campaign is designed to immerse devoted fans of our hit series even more deeply with dynamic, real-time content customized for each brand.”
While the company is hoping that these “cut-ins” will keep audiences engaged, they also run the risk of disrupting the program that people initially tuned into. It’s hoping that the shorts, which tie into the theme of the show they’re interrupting, will be seen as an additive aspect to the program.
The first “cut-in” segment aired on August 17 during Crack the Case on A&E with Emmy award-winning journalist and host of History Channel’s The Proof is Out There, Tony Harris. His live segment aimed to contribute to open investigations while appealing to A&E’s true crime fanbase to drive more viewers to check out the History Channel’s selection of investigative content.
Harris will also be featured on UnXplained Now segments airing on Friday nights to provide updates on paranormal activity, a hit with History Channel alien phenomena buffs. Harris will focus on the latest Unidentified Aerial Phenomena and provide breaking news on strange sights happening worldwide. They will also include congressional hearings on such unusual activities and live analysis from “noted experts.” These segments will debut during The Proof is Out There starting October 6 at 8:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET.
Keshia Knight Pulliam will also host “After Party” segments following Lifetime’s Married At First Sight. She will present live polling questions during the reality show’s Matchmaking and Kick-off specials starting October 4 and running through October 11. Her live After Party will premiere on October 18 from 8:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET.
“By infusing already proven franchises with thrilling and contemporary live experiences, we reinforce the undeniable success of the A+E Networks’ portfolio while at the same time cultivate a viewing experience that remains refreshingly current and highly engaging, with the aim of super-serving our audience,” said Sharenow.