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[07/23/04 - 12:00 AM]
TCA Summer Press Tour: Logo
By The Futon Critic Staff (TFC)

LOS ANGELES (thefutoncritic.com) -- The cable portion of the TCA's summer press tour began on Wednesday in which the networks outlined their plans for the 2004-05 season and beyond.

Here's the breakdown of Logo's presentation (via press release):

LOGO Offers First Details of Programming Strategy, Announces Plans for Development Slate

New Network to Feature Extensive Acquisitions Library, Star-Power and Real-Life Stories Reflecting Diversity of Gay Life

Projects with Cher and Chastity Bono, Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho in Development for MTVN's Newest Net Set to Launch February 2005

LOS ANGELES, July 23 -- LOGO, the new digital television network targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) viewers, announced today the programming plans being readied for its Feb. 17, 2005, launch, including details of its first-ever development slate. Marshaling the creative resources of Viacom and MTV Networks, LOGO has amassed a premier library of more than 150 movie and documentary acquisitions and is currently in active development with more than 20 projects with marquee names attached like Cher and Chastity Bono, Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho, among others. The announcement was made today by Brian Graden, President, MTV/VH1Entertainment; and Matt Farber, executive consultant who brought the concept to MTV Networks and is spearheading the launch of LOGO.

"Because of the variety of perspectives and experiences in the gay community, the programming ideas and opportunities for LOGO are boundless," said Graden. "Perhaps most thrilling has been the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the creative community, both gay and straight, since we first announced LOGO."

MTV Networks announced the launch of LOGO on May 25, 2004, with the goal of super-serving the LGBT community with a diverse slate of entertainment programming. LOGO will be an authentic voice and home base for the LGBT community with a programming mix of popular acquisition titles; projects featuring well-known, independent and tastemaker names; and a commitment to telling real-life stories.

"In addition to a phenomenal library of acquired films and specials, the programming we're developing will speak in an authentic voice to this audience," said Farber. "We're building this brand to reflect their diversity and tastes through an array of genres, all informed by a gay point of view."

LOGO's programming plans and development slate include:

ACQUISITIONS:
LOGO already has amassed the quintessential gay film library for its audience, bringing together many well-known gay titles from major studios, as well as a collection of the most critically acclaimed gay independent films. Titles include:

* Blockbusters like The Birdcage and Philadelphia;

* Successful gay theatricals from the past decade like Gods and Monsters, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, Kissing Jessica Stein, Broken Hearts Club, My Own Private Idaho, Go Fish, Jeffrey;

* Popular made-for-television movies such as Serving In Silence: The Margareth Cammermeyer Story, An Early Frost, and Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story;

* Early gay-themed titles like Making Love and Personal Best;

* Lesser-known independent films like Edge of Seventeen, Mambo Italiano, and Psycho Beach Party;

* Iconic films for the gay and lesbian audience like Moulin Rouge, Thelma and Louise and Mommie Dearest;

* The television premieres of recent theatrically released gay titles like Latter Days, 2004's highest-grossing gay independent film; and the soon- to-be-released Testosterone, starring Antonio Sabato, Jr. and Jennifer Coolidge.

* Acclaimed documentaries including Ruthie & Connie...Every Room In the House, an award-winning documentary about two lesbians celebrating their 25th anniversary; Daddy & Papa about the struggles and triumphs of gay men trying to adopt and raise children; and popular music specials, including Melissa Etheridge's "Live and Alone".

SERIES:

* Family Outing (working title): Cher, Chastity Bono and Norton Connolly Productions executive produce this series inspired by Chastity's best- selling book of the same name. The show tells the coming out stories of celebrities and newsmakers, and their journeys with their family and friends.

* The Alan Cumming Experience (working title): A downtown cabaret hosted by Alan Cumming featuring unusual acts like performance artist Jonny McGovern, musical-comedy trio Betty, and stand-up comedian Karen Williams.

* The Margaret Cho Series (working title): In negotiation with Margaret Cho (Revolution, Notorious C.H.O, I'm the One that I Want) for an original series. Starring Cho and produced by her production company.

* My Fabulous Gay Wedding (working title): Hosted by actor/comedian Scott Thompson (Kids In The Hall), this series challenges about-to-be-married gay couples to fulfill a long-held wish-to have the wedding of their dreams. How will they express their love for each other-old-fashioned wedding bells or a brand-new sense of style and tradition? Produced by Paperny Films and Duopoly.

* Fantastic Voyage (working title): Reality series, produced by Bunim- Murray in conjunction with Atlantis Vacations, where each episode features a real LGBT story that plays out during the arc of a seven-day gay ocean-liner cruise in the Caribbean. Series' cruise directors will be every gay man's best friend, Kathy Griffin, and gay comic Andre Kelly.

* Twist (working title): A group of colorful, opinionated panelists discuss and debate issues-both the serious and the frivolous-with an authentic gay twist all their own.

* LOGO Lens: Produced by MTV News, the umbrella title for LOGO's first- person documentaries -- both original and acquired-that focus on some of the less-visible, less well-known LGBT lives and communities. Original productions include:

* Going For the Gold, which follows the lives of athletes training for the 2006 Gay Games. Produced by MTV News;

* Rodeo Circuit, focusing on gays and lesbians who are part of the Gay Rodeo phenomenon. Acquisitions include:

* Gay Cops, which follows the lives of gay cops in New York post- 9/11;

* A Boy Named Sue, which documents the pre-operative and post- operative process of a transgendered man.

* Do I? (working title): A series following gay and lesbian couples considering marriage as they spend time with a relationship expert to determine whether they're ready to take on the responsibility of marriage. Produced by Evolution Studios.

* Deep Dish with Dennis Hensley (working title): Writer, raconteur, celebrity interviewer Dennis Hensley chats with both well-known gay performers and media professionals, as well as adored non-gay icons. With every episode shot in an intimate setting with an audience of knowledgeable fans, celebrities will open up to Dennis and their adoring gay admirers. Produced by Picture This Television.

* Chelsea Boys: An animated series based on the popular, internationally syndicated gay comic strip about three very different gay friends and their trials and tribulations in the big city. From the comic series' creators Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth.

SPECIALS:

* The Road to LOGO: An original 90-minute documentary tracing the emerging visibility of gay Americans through the prisms of civil rights, pop culture, landmark events and individual achievements. Hosted by, and featuring interviews with, Melissa Etheridge, B.D. Wong, Judith Light, Billy Bean and Moises Kaufman. Produced by Catherine Linton.

* The first-ever television broadcast of The 2005 GLAAD Media Awards, the annual landmark event celebrating fair and accurate representations of the LGBT community in media and entertainment.

* In Search of ... The Invisible Lesbian: Acclaimed lesbian comic Kate Clinton wonders aloud in this humorous special why lesbians are underrepresented in our culture as she searches across the country the "Invisible Lesbian". Produced by TV Gals.

As the newest addition to MTV Networks' programming services, LOGO also will draw from the company's creative resources to develop:

* a newsmagazine with CBS News and MTV News. With contributions from The Advocate;

* a TV Land co-production special about the gay influence and presence in television;

* The Big Gay 100 -- a countdown of the 100 greatest people, places, and things in gay pop culture, produced in conjunction with VH1.

In another partnership, LOGO is also developing a travel show with Out Traveler magazine.

Lastly, LOGO announced that it is in active development discussions with such gay and lesbian creators as Craig Zadan/Neil Meron and Storyline Entertainment; and Sandra Bernhard.

LOGO is the ad-supported digital network targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) viewers, launched by MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIAB). Set to debut Feb. 17, 2005, LOGO will provide a mix of original and acquired programming that is authentic, smart, inclusive and open-minded. The network will be available through national cable operators across the United States in markets including Los Angeles, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and San Francisco. LOGO joins Viacom's roster of popular and highly targeted cable networks which includes MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Spike TV.

MTV Networks, a division of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, MTVU, NICKELODEON, NICK AT NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, MTV INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.





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