Molinare has secured the contract for Sky One and Shine's new daytime show, writes Sam Espensen.
The Russell Grant Show will "deconstruct predictable daytime shows", according to executive producer Sally-Ann Howard. Negotiations on the contract, which was signed earlier this week, began in November. The show is to go out five days a week for an hour from January, though neither Sky nor Shine would reveal what time of day it will air.
Molinare's Foubert's Place site in Soho is undergoing an extensive reshuffle. Howard revealed that MTV had been close to winning the contract, but that the nature of the show, with no audience and the production team on-screen, made Molinare more appealing. Howard added: "They were prepared to convert their large accounts office. And when we weren't happy with the small gallery they were quick to give us a much larger one."
Molinare managing director Mark Foligno explained that originally it was hoped the show could go out from the basement area, but "that idea was thrown out quickly. Shine wanted a live, believable office environment. We also have a loft area that is very interesting structurally."
Two Avid suites and the Molinare accounts department will be moved to a different floor, with the loft space being turned into a "modern minimalist set" according to series producer Rod Carroll, "very different to what anyone else has. It's like Russell's London pad."
Carroll described Grant as the "Graham Norton of daytime", adding: "He has a wide viewer base, and we're going to have a fresh, non-preachy perspective, which uses Russell's astrology knowledge to offer interactivity in a new way. Daytime used to have a sense of fun and energy which we aim to bring back."
Howard added: "This is not cosy or predictable. It's set in a working office. Viewers can see who they are getting through to."
The show will have a strong astrological bent which will allow "innovative ways of looking at celebrity news". Having launched Trisha Howard said she had high hopes for The Russell Grant Show: "I am confident this will be a success. Russell is a performer first and foremost but he is also a really good therapist."
It is possible that the show, which stars on 12 January, will also go out live on the web.