MTV today said it has become the first network to pre-release an entire season of a series exclusively on an app. Viewers can watch all 12 episodes of the new docu-drama Wait ‘Til Next Year via the MTV app — available on iPhone, iPad and Xbox 360 for Xbox Live Gold members in the U.S. — a week before its TV premiere Friday, November 1 at 8 PM ET/PT. Wait ‘Til Next Year follows one season on and off the football field for the Lincoln Park Railsplitters, a team that’s lost 43 consecutive games over the course of a 5-year losing streak. it centers on the players, cheerleaders, parents and fans who are all on a collective mission to do the one thing no one expects them to do: win. This marks the latest experiment by Viacom Music and Logo Group aimed at providing exclusive content within its brand apps. The MTV app saw an 82% increase in install week over week when MTV launched a “flock-to-unlock” initiative tied to its Miley:The Movement documentary in which fans banded together to tweet #UnlockMiley to access two new clips from the docu exclusively through the app. Earlier this week, MTV’s cable cousin VH1 made its biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, exclusively available in the newly launched VH1 app for a week following its televised premiere and encore.
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.
MTV has ordered two hourlong pilots: family drama Finding Carter, from Emily Silver and Terri Minsky, and cyber thriller Eye Candy, from top horror producer Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity) and Twilight helmer Catherine Hardwicke. The orders follow recent pilot pickups for comedies Faking It and Happyland, while a Scream series adaptation continues to be on fast-track development.
EXCLUSIVE: Bianca Santos (The Fosters) will lead the cast of MTV‘s comedy pilot Happyland. Also cast in the project, written by Ben Epstein, directed by Lee Toland Krieger and executive produced by Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, are Zulay Henao (Love Thy Neighbor), Shane Harper (Awkward), Katherine McNamara (Contest) and Cameron Moulene (Raising Hope). Happyland is a soapy teen comedy exploring the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there. It centers on Lucy (Santos), a cynical teen working as a greeter at the park where her single mother (Henao) has played a fairytale princess for 15 years, and explores the realities of growing up and falling in love while living in a make-believe world. Harper will play Ian, the handsome son of the park’s new president, a new hire at the park who is smitten by feisty Lucy.
The four unscripted series are set to debut in 2014. They include two prime time weekly series with Untitled Virgins Project, a docu-series following the lives of young adults as they navigate the world of relationships and sexual pressures all while sharing one major thing in common: virginity; and MTV’s House Of Food (working title) featuring young aspiring chefs living under one roof while competing in a variety of cooking competitions for a chance to win a career-launching apprenticeship. Ted Iredell and Perry Dance (The Ted & Perry Co) are executive producers of House Of Food. Additionally, MTV has greenlit two new afternoon series, Snackdown (working title), from Rob Dyrdek. It is a new cooking competition show, challenging young cooks to unleash their imaginations on your standard “munchies fare” and elevate them to a fully baked art-form; and The Ex And The Why a 30-minute daytime strip from Jersey Shore executive producer SallyAnn Salsano where young adults who have unresolved issues from past relationships are given the chance to make amends. “We’ve got a pretty explosive line-up with this new slate of shows – virgins, food and exes – all part of the millennial palate,” MTV President of Programming Susanne Daniels said. Also today, MTV renewed its flagship comedy series Awkward for a fourth season. Below are the new show descriptions and credits:
MTV announced today a Miley Cyrus feature documentary, and premieres for docu-series Generation Cryo and Nurses, in addition to renewals for shows including Teen Wolf, the third season of Snooki & JWOWW and the fall season of Awkward. The announcements were among those made today by Susanne Daniels, President of MTV Programming, during the network’s presentation at the TCA summer press tour.
The one-hour Cyrus feature film produced by MTV’s News and Docs team will follow her as she works on her new album and delves into the “transformation” she has experienced over the past few years — from Disney princess to TMZ fave. Premiering this fall, it follows in the footsteps of similar documentaries that have featured the likes of Lady Gaga, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears and most recently Demi Lovato.
Additionally, Daniels announced pilot pickups of comedies Faking It (working title) from Carter Covington (10 Things I Hate About You) and Happyland (working title) from Ben Epstein and executive producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan (Smash). Faking It revolves around two best friends who will do almost anything to fit in and be popular in high school — including pretending to be something they are not. Happyland is a soapy teen comedy which explores the underbelly of one of the country’s most popular theme parks and those who work there.
Daniels also announced that writers Jay Beattie and Dan Dworkin (Criminal Minds) have been tapped to write the horror drama pilot Scream, which is based on the successful film franchise with Dimension Films.