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TLC is chock full of reality programming, but even though shows like Dr. Pimple Popper and My 600-lb Life are popular, 90 Day Fiancé may be the network's crown jewel. The franchise has spawned nine spinoffs since the original show about couples undergoing the K1 visa process hoping to find love first premiered, and even more are on the way.
TLC president and general manager Howard Lee spoke at the Edinburgh International TV Festival and revealed during a panel moderated by Deadline that more spinoffs for 90 Day Fiancé are developing. While a hard and fast number wasn't given, the president said that "one or two" are in the works that would spin out of the show's original premise. This would push the total of 90 Day Fiancé shows on TLC to 12, which is quite a staggering number.
Howard Lee has confidence that the network has not reached a point where audiences are getting sick of 90 Day Fiancé. The shows may be variations of the same basic premise, but they tend to provide a lot of drama with their respective subjects that one can easily see the justification for creating specific shows around individual people.
We always want to check in on our fans to ensure that we’re not getting past the tipping point or saturation and that this is something that they’d want to see and so far we’ve been really fortunate that they’re still finding these projects compelling.
90 Day Fiancé has branched out from its original premise for shows that accommodate the stories before (Before The 90 Days) as well as after (Happily Ever After?, The Other Way) the actual marriage process takes place. TLC has turned some of these participants into celebrities in their own right and uses couples for commentary replays of current episodes (B90 Strikes Back, Pillow Talk) or even given them their own reality shows (Darcey & Stacey, The Family Chantel).
Right now, it's not entirely clear which route these one or two spinoffs will go, though it feels like anything is on the table. TLC has certainly noticed the internet celebrity of Big Ed Brown, and with production delays for shows a continued possibility, doing a B90 Strikes Back version of Season 2 of 90 Day Fiancé: The Other Way seems like a no brainer. Howard Lee shared more on the network's mindset for new shows, and how the execs decide whose story gets a show and whose doesn't:
It’s very important that we don’t just create a spin-off or sequel just for the sake of it. We want to make sure that we’re not just ripping ourselves off, franchise after franchise. We’re ok if it’s docu-follow or if it’s social experiment, we’re very much open to that. If it’s just plain old dating, it has to be extraordinary, there has to be a hook. We’re open arms for anything like that. The casting, at the end of the day, has to be compelling. we’re looking for real people, they don’t have to be glamorous but they could be, they could be from the East Coast or West Coast or any part of America, physically they could be any size, shape or form, TLC is representative of who our audience looks like.
It sounds like TLC is willing to cast a wide net for programming, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise given the shows it has aired over the years. Hopefully whatever is next for 90 Day Fiancé is just as addictive as some of the other shows on the network, though one has to wonder if there won't eventually be a time when the franchise isn't quite as popular as it is currently.
TLC is the place to see 90 Day Fiancé and all its spinoffs, so be sure to check local listings during the week. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for the latest happening with the franchise, and for more news happening in television and movies.