Lisa Sherman, who has run the day-to-day-operations at Logo since its 2005 launch, is leaving the company as the Viacom network will be aligned with MTV. This marks an end of an era for Logo, started by then-president Brian Graden with Sherman as his top lieutenant. She took the reins of the network in 2008 when she was named EVP and general manager. The move to put Logo under the MTV umbrella, reporting to MTV President Stephen Friedman, will likely accelerate the transformation of Logo from a network strictly focused on the LGBT community one that caters to wider audience, which started last year. Over the years, Logo tried different types of programming, including scripted series and a daily talk show, but it always has been best known for its signature unscripted show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. Here is the memo about Sherman’s departure sent internally by Van Toffler, President of Viacom Media Networks Music & Logo Group. It is unclear whether the group will drop Logo from its name as the channel gets so closely aligned with MTV.
Emmy-winning NBC sitcom Will & Grace, which marks its 15th anniversary this fall, will have new cable homes for its second syndication cycle. The hit gay-themed series, which aired on Lifetime for the past eight years, has sold in a shared window to WE tv and Logo. The series, distributed by Warner Bros., will premiere on WE tv on September 22 with an all-day marathon and will air weekdays from 5-8 PM and all night on Tuesdays beginning at 8 PM. On Logo, the series will launch on Sept. 23 and will air weekdays from 5-7 PM and 11 PM – 1 AM.
EXCLUSIVE: The LGBT-focused cable channel is attempting to broaden its programming with Bank, a one-hour pilot script written and executive produced by Steve Krueger. There’s no pilot order yet for the show, about a Wall Street whistleblower who, struggling with his newfound unemployment and lifestyle change, starts robbing banks to make money and save his marriage. Brian Volk-Weiss, Michael Pelmont, and Matt Ochacher will also exec produce for New Wave Entertainment.
UPDATED: For decades, Cher has been an icon of the gay community. Now the actress-singer has set up a period drama project for LGBT-centric cable channel Logo TV. Logo just made the announcement at the top of its TCA presentation. The network has ordered a pilot script for the scripted project, from Cher and veteran TV writer-producer Ron Zimmerman, which is set in 1960s Hollywood. Logo would not provide additional details on the drama, which I’ve learned is not gay-themed but described as an “adult show for everyone.” Cher is currently attached as writer alongside Zimmerman but may also co-star.
Diane Haithman contributed to this report.
EXCLUSIVE: LGBT-centric cable network Logo has greenlighted its first live program, That Sex Show, a daily late-night relationship and sex advice show executive produced by Roy Bank. The series, which will premiere on Monday, February 4, will air three live editions every weekday — on TV at 11 PM ET for East Coast audiences and 11 PM PT for West Coast ones, and an online version on LogoTV.com at 11:30 PM featuring questions and content “that’s truly too hot for TV.” On That Sex Show, viewers will be able to interact with a panel of relationship experts that includes former porn star Katie Morgan, psychic life coach Dougall Fraser and therapist Dr. Mike Dow via phone, video chat and social networks. In front of a live studio audience, the panel will debate and offer honest and unfiltered advice. “You’re not going to find a more diverse panel of ‘sexperts’ than a former porn star, a psychic and a shrink,” said Logo’s SVP Original Programming Brent Zacky. “Part debate, part advice column, part education and part voyeurism, That Sex Show will address viewer questions from every angle and provide enlightenment, insight and education along the way for our fully interactive audience three times a day.”
EXCLUSIVE: The Viacom-owned network has signed on with Killer Moxie and Tepee Pictures to develop a scripted series based on the life of Gene Pressman, the grandson of the founder of Barney’s New York department store and its former co-CEO. The sexual revolution of the 1970s and ’80s will serve as the backdrop for the untitled project. “Gene Pressman, the legendary creative force behind Barney’s New York, and visionary producer Christine Vachon have pulled together a stellar team to develop a show set in a time and place where creativity was king and people could be their authentic selves and push the boundaries of societal norms. The characters will really go ‘beyond’ – just like our audience,” says Brent Zacky, Logo’s SVP Original Programming. Killer Moxie and Tepee are looking for a screenwriter for the project, with plans to shoot a pilot in spring 2013. Pressman, Vachon, Dan Levinson, Kevin Turen and Brian Young will executive produce. Zacky and Christopher Willey will executive produce for Logo.
Related: Logo Acquires Scripted Series ‘DTLA’
EXCLUSIVE: The scripted series DTLA – which was created, directed and executive produced by The L Word‘s Larry Kennar — has landed at Logo. The network will premiere the ensemble drama Wednesday, October 24 at 11 PM and will follow it with seven 30-minute episodes. DTLA revolves around the relationships and sex lives of eight friends with varied ethnic, cultural, and sexual orientations who work and live in downtown Los Angeles. Darryl Stephens (Noah’s Arc) stars with a supporting cast that includes Melanie Griffith, Sandra Bernhard and Jeremy Jackson. Stephens, Michael Andres Palmieri and Helene Shaw also executive produce. The series will also have its international premiere on Out TV Canada, marking the first time a Kickstarter-funded TV series has landed domestic and foreign distribution. (Check out the trailer below.)
The deal marks the latest scripted acquisition for the network, which include Misfits and Bewitched (currently on the air). It also will premiere Will & Grace next year.
The It Gets Better Project, which was honored by The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors with its Governors Award on Saturday, will return to MTV and Logo with a new, 60-minute It Gets Better special October 9 at 11 PM — two days ahead of National Coming Out Day. Columnist Dan Savage, co-creator of the It Gets Better Project, will once again anchor the special, which will share stories and experiences of young people who are growing up LGBT. The first special, which premiered on MTV and Logo on February 21, received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Nonfiction, Reality or Reality-Competition Program. The two networks commissioned a second special in June.
EXCLUSIVE: NewNowNext Vote With Wanda Sykes will focus on hot topics for the gay and lesbian voter and where the Presidential candidates stand on those issues. Sykes’ two, one-hour specials will feature a roundtable format with panelists from both sides of the political aisle, addressing issues including gay marriage, Supreme Court appointments, the economy and healthcare along with commentary sparked by trending news from the campaign trail. “These specials will be thought provoking, exciting and the perfect forum to discuss important issues facing our community,” the openly gay comedian said. “Plus, it is Logo so maybe I’ll get to dress in drag!” The first of the two specials taped in front of a live studio audience, will air four days after the Democratic Convention, Monday, September 10th at 10 PM The second will air on election-eve, Monday, November 5th.
Logo has renewed its flagship series, RuPaul’s Drag Race, for a fifth season. Auditions are already under way for a premiere in early 2013. The current season of the reality series posted the most watched series premiere in Logo’s history with nearly one million viewers. “I live for drag and to witness the excitement surrounding the success of our show, takes my breath away!,” RuPaul said. RuPaul’s Drag Race is produced by World of Wonder Prods., with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and RuPaul Charles executive producing.
Cult BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous will return with three new specials, co-produced by BBC America and Logo. The two U.S. networks have come on board the specials, currently in production in West London, which feature the original cast led by its two stars, Ab Fab creator Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, who reprise their roles as the booze-loving Edina Monsoon and her friend Patsy Stone, respectively. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate our 20th birthday with all of the original cast,” Saunders said. “We hope that, like a good bottle of champagne, we have grown better with age but lost none of our sparkle. We fully intend to party like it’s 1991.” The original Absolutely Fabulous series has been a key part of BBC America’s lineup over the years. Logo began airing the first five seasons in April 2011. Absolutely Fabulous is a BBC Comedy production, and has been written by Saunders, directed by Mandy Fletcher and produced by Justin Davies. Executive producer is Jon Plowman.
Brent Zacky has joined Logo as SVP Original Programming and Development. He will oversee all aspects of original programming and manage the network’s bi-coastal development team, reporting to Lisa Sherman, Logo’s EVP and General Manager. Zacky comes from TLC, where he was VP Development and Programming and developed such series as Cake Boss, Outrageous Kid Parties, Freaky Eaters, Homecoming, My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, Niecy Nash’s Wedding Bash and the upcoming All-American Muslim. He also oversaw all live coverage of the Royal Wedding on TLC. Before that, he spent five years at E!, rising to VP Development.
EXCLUSIVE: Viacom’s Logo network is set to unveil a development slate the includes four new projects designed to continue expanding the channel’s appeal. The projects range from scripted to reality competition shows and include a docu-series starring comedian Lisa Lampanelli that is produced by Chelsea Handler’s Borderline Amazing production company. The four titles:
Logo, MTV Network’s gay-themed network, has greenlighted two new series: Sex Rx, about sex addiction, and The A-List: Dallas, a new spinoff of the A-List franchise. Additionally, Logo has renewed its highest-rated series RuPaul’s Drag Race, its companion Untucked: RuPaul’s Drag Race and The A-List: New York. Also renewed is the NewNowNext Awards, Logo’s awards show for the latest in pop culture. The channel’s next new series, Setup Squad and Pretty Hurts, premiere April 25 and May 9, respectively. Details on the new series:
So here’s another reason to watch Discovery Communications’ Science Channel (How It’s Made marathons, anyone?), which today announced that it will shorten its name to Science and introduced an interactive logo that even has its own name: Morph. The channel, which is carried in more than 68 million homes, will debut the new brand on June 8 in conjunction with the Season 2 premiere of Through The Wormhole With Morgan Freeman. Here’s a few different looks at Morph:
Logo, MTV Networks’ channel targeting gays and lesbians, has picked up all five seasons of the fabulously campy British comedy series Absolutely Fabulous. It will launch with a weekend-long marathon April 16. “When it comes to ‘OMFG’ television, Ab Fab sets the bar with its notorious, hard-partying duo Patsy and Edina,” Logo’s SVP Marc Leonard said. Ab Fab follows publicist Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and her best friend, Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), as they live the life of excess in every possible way.
FX’s drama series Nip/Tuck has been sold in off-cable syndication (yep, that’s what off-network syndication is called when a cable series is sold to another cable network). Gay and lesbian-centered channel Logo has acquired the rights to Ryan Murphy’s racy plastic surgery drama in a four-year deal with Warner Bros. Domestic TV Distribution. The agreement covers all 100 produced episodes of the series, which ended its six-season run on FX in March. Nip/Tuck will premiere on Logo in October, running in three-episode batches on one night during primetime. A new stack of episodes will air on the Nip/Tuck-themed night each week, and the seasons will run sequentially.
Separately, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has struck a deal with Netflix, which will stream all 100 episodes of Nip/Tuck, as well as three other Warner Bros.-produced series, Veronica Mars, Pushing Daisies and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.