A US TV station which has been dubbed “the most socially irresponsible channel in America” will launch more than 65 new series in Ireland this year.
Included among the quirky offering will be the controversial show "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" – a reality show following an overweight 6-year-old child pageant star and Oprah Winfrey’s “Next Chapter”.
Sky and UPC viewers in Ireland will have access to some of the most talked about programming in the US courtesy of TLC, which comes under the umbrella of the Discovery Network.
Susanna Dinnage, SVP & General Manager, Discovery Networks UK and Ireland, says, “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is an unforgettable show about the Thompson family from Georgia, and we think people will warm to the family and their love of life. “
Irish viewers will get the chance to have their say when the programme airs in Ireland on TLC in mid-May.
Viewers will also be treated to premieres of other extreme reality US shows such as “My Strange Addiction”, car-crash TV which explores bizarre compulsive addictions.
Episodes to be aired include “My Car is My Lover” and “Eating Her Deceased Husband”.
UK based series which will feature on the station include Chris O’Dowd’s wife Dawn O’Porter with a teen observational documentary called “Undercover Mums”, Holly Valance in “Ultimate Shopper” and “Your Style in His Hands with Lisa Snowdon”.
A major draw for the station is expected to be "Oprah’s Next Chapter" – the latest offering from the chat show queen who announced retirement from her daily TV slot.
Discovery says TLC is already the world’s biggest female entertainment channel, already with a presence in over 100 million households worldwide. But the channel has come under fire for its controversial programming such as “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo”.
The contentious reality show follows the life of 6-year-old competitive child pageant star Alana Thompson and her colourful family in rural Georgia.
Alana became an internet sensation in TLC’s equally notorious “Toddlers and Tiaras”. In one famous scene, Alana aka Honey Boo Boo, chugs a caffeine concoction of Red Bull and Mountain Dew called “Go-Go juice” to get ready for a beauty pageant.
Honey Boo Boo’s wide reach was evident during the US presidential elections last year, when Barack Obama joked: “We're getting to that time when folks are making up their minds. The other day, Honey Boo Boo endorsed me. So that's a big relief.”
“TLC is a channel that I hope will resonate with Irish audiences because it is full of vibrant personalities and great stories from the US and the UK”, says Dinnage.
The new channel launched this week on Sky channel 125 and UPC channel 507.