Riding its successful strategy of showcasing a mix of entertaining and socially-relevant original content that attracts a young, multicultural audience, Fuse Media has entered the scripted animation genre by greenlighting Sugar and Toys. The provocative new series will join a 2019 lineup of music culture programming that also includes new seasons of the returning originals Complex x Fuse and T-Pain’s School of Business on Fuse and Big Boy’s Neighborhood on FM (Fuse Music).
“Our platforms are fast becoming destinations for hard-to-reach, young viewers that demand content that takes a stand by tapping into their passions and values through the musicians and influencers we feature in our series,” said J-T Ladt, Fuse Media chief content officer. “We are excited to be entering into the impactful animation space in a big way with the provocative Sugar and Toys while renewing our franchise series that are breaking audience records across all our platforms.”
Fuse's proven strategy of targeting young viewers with new music culture-focused content has been bolstered by new long and short form shows that were introduced during the network’s upfront presentations earlier this year. For example, T-Pain’s School of Business delivered the best linear debut for a new Fuse original series in 15 months, and was the third recent Fuse original series debut with a median age under 30 (27.6), while season 3 of Complex x Fuse continues to build on its successful season 2 with a ratings growth of +16% among Adults 18-34.
September and October were also Fuse’s two best-rated months of the year, to date, up 24% and 15%, respectively, among Adults 18-34 compared with the same months in 2017. This achievement is more notable when compared with the overall ad-supported cable universe, which had a year-over-year decline of -24% for September and -21% for October in the demo. These also marked Fuse’s best September since 2012 and best October since 2015.
Additionally, in October, the multicultural composition of the Fuse audience was 73% – the sixth-highest among English-language, ad-supported cable entertainment networks – with premiere episodes of Complex x Fuse’s third season attracting a 55% Hispanic audience composition and helping to attract new viewers to the network.
These new and returning series will help continue this growth by building upon a successful programming strategy while moving Fuse into a new genre.
New Scripted Series --
Sugar and Toys (Fuse; 10 x 30’ episodes; premieres mid-2019) – Carl Jones and Brian Ash of Black Dynamite and The Boondocks are back at it again with a wild new twist on the Saturday morning cartoons we all grew up with – but a whole lot less innocent. Adult comedy, social commentary and music culture parody crash the cartoon party, speaking directly to the trends and issues most relevant to a millennial audience. Every comedic half hour will be a kaleidoscope of original animated shows and live action segments (including mock toy commercials and PSAs), all bookended by host (and self-proclaimed defender of the universe), multi-platinum rapper and actor KYLE (Netflix’ The After Party, www.superduperkyle.com). Executive Produced by Aengus James, Colin King Miller, Carl Jones and Brian Ash. Kyle Harvey serves as Co-Executive Producer and Lalo Alcaraz serves as Consulting Producer. Produced by This is Just a Test and 245 Enterprises.
T-Pain’s School of Business (Fuse; 8 x 30’ episodes) – Renewed for a second season, this series features beloved hip-hop artist, comedic personality and business mogul T-Pain, as he explores innovative, unique and off-the-wall startups created by millennial entrepreneurs. As he gets a feel for each quirky and groundbreaking company (from weed-friendly startups to autonomous delivery robots), the entrepreneurs reveal how they got started and what it took to turn their ideas into reality. In each episode, T-Pain will dive head first into each business while testing out new products and getting answers to all our questions about how to start a business. Executive Produced by Jonas Bell Pasht, Jonah Bekhor, Rebecca Hertz and T-Pain. Produced by Citizen Jones.
Complex x Fuse (Fuse; 13 x 60’ episodes; premieres early 2019, Wednesdays at 11pm) – Renewed for a fourth season, Complex x Fuse takes a look at the athletes and celebs eating killer food, answering burning questions and revealing the secrets behind the hottest kicks. This includes the most influential names in music, with past episodes featuring T.I., DJ Khaled and 21 Savage, among others. Produced by Complex Networks.
Big Boy’s Neighborhood (FM; 100 x 120’ episodes) – Renewed for a second season, this televised version of iHeartMedia’s nationally-syndicated hit radio show, stars radio legend Big Boy as he entertains audiences daily with his high-energy mix of hip-hop, heart and humor. In each episode, Big Boy welcomes the biggest names in music and entertainment – season 1 guests have included John Legend, T-Pain and Kim Kardashian – and shares his take on the latest news in music and pop culture and keep listeners laughing with hilarious bits, including the infamous phonetaps with “Luther Luffeigh.” Episodes premiere same day as the radio broadcast and also feature Big Boy’s Neighborhood co-hosts Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayydé and DJ Vick One.