EXCLUSIVE: LIT, the entertainment news network launched by two TV industry veterans who turned Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? into a global phenomenon, is launching exclusively on Peacock later today.
LIT Entertainment News will go live as a channel on the NBCUniversal-owned streamer at 12PM Eastern time. The 24-hour celebrity news channel will comprise a three-hour block of live news, which will be looped throughout the day.
LIT announced itself to the world in July last year, promising to bring gravitas to trivial celebrity news by offering social media savvy youths a sideways glance at their favorite TV, movie and music stars, and online influencers.
It is the brainchild of Claudia Rosencrantz, who originally commissioned global TV franchises including Idol and Got Talent during her tenure at ITV, and Adrian Woolfe, who was instrumental in growing Millionaire into a worldwide brand.
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Presented by Bradford How, Sloane Glass, and Ruba Wilson, LIT will be exclusive to Peacock for around a month before it begins to roll out on other distribution platforms, both in the U.S. and internationally. A UK launch is planned for March.
Rosencrantz said the channel’s editorial strategy is “snoops that lead to scoops,” or in other words, forensically monitoring the social media of stars like the Kardashians and spotting things that others have missed.
For example, Rosencrantz says LIT was among the first to spot that Chrissy Teigen’s hamster, Peanut Butter, had vanished. Teigen later confirmed that the rodent had died and been replaced with another of the same name.
The channel is broadening out into interviews, generating headlines from conversations with the likes of Love Island star Megan Barton Hanson. LIT will launch on Peacock with a pre-recorded chat with YouTuber Lilly Singh.
Woolfe said the service has amassed “tens of millions” of views across YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter since launch, as well as around 300,000 followers. But it will be streams on Peacock that really matter. “We’re not putting too much emphasis on social because that was never our core. Really, it all starts on Monday,” he explained.
LIT’s offering will be expanded over the coming months, slowly adding hours to its initial three-hour block. It will also expand beyond news, with plans to add other programming, including acquiring content. LIT is the channel brand, with LIT Entertainment News being the live news thrust.
“It feels very wild west,” Rosencrantz said of the venture. “The show feels and looks totally different to anything else. Love or hate the way it looks, you can’t miss it.”