Kardashian family members have agreed to two more seasons of "Keeping Up" and its spinoffs, "Kourtney & Kim Take New York" and "Khloe & Lamar," featuring Lamar Odom, who last week signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Former Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner (who is married to Kardashian matriarch Kris Jenner) will represent E! at the Summer Olympics.
The Kardashians are "a very loud franchise, and there is a beauty to that," Kolb said. "But the concern is that you don't really know the life span of a show, and you need to make sure you are developing other hits."
This week, E! introduced "Opening Act," from producer Nigel Lythgoe of"American Idol." Its twist on the singing competition comes as producers search the Web for talented amateurs, who don't realize that they are being auditioned.
Next year, in a bid to boost its ad rates, E! plans to roll out original scripted programming — the first time the network has tried that since it abandoned schlocky made-for-TV movies in the mid-1990s.
"They recognize that pop culture now extends well beyond what they used to concentrate on: Hollywood celebrities and fashion," said Sam Armando, director of strategic intelligence at Starcom MediaVest Group Exchange in Chicago. "A shelf full of scripted programming can go a long way."
E! has also unveiled a new look, exchanging its trademark lipstick-red E! logo for subdued black and white.
"To me, black and white screams classy," Hammer said. "It's like a tuxedo, a patent leather stiletto or a well-polished man's shoe."
"E! is 21 years old, and like any 21-year-old, we have to evolve into the adult version of ourselves," Kolb said. "We are little bit more confident, a little more stylish and bold in a good way of knowing who we are and who we want to be."