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Logo Swims Toward the Mainstream

4/09/2012 12:01 AM Eastern

Logo, the gay and lesbian-themed
network, wants to go more mainstream.

The network’s new lineup of original programming
will feature a mix of gay- and heterosexual-
themed shows that reflect the day-to-day
experiences of gays and lesbians, the network
said, rather than shows that shine a spotlight on
the gay culture.

“In the past, we would make gay programming
that was about gay
people,” Logo executive
vice president Lisa Sherman
said. “Now, we have
programming that we just
believe gay people will
watch and enjoy.”

The network will still
feature several of its core
shows, including RuPaul’s
Drag Race
, its mostwatched
series, as well as
its tentpole NewNowNext
Award
s, which spotlights
hot pop-culture trends
and emerging stars.

But new shows such
as Baby Wait, which will
chronicle the unique process
of open adoption for
both gay and straight families, and Love Lockdown,
featuring gay and straight couples who
enter therapy at a crisis moment in their relationship,
will no longer exclusively feature gay
and lesbian characters.

Recent network research shows that just
30% of Logo’s target gay audience wants to live,
work or socialize exclusively with gay people,
Sherman said, so its upcoming slate represents
the lifestyle of 70% of gays and lesbians.

“Gay will always be in our DNA, and it forms
our sensibilities and what
we do, but just as we’re
being more integrated
into more mainstream
culture, mainstream
culture is much more
connected to our community,”
she said. “Our
focus is to develop shows
that reflect the full lives
of our audience — that’s
what they want, and so
that’s what we’re going to
give them.”

Sherman is not too
concerned about alienating
Logo’s core gay and
lesbian audience, which
has expressed concern
about the shift in programming
strategy through social-media sites.

“What I love to be able to do is for [gay and lesbian
viewers] to understand very loud and clearly
that we are not abandoning our roots at all, but
instead strengthening our core,” she said. “The
shows that we will air will bring more people
and more gay people to the channel because the
shows themselves will speak of topics relevant to
the lives of our audience.”

Sherman said the network is still delivering a
predominantly gay upscale audience of 18-to-
49-year-olds to advertisers, “but we hope to bring
allies along with us.” She added that the network
is also facing more competition from mainstream
networks with shows with gay characters
or themes, such as ABC sitcom Modern Family.

“About 24% of primetime shows on broadcast
and cable have a gay storyline or gay character
because that’s reality and life, and these
shows are reflecting those lives, which is exactly
what we’re doing,” she said. “The reason
I’m not worried about losing audience is that
we’re probably the only place where you can
get that content 24/7.”

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