7:25am PT by Natalie Jarvey
Viceland Renews Five Shows Including Ellen Page's 'Gaycation' and 'Weediquette'
Viceland is giving five of its shows more time to build an audience.
The new cable network from Shane Smith's Vice Media has renewed several of the series from its launch slate, including Balls Deep; Action Bronson's F—, That's Delicious; Ellen Page's Gaycation; music series Noisey; and Weediquette.
Viceland launched Feb. 29 in a deal with A+E Networks to replace History channel's H2 on the dial. The effort to attract Vice's millennial audiences to television was seen as an ambitious, and risky, maneuver by the digital media darling. And less than three months later, it's still too soon to tell whether the bet will pay off. A+E has a deal with Nielsen that will keep ratings unreported for Viceland's first six months.
Some early reports using unconfirmed data have indicated that Viceland did fare as well as H2 immediately following its launch, and sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that viewership has been in line with A+E's expectations.
Smith announced at the company's annual NewFronts pitch to advertisers last week that the switch from Viceland to H2 was the fastest aging-down of a network in TV history. He also revealed that Viceland will roll out in 20 territories this year, including upcoming launches in France and the U.K.
Renewing these Viceland shows — which are overseen by a creative team led by co-presidents Spike Jonze and Eddy Moretti — will allow the series to build up an audience. And the news comes as Vice has been busy finding new ways to promote its Viceland efforts. Earlier this week, the company announced that it has inked a deal with ESPN that includes the distribution of Viceland series including Vice World of Sports across the sports broadcaster's TV and digital properties. Viceland also will re-air films from ESPN's 30 for 30 documentary series.
Meanwhile, Viceland has continued to stack its executive ranks with TV veterans as it builds out its programming with new projects, including the Gloria Steinem interview series Woman.
The network also is announcing five new programs that will premiere this summer. They include Abandoned, in which pro skater Rick McCrank explore old landmarks and architectural remains; Black Market, about the world of illicit trade; Cyber War, about the world of hacking; Dead Set on Life, in which chef Matty Matheson eats high-brow and low-brow food with his Canadian friends; and Vice Does America, in which three Vice staffers will travel the country to learn about different kinds of Americans.