9:38am PT by Natalie Jarvey
Fusion Draws From Jalopnik, Gizmodo Digital Brands for TV Slate
Fusion is bringing its digital brands to television.
The cable network is tapping into the stories being told through the portfolio of editorial brands, from Jalopnik to Deadspin to The Root, under the Gizmodo Media Group banner for its new slate of programming, a move that has been expected ever since Univision acquired the former Gawker Media last summer.
Fusion's first co-production with the GMG editorial team is Car vs America, a docu-travel series that will explore car culture throughout the U.S. with Jalopnik editors Michael Ballaban and Raphael Orlove. When it debuts Oct. 18, Car vs America will be the second Fusion series based on a digital brand. The first, The A.V. Club Hosted by John Teti, debuted earlier this year. Fusion says it is also currently developing series with the editorial teams at Kotaku, Deadspin, The Root's Very Smart Brothas and Gizmodo.
Fusion has also given the green light to Sex.Right.Now with Cleo Stiller, an adaptation of Stiller's Asking for a Friend web series, which will premiere Oct. 5. And the network will broadcast the TV special The Root 100, a tribute to black innovators and leaders, on Nov. 19.
"We have an incredible opportunity to take our digital brands — which have large, dedicated and engaged audiences online — and extend their reach across more screens," said Fusion president Daniel Eilemberg. "The editorial teams that drive these sites cover the subjects our audience is passionate about and we’re thrilled to be collaborating with them to produce programming that is compelling and true to their distinct voices."
Over the last two years, Univision has built up a roster of digital properties, from The Onion to Gizmodo. Meanwhile, the Spanish-language broadcaster became the majority owner of Fusion when it bought out Disney's stake in the cable business last year. Over the summer, Fusion rebranded its politics and news website as Splinter to create a greater distinction between the television and digital brands. At the time, the company indicated that Fusion would look to Univision's digital brands to help it build out a new programming identity.