VH1 Renews 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' Adds Ricky Martin Docuseries

The cabler's upfront slate also features a Lance Bass-hosted '90s version of 'Big Brother' as president Chris McCarthy talks with THR about his growth plans for the Viacom network.
Courtesy of VH1
"RuPaul's Drag Race"

VH1 is leaning harder into what's been working for the Viacom-owned cable network.

With seven consecutive quarters of growth to build on, network president Chris McCarthy — who recently added oversight of MTV — is branding the cabler as the home of where "pop culture comes to party." To that end, VH1's upfront slate is filled with returning hits — including a 10th season renewal to Logo import RuPaul's Drag Race — as well as new series that resonate with pop culture diehards, such as the Lance Bass-hosted '90s House take on Big Brother.

"It's been a two-year journey of elevating the brand and storytelling and playing with formats, which VH1 became famous for: Flavor of Love and even Mob Wives. We have that heritage of celebrating different kinds of heroes. We began to build out what a great party has: great food and interesting people," McCarthy told The Hollywood Reporter. "That's where Martha & Snoop came from. And great games — and that's where Hip-Hop Squares came from. We wanted to own our heritage of celebrating pop culture — including pop culture past. That's where '90s House came from."

Also joining VH1's slate is an untitled Ricky Martin docuseries set to debut in June and following the pop star during his Vegas residency and beyond; and Scared Famous, a reality series in which 10 celebrities move into a haunted house. The new series build on a slate that also features recent renewals for Hip-Hop Squares, America's Next Top Model, Martha and Snoop's Potluck Dinner Party as well as T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle for its final run.

McCarthy also reiterated that RuPaul will continue to air on VH1 after finding a record audience with the move from Logo, where the Emmy-winning series had outgrown the LGBT-themed cable network's distribution. McCarthy does not expect any additional programming to jump networks as part of Viacom's plan to reinvigorate core brands including MTV. He noted that he wanted to ensure VH1's new unscripted fare focused on the positive, instead of unscripted shows that bring out the worst in people.  

Here's a look at VH1's upfront slate, which also includes a premiere date for previously announced scripted drama Daytime Divas:


June 5, 2017
Every weekday at noon, Maxine (Vanessa Williams), Mo (Tichina Arnold), Heather (Fiona Gubelmann), Kibby (Chloe Bridges) and Nina (Camille Guaty) — hosts of The Lunch Hour, the long-running women’s talk show — gather around the table to discuss life, love, politics and juicy gossip. But behind the scenes, it’s even juicier — a backstage world filled with power struggles, diva fits and steamy affairs. Inspired by the book Satan’s Sisters ... A Novel of Fiction by Star Jones, television personality, lawyer and journalist.
PROD. CO: Sony Pictures Television

June 2017
A revealing, never-been-seen account of one of the most private and guarded global superstars of our time. With more than 85 million albums sold worldwide, 95 platinum records, and sold-out concerts in more than 100 countries, Ricky Martin is truly an international icon. The project will draw on his Vegas residence to illustrate his broader fascinating and inspiring journey from every pivotal era in his career to the most defining roles of his life.
PROD. CO: 51 Minds

BALLER WIVES (working title)
August 2017
From the sidelines to the social frontlines, this is the world where relationships are complicated and the competition is thick. All eyes are on these Miami-based pro athletes and their wives as they navigate the waters of love, family, business and balling in the hottest city around.  
PROD. CO:  Shed Media

'90s HOUSE
Aug. 16, 2017
What happens when a super connected cast has to unplug and live in the most rad decade ever? No smartphones, Wi-Fi or GPS allowed in this house but tons of the flyest fun, fashion and pop culture moments will be rebooted back to reality. Hosted by Lance Bass and full of cameos from the '90s most beloved celebrities.
PROD. CO:  Superdelicious

October 2017
The frightening and hilarious tale of 10 celebs who have bravely agreed to move into one of the spookiest mansions in America. Over eight episodes, they face terror and chilling challenges inspired by the iconic movies that make you scream. In this reality fright fest, 10 famous people will move in, but only one will make it out alive.
PROD. CO:  Renegade


April 17, 2017
Following the lives of a group of women with relationships with some of the biggest basketball players in the game, VH1's hit series returns with a vengeance as several new faces and Basketball Wives original Evelyn Lozada join L.A. season veterans Tami Roman, Jackie Christie, Malaysia Pargo and Shaunie O'Neal. Between the new personalities, major life challenges and old resentments, the cast hits the floor ready for drama.
PROD. CO: Shed Media
EP. COUNT:  16

T.I. & TINY: THE FAMILY HUSTLE (sixth and final season)
April 17, 2017
The final season of "T.I & Tiny: The Family Hustle," marks the end of an era for the lovable first family of VH1 while celebrating a television milestone with 100 episodes. Watch as they say goodbye to the fans who have tuned in to see their family grow over the last five seasons.
PROD. CO: 51 Minds

DEAR MAMA (second annual)
May 8, 2017
Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Anthony Anderson returns to host this fan favorite event with television personality La La Anthony.  Dear Mama honors mothers with celebrity guests paying tribute to the women who have shaped their success.
PROD. CO: Jesse Collins Entertainment

BLACK INK CREW: CHICAGO (season three)
May 24, 2017
In the midst of Chicago’s brutal winter, 9 Mag's owner, Ryan Henry, struggles with the emerging egos and volatile differences among the 9 Mag family, while still fighting to stay on top in the tattoo game. Black Ink Crew: Chicago, explodes with more drama, more heat and sexier tattoos than ever before. The pressure is on and the hustle is real for this close-knit group of friends who are trying to make it in one of the roughest cities in America.
PROD. CO: 9Mag

LOVE & HIP HOP HOLLYWOOD (season four)
July 17, 2017
Cable’s No. 1 franchise returns with perennial fan favorites and a slew of new players ready to take over Tinseltown.
PROD. CO:  Eastern TV & Monami Entertainment

August 2017
Since its inception in 2004, this tentpole event has recognized the luminaries who broke new ground and propelled the genre into the cultural phenomenon it has become. From hip hop’s pioneers like Public Enemy and Tupac Shakur to Def Jam Records and Russell Simmons, VH1 has honored hip hop from its origins through the numerous phases of its musical evolution. 

October 2017
Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party returns for a second helping of food and fun featuring Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg hosting more weekly dinner parties with their famous friends. In each episode, Martha and Snoop put a personal spin on dishes for a themed meal.
PROD. CO: 495 Productions

HIP HOP SQUARES (season two)
Fall 2017
Hosted by DeRay Davis and executive produced by Ice Cube, the series features the biggest names in hip hop, comedy and entertainment as they come to play and stay to party, match wits and test their pop culture knowledge with the superstar squares.
PROD. CO: Jesse Collins Entertainment, Cube Vision, The Firm

Fall 2017
Single mom in charge and Basketball Wives powerhouse Shaunie O’Neal gives us a personal, unexpected look at what it takes to get her team of five kids off the bench and into the game of life. There’s never been a coaching job so hectic, heartfelt and fun.
PROD. CO: Maverick

December 2017
Get ready to work the runway as Tyra Banks returns to host the longest-running fashion TV series in history.
PROD. CO: 10x10

RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE (season 10)
March 2018
The Emmy Award-winning hit series has delivered nine seasons of can't-miss lip sync showdowns, pushed the boundaries of creativity to new levels and showcased the art of drag to millions of new fans around world. More than 100 fierce and brave queens have battled for the crown and title of "America's Next Drag Superstar" and the series’ 10th season is positioned to be its biggest eleganza extravaganza ever!
PROD. CO: World of Wonder