'Catfish' producer RelativityReal to expand its TV efforts

With “Catfish: The TV Show” debuting to strong numbers on MTV this last week, the company behind the series is expanding its television efforts.

RelativityReal, the TV unit of Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity Media, is making two new overall production and development deals, including one with the company of teen producer Oliver Bogner.

RelativityReal Chief Executive Tom Forman is expected to announce Thursday the division has signed pacts with Bogner Entertainment as well as This Is Just a Test Prods.

Bogner attained the distinction of being the only high-schooler with a project set up at E!  when in 2010, as a 16-year-old, he sold a show called “Party Prince 90210." Along with partner (and father) Jonathan Bogner, his Bogner Entertainment has since executive produced TLC’s “Down South Dance,” about the form of twinkle-toeing known as clogging, as well as the Animal Planet show “Addicts and Animals,” about the use of some of men’s best friends as part of the rehab process.

This Is Just a Test has yet to put a series on the air, but company founders Aengus James and Colin King Miller are developing a number of properties in the TV and digital tealms.

Though Relativity Media’s roots are in film (“Immortals,” "Mirror, Mirror”), it has been beefing up its efforts via RelativityReal. The unit is behind a number of shows currently on cable, including “Catfish” and the Jeff Foxworthy-hosted “American Bible Challenge” on GSN.

It also hopes to develop a number of its feature film properties as television shows. In an interview with The Times recently, Forman said the movie pipeline would be a valuable source of content. “It’s a proof of concept and evidence people like it," he said.

“Catfish: The TV Show” began life as a hit Sundance documentary and a Relativity release before morphing into an MTV series about the emotionally fraught world of online dating. It tallied 2.7 million viewers in its debut Monday night.


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