The long-awaited launch of Viceland, Vice Media’s answer to stodgy cable programming, launched as expected in 70 million homes on Monday, taking a spot that was previously occupied by History Channel’s H2.
The launch has been anticipated for months and Vice Media has promised a steady stream of millennial focused programming, with unscripted shows like Gaycation, hosted by movie actress Ellen Page; the self-explanatory Weediquette and Balls Deep, which promises to be an in-depth investigative show. The channel is taking an unconventional path initially, airing a 13-hour block showing various staff members at the Vice Media offices in Brooklyn, N.Y., sitting at a conference table with a countdown clock superimposed on the screen, playing messages from callers who answered the question “What Keeps You Up At Night,” that was part of the channel’s ad campaign. Viceland took out a full-page ad in The New York Times with the question and a number to call.
Vice Media continues to air its news documentary show, Vice News, on Home Box Office. Founded by Shane Smith in 1994, Vice started out as a music magazine but evolve into a full-fleged multi-platform media group witH international television channels and a strong online presence. The company has attracted investment from media heavy hitters like the Walt Disney Co., 21st Century Fox and advertising giant WPP.