10:30am PT by Bryn Elise Sandberg
Fuse Network to Expand Beyond Music in 2015
Music cable network Fuse is rebranding this fall.
The network will expand beyond music in an effort to draw in a more diverse audience, it was announced Wednesday by parent company Fuse Media Group, Inc. The network will be kicking off the upfront season with a lineup of new and returning original programming that is designed to appeal to "new young Americans" — the fast-growing, culturally diverse audience ages 18-34 — and will lead up to the network's new look and feel later this year. The programming aims to reflect an attitude that's sexy, edgy, relevant and honest.
Among the new programming premiering throughout the next few months is White Guy Talk Show, a daily pop culture talk show featuring a diverse cast and writing staff ("Not unlike The Daily Show on Comedy Central," said Fuse Media Group, Inc. president Bill Hilary.) Debuting this week, the show is hosted by comedians Grace Parra and Saurin Choksi and executive produced by Brian McCann (Conan). The series will celebrate music, movies, TV and all things pop culture from a younger, multicultural and millennial point of view. It will air weeknights at 10:30 p.m.
Also green-lit for 2015 is Skee TV, a new series starring award-winning DJ, producer, digital-media pioneer and entrepreneur DJ Skee. Premiering on April 9 at 11 p.m., the show will air weekly on Thursdays and provide insider access to the world of music with interviews and live performances. It will also cover the trends in tech, culture and style.
Returning to the Fuse lineup is Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce. The third season, bringing viewers into the New Orleans underground hip-hop scene, debuted at the end of February as the most watched original-series premiere in the 12-year history of Fuse. Season four will premiere this fall.
In an effort to further target a younger audience, Fuse Media Group, Inc. will launch a new network called FM. The cable and digital-media brand will deliver programming with music at its core, focusing on up-and-coming, young, diverse talent. Additionally, Fuse has several series in development, including an unscripted show from Jennifer Lopez’ Nuyorican Productions and a scripted, animated comedy from the mind of comedian Gabriel Iglesias.
Fuse Media Group, Inc. also announced that its Latino-targeted network, NuvoTV, will be phased out this fall. But before it does this, the brand will continue to premiere new original programming for the majority of 2015, including a new season of docuseries boxing competition Knockout along with several comedy specials.
“From the biggest events and festivals that make the music landscape so compelling, to unique looks at artists and performers pushing boundaries in comedy, fashion, digital and beyond, Fuse will bring new young Americans the content that fuels their passion and converts fans into influencers,” said Hilary. “Our new lineup reflects the interests and diversity of a millennial generation who sets its own trends and whose taste knows no cultural boundaries."
“Fuse is well-positioned for growth heading into the upfront season, with a clear vision that will take the brand to new heights in 2015/16,” added Fuse's executive vp ad sales and integrated marketing, Jason Miller. “With our expanded content lineup, influential talent and must-see live events, Fuse is providing more touch points than ever before to engage and connect with this generation of new young Americans everywhere they are. We look forward to drilling deeper into this vision as we begin meetings with the top agencies and clients in the coming weeks.”