Logo Amplifies Culture Shift With Expanded Programming
New Development Slate Includes "The Baby Wait," "Wiseguys," "Design My Dog" and "Eden Wood's World"
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 21, 2012 -- Logo is evolving its programming focus with new series and development deals that reflect gays and lesbians' increasing integration into mainstream culture today and their desire for shows that appeal to their multiple interests.
In the 6 years since Logo launched, there has been a seismic shift in culture and the network's new programming slate reflects that. From the push for marriage equality, to the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and even the mass appeal of broadcast TV shows like "Modern Family" all signal a significant movement in today's culture where "out" characters are celebrated for their success and values and the majority of gays and lesbians define themselves by multi-dimensional notions other than purely on their sexual orientation.
"Culturally, we're past the tipping point. For gays and lesbians, it's part of who they are, but they don't lead with it, because many are leading fully integrated, mainstream lives," said Lisa Sherman, Executive Vice President of Logo. "Our goal at Logo has always been to honestly reflect our viewers' lives. We're now reinforcing our commitment to them with programming that truly mirrors how many of them are living and want to be entertained today."
Further evidence comes from a new study Logo conducted in partnership with Starcom Mediavest Group and its Beyond Demographics(TM) series. Coming out this spring, the identity research gives light on how lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender community lives today. For instance, early findings show that 53 percent conveyed that Gays don't hide being gay, but that for them it's not a priority to showcase it. And only 30 percent indicated that they preferred living and socializing in exclusively gay and lesbian communities.
"The gay community continues to evolve in size, influence and identity," said Starcom Mediavest's Esther Franklin, EVP, head of SMG Americas Experience Strategy. "Beyond Demographics(TM) allows us to understand the needs of this critical community as they emerge and to paint a clearer, more specific picture of what's meaningful and relevant in their lives."
Ellen Rakieten (Ellen Rakieten Productions), Ken Mok (10X10 Productions, "America's Next Top Model") and J. Paul Buscemi, Tony DiSanto and Liz Gately (DiGa), Go Go Luckey Entertainment ("Laguna Beach") and T-Group ("Storage Hunters") have all signed on to produce a diverse array of projects for Logo, covering docu-reality and competition genres. Topics cover the ambition behind children's beauty pageants, the stress of adopting a child, the dramas of running a West Hollywood family business and their passion for pets. The network is also expanding the mission behind its hit series "RuPaul's Drag U," produced by World of Wonder, while adding programming that covers and comments on the pop culture that Logo viewers love.
"These new projects are anchored by stories that go deep into today's world: Eden Wood has already accomplished more than most of us will in our entire lives. Wanting to start a family is a universal desire, no matter who you love. Families in business together during a recession could be the ultimate drama. And pets are now surrogate children for a lot of people -- who go to great lengths to celebrate them," said Brent Zacky, Senior Vice President, Original Programming, Logo. "An expanded vision for 'RuPaul's Drag U' and shows that review the more notorious elements of pop culture fill out our diverse menu of themes that will further engage and grow Logo's audience."
Details on greenlit shows in production:
EDEN WOOD'S WORLD (WT)
Six-year-old Eden Wood rocked the pageant world when she announced she would be retiring from the competition circuit after six, grueling years of dominating her rivals. With over 300 crowns and a legion of adoring fans worldwide, Eden, her mom, her Midwest talent manager and her fabulous New York City publicist want to take her career to the next level. Eden is now pursuing her dreams to become an actress/singer/model/entertainment superstar, but the path to stardom is never easy especially with so much at stake. Eden and her mother are also committed to helping other young girls achieve their dreams of stardom in the pageant world. Together they will share their secrets to pageant success with a new crop of girls - and their ambitious mothers. Each week Eden and her "E-Team" bring the sparkle to a pageant hopeful vying for the crown.
Executive Producers: Julie Auerbach, Gary Auerbach and Tina Gazzerro from Go Go Luckey Entertainment.
THE BABY WAIT (WT)
From DiGa's Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley, the veteran television producers and MTV executives behind such hits as "Teen Mom," "16 and Pregnant" and "Made," comes a unique look at childbirth and adoption. This new series chronicles the unique process of open adoption and the real 'modern family' that is formed. The show is the first show of its kind that not only follows the adoptive parents' story, but also documents the biological mother's life as she adjusts to her world without the baby she carried. The show depicts the entire process of this heart-wrenching, emotional process. The program will feature all types of new parents including straight couples, gay couples and single parents.
Executive Producers: DiGa's Tony DiSanto and Liz Gateley
"SCANDALICIOUS" (WT) COUNTDOWN SPECIALS
"Scandalicious" (WT) reimagines the classic countdown show with attitude featuring commentary from comedians, experts and tastemakers with strong opinions on topics that are frivolous, but addicting. You will not walk away any smarter from an episode of "Scandalicious," but you'll definitely walk away thouroughly entertained.
Executive Producers: Comcast Entertainment Studios and Executive Producers Jay James, Betsy Rott and Elisa Rothstein
Details on projects in development:
What family does not have their issues? For Michel Verdi, the issues are complicated. Her mafioso father was busted and sent to prison. She swore she would leave that crazy life and make it on her own. She and her husband, Jay, moved to Los Angeles and opened up three successful bars and restaurants along with Michel's brother. Her mother remarried, her brother came out and then her ex-con father got out of jail. They are now under one roof and all working in the new family business including the ex-wife Michel's father still adores (but who despises him), their gay son and their newest addition: the zany, boy-crazy cousin. They might have their differences and they might struggle to get along, but their love for each other outshines any challenge life can throw their way. You can escape "the life," but your family always pulls you back in.
Executive Producers: Jenny Daly (T Group) and Rob Lobl
DESIGN MY DOG
From the producers of "America's Next Top Model," "Design My Dog" is a studio-based, reality-competition show that tests the creative talents of dog owners and their canine companions. Each week "Design My Dog" challenges four different dog owners, each paired with a fashion designer, to create the latest looks in canine couture for their dog and compete to win a cash prize and a dog calendar contract.
Executive Producers: 10x10 Productions (Ken Mok with J. Paul Buscemi as Co-Executive producer)
LOVE LOCKDOWN (WT)
"Love Lockdown" (WT) highlights a unique style of "no B.S." relationship therapy -- a 24-hour intensive therapy session designed to make couples "blank" or get-off-the-pot. The couples will enter therapy at a crisis moment in their relationship and agree to follow the therapist's hardcore advice for 24 hours. Sometimes the therapist will jump in for an intense talk. Other times the therapist will make the couples complete an unorthodox exercise. Or the therapist will just let the couple stew. Whatever the couple needs, including visits from key players in their lives and relationships, will happen in a controlled setting with one clear goal: come to terms with the future of their relationship. Walk out a couple or walk out alone.
Executive Producers: Ellen Rakieten Productions and RelativityREAL
The word means excessive, morally shocking or extraordinary and unconventional. This series shines a spotlight on topics from serious to titillating that meet one or more of these criteria and have ignited a curiosity in pop culture. From topics like gay Republicans to Kim Kardashian's wedding, "Outrageous" will bring viewers a revealing, uncompromising look at the most intriguing stories in pop culture.
Details on renewed projects:
"RUPAUL'S DRAG U"
Television's most fabulous makeover show is back for a "draggier" than ever third season. Expect more drag queens, more diva transformations and more real-life fashion, hair and makeup tips for the everyday woman. This season RuPaul and his super-stylish drag queens add something new to the glittered mix. Not only will they give fashion-challenged women their famous diva makeovers, complete with sequins, wigs, and the lip-synch performance of a lifetime, but the faculty of "RuPaul's Drag U" will provide the students with practical tips on hair, makeup and wardrobe. Now the "draguates" of "RuPaul's Drag U" can take their newfound style and confidence and apply it to their everyday lives.
Executive Producers: Randy Barbato, Fenton Bailey, Tom Campbell and RuPaul Charles from World of Wonder
Brent Zacky, Pam Post and Christopher Willey serve as Executive Producers for Logo.
Logo celebrates one-of-a-kind personalities, unconventional stories and discovering what's next - all through a mix of original and acquired entertainment that's outrageous, smart, and inclusive. Entertaining a social, savvy audience of gay trendsetters, Logo also attracts a straight audience that wants to be ahead of the curve. Launched in 2005, Logo is in nearly 50 million homes across the United States, and is complemented by a federation of online properties, including LogoTV.com, NewNowNext.com, AfterEllen.com, AfterElton.com, and DowneLink.com. Logo is part of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), which features a roster of popular and highly targeted brands that include MTV, Comedy Central, VH1 and Spike TV.