Original series and specials will accompany acquired movie titles in the initial programming lineup for Logo, MTV Networks’ gay- and lesbian-targeted network.
MTVN hopes a peek at the lineup, including such established stars as Cher, Alan Cumming and Margaret Cho, will allay operator concerns regarding content on the channel and lead to significant distribution for the February 2005 launch.
Deals are in place with such individual systems as Time Warner Cable in New York City, Adelphia Communications Corp. in Los Angeles and several RCN Corp. units, so Logo hopes to bow with more than 10 million subscribers.
Network executives at the Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles talked up reality and documentary fare.
“The audience is the entire lesbian, gay and transgender audience, their friends and family and anyone that enjoys a gay point of view,” said Matt Farber, Logo’s executive creative consultant.
At launch, the Logo lineup will feature 75% acquired fare, Farber said. He wouldn’t disclose a rate card, but network sources pegged the licensing fee in the range of 10 cents per customer.
Logo is being pitched as both an a la carte service or as part of MTVN’s Digital Suite, which includes MTV2, Nicktoons and VH1 Classic.
Shows will meet “traditional” basic-cable standards, with edgier programming slated for Logo’s on-demand subscription service.
Shows in production include one from Cher and daughter Chastity Bono called Family Outing, chronicling the coming-out stories of celebrities and newsmakers; The Alan Cumming Experience, emulating a “downtown cabaret;” a series with comedian Cho; and My Fabulous Gay Wedding, hosted by actor Scott Thompson.
Also on tap: Fantastic Voyage, with real-life stories aboard an ocean liner; talk show Twist and The Road to Logo, a 90-minute documentary tracing gay Americans’ emerging visibility.
Sister services will develop originals, including MTV News’s Logo Lens, an umbrella title for first-person documentaries. CBS News and MTV News, with contributions from The Advocate, will combine on a magazine show. A TV Land co-production special will examine the gay influence on TV. And The Big Gay 100, produced with VH1, is a countdown of 100 people, places, and things.