Time Inc. has launched the People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN), an ad supported, free streaming video network from People and Entertainment Weekly.
PEN will offer viewers an always-on experience and a long form programming format of daily exclusive celebrity, pop culture, human interest and lifestyle series, specials and live event coverage from People and Entertainment Weekly (EW). More than 300 hours of new programming are planned for the network’s first year, with 14 original shows and specials premiering during PEN’s launch month. Viewers will also have access to an extensive library of on-demand video featuring many of Time Inc.’s most popular, award-winning programs, series and specials.
The network has distribution with Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Comcast’s Xfinity, Xumo and PlutoTV. PEN will also be available on Roku Players, iOS (available on iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV) and Android mobile devices and at People.com/PEN. Initial advertising partners include Alcon DAILIES TOTAL1 contact lenses, L’Oreal USA and MillerCoors. The network is also backed by an extensive multimedia marketing campaign from Time Inc.
“PEN is designed to be a network for the future with its premium long-form video delivered directly to consumers through multiple platforms and channels,” said Rich Battista, President, Time Inc. Brands. “We have a strong foundation of outstanding original programming and partnerships with leading multiplatform distributors and blue chip advertising partners from day one. We are excited to lead Time Inc. and the industry into the free, ad supported OTT space.”
Jess Cagle, Editorial Director for People and Entertainment Weekly, added: “Every day, People and Entertainment Weekly make an impact in meaningful ways through heartwarming—and sometimes heartbreaking—stories, in-depth profiles of some of the world’s most interesting personalities and our insider access to the events that are making news in pop culture and beyond. Our new network will extend those connections onto the living room screens of our fans every day. Its launch is an important step in the evolution of the brands and is a very exciting moment for all of us.”
People and EW’s behind-the-velvet-rope access, decades of established relationships and editorial expertise will be central to the network’s content. In addition to pre-produced programming, PEN will be on the scene with extensive coverage of awards shows, festivals and premieres. Its first week underscores that by offering major interviews with Jimmy Kimmel, Patrick Dempsey and Rory Feek, a moving documentary with children who lost parents they never knew during the tragic events of 9/11 and a major bi-coastal live special devoted to the glitz and glamour of the Emmys red carpet. The following are major programming highlights for PEN’s launch week:
–BingeWorthy. A smart, humorous review of what’s burning up the small screen, from upcoming series and new season premieres to the water-cooler shows of the past week, featuring TV-obsessed hosts, Jessica Shaw and Touré.
–The Children of 9/11: 15 Years Later. This documentary, which premieres September 13, chronicles the lives of five children who not only lost their fathers but never got the chance to meet them because they were still in their mothers’ wombs. This is their story. Told through first-person narratives, this moving documentary explores the price of heroism—the grief, loss and lessons learned by five teenagers coming of age in a world where terrorist attacks are part of everyday life, a sad truth they know better than most Americans.
–The Jess Cagle Interview. Hollywood’s most fascinating stars and creative minds open up about their childhoods, their inspirations, their finest moments and their greatest challenges in this series, which showcases in-depth conversations with People and Entertainment Weekly Editorial Director Jess Cagle. In the premiere, Jess goes one on one with Jimmy Kimmel as he heads toward his Emmy hosting gig.
–People Cover Story. This weekly deep-dive mini-documentary gives viewers a 360-degree look inside the cover story of the latest issue of People. Patrick Dempsey, this week’s cover subject, opens up about changing his life, leaving Grey’s Anatomy, saving his marriage and focusing on his kids.
–People Features. From celebrity to pop culture, human interest, and true crime, this series taps into the iconic magazine’s in-depth reporting, exclusive access and insider knowledge to create a powerful—and often emotional—signature documentary series. On People Features, Rory Feek, husband of the late country star Joey Feek, talks about raising their daughter, who was born with Down syndrome, and how they’re coping since Joey’s death earlier this year.
–EW Reunites: The Cast of Friday Night Lights. Kicking off the series of specials will be the highly anticipated, epic 10th anniversary celebration of the fan favorite, Friday Night Lights. Cast members descend on Austin, Texas, at the home field of the Dillon Panthers to relive the memories and celebrate the show’s legacy with each other and with the diehard fans who continue to cherish the show..
–Entertainment Weekly: The Show — Hosted by Ricky Camilleri (AOL BUILD), Entertainment Weekly: The Show dives deep into the current issue of EW on newsstands, covering the biggest pop culture conversations of the day as well as The Must List- a fan favorite for every EW reader. Much like the magazine, EW: The Show will focus on movies, television, music, and books, providing viewers with a smart, funny, and exclusive look at their favorite fandoms – with additional commentary from editor-in-chiefHenry Goldblatt (Premieres September 16).
–People & EW Red Carpet Live: It is TVs biggest night and PEN will be all over it with a two-hour live, red carpet streaming pre-show Sunday, September 18 at 6pm ET/3pm PT from Los Angeles and New York. People Now’s Jeremy Parsons and Andrea Boehlke will host the “People & EW Red Carpet Live” streaming pre-show from their New York studios, while People deputy editor JD Heyman and Associated Press correspondent Alicia Quarles will report live from the Emmys® red carpet in Los Angeles.
Also premiering in September are Hollywood At Home, a new series that gives viewers a unique look at how their favorite stars live—the ultimate celebrity open house!—with Steve Harvey and Kathy Griffin up first; and People Mom Talk, a firsthand look into how celebrities experience both the joys and challenges of motherhood.
PEN will also feature insider access to Time Inc.’s star-studded events, such as Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the Time 100, Essence Festival, Food & Wine Classic in Aspen and more. The most popular programming from the Time Inc. stable of brands will be featured on the network, including two Emmy award-nominated programs: Year in Space from Time and Underdogs from Sports Illustrated.