FUSE MEDIA UNVEILS NEW SLATE OF ORIGINAL CONTENT FOR 2017-18 UPFRONT SEASON
New Series Include “The Hollywood Puppet Sh!t Show” from Executive Producer Wilmer Valderrama and Entertainment One;
“Picked Up,” a Social Experiment on Dating in the Ride Share Era
“Fluffy’s Food Adventures” Starring Gabriel Iglesias Expands Universe to Four Exclusive Short-Form Series and Gaming App
Fuse Kicks Off 2017 as the Fastest-Growing Cable Network in Prime Time
NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES – MARCH 8, 2017 – Heading into a series of ad agency upfront meetings in New York this week, Fuse Media has made several new additions to its multiplatform portfolio of content covering the wide-ranging tastes and attitudes of the fast-growing, Latino and multicultural 18-34 audience. This includes today’s announcement of nine new original series for its Fuse, FM and digital properties; the return of three original series including the digital expansion of FLUFFY’S FOOD ADVENTURES starring Gabriel Iglesias as well as three new series in development.
Fuse Media has started the year strong, with year-over-year audience increases. Fuse was the fastest-growing cable network in prime time for the first 2 months of 2017 vs. the comparable months a year ago, delivering 55% growth in prime time and 38% growth in total day among its core Adults 18-34 demographic.* Meanwhile, Fuse.tv posted a record 40 million page views in January 2017, its highest in history, with unique visitors (+15%), visits (+42%), video views (+21%) and page views (+185%) all rising from the prior month.**
To build on this success, the company has greenlit a slate of programming appealing to “Cultural Adventurists” – young consumers who actively tap into culture for inspiration and exploration.
New programming premiering later this year on Fuse includes: THE HOLLYWOOD PUPPET SH!T SHOW (working title) from executive producer Wilmer Valderrama and Entertainment One (eOne), featuring outrageous true stories told by celebrities and reenacted by lifelike marionettes; PICKED UP, a social experiment dating show based on the recent trend of millennials finding love in the backseat of ride shares; and THEY HAVE A DREAM (working title), a series of documentaries that celebrate cultural heritage and identity while confronting issues and overcoming prejudice.
New programming for FM includes: hip hop/sneaker fashion series SOLE SEARCHING and THE “X” EFFECT, looking at the impact of iconic musical artists.
New programming for the company’s digital platforms include exclusive digital content starring Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias tied to the season three premiere of his Fuse series. ASK FLUFFY, FLUFFY’S HOT SPOTS and FLUFFY AT HOME join FLUFFY OFF THE MENU as exclusive digital content.
Fuse has ordered a pilot for hip hop magician series, SMOOTHINI. Other programs in development for Fuse and FM are music beauty/fashion series, STYLIN’ and behind-the-scenes music series FM FOLLOWS.
Finally, returning series this year include the FUTURE – HISTORY multiplatform content series for Fuse and FM celebrating emerging female, African American, Asian/Pacific American, Hispanic American and LGBTQ leaders across entertainment. It joins new seasons of Fuse originals; FLUFFY’S FOOD ADVENTURES and BIG FREEDIA BOUNCES BACK (as previously announced), which are returning later this year (see below for premiere dates and full program descriptions).
“We are committed to creating new, original content across all screens and providing value for our partners and consumers,” said Fuse Media President and CEO Michael Schwimmer. “With this slate, along with new digital and social media offerings, we are delivering on this promise while making an investment in content that will build on the early growth we have seen this year.”
“Our line-up of original content appeals to our core young multicultural audience who value entertainment that is engaging, authentic and relatable, while providing our advertising partners with the opportunity to reach these young consumers across platforms,” added Fuse Media EVP, Ad Sales and Integrated Marketing Jason Miller. “Providing multiple touchpoints – from TV, digital and social media to branded content tied to live events, festivals and concerts – is just a part of what we are bringing to our partners during the upfront season, and year-round.”
Fuse Media has expanded the availability of its content on OTT platforms through the launch of the Fuse TV app on Apple TV and Roku. In addition, Fuse Media is set to provide fans with more ways to engage across all screens and platforms with the launch of FLUFFY’S FOOD ADVENTURES gaming app in May 2017 with 6 mini-games represented by the different cities Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias travels to throughout the new season.
THE HOLLYWOOD PUPPET SH!T SHOW (working title) (Fuse; 6 episodes x 30; premieres July 11 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT) –True untold celebrity stories reenacted by marionette puppets. Joe Jonas (DNCE), Gina Rodriquez (Jane the Virgin) and Amanda Cerney (Internet Famous) are among the talent lined up for this series. Show is executive produced by Wilmer Valderrama, WV Entertainment (Charming, Yo’ Momma, Douglas Family Gold, Buggin Out, The Ricardo Laguna Project) and eOne (Ransom, Ice, Rogue, You Me Her, Hell on Wheels, Mary Kills People and Designated Survivor from eOne’s The Mark Gordon Company).
PICKED UP (working title) (Fuse; 10 episodes x 30; premieres TBD) – As young single adults rack up dating nightmare stories from online hookups and dating apps, the search for new ways to meet potential mates is constantly evolving. One recent trend is dating people they meet in the back seat of a ride share. In this new setting for a social experiment dating series, a single contestant rides in a hidden camera ride share where his/her driver picks up three unsuspecting potential love matches. At the end of the night, the single contestant chooses which of three pool “dates” they would like to see again. Produced by Fuse Media.
THEY HAVE A DREAM (working title) (Fuse; premieres TBD) – a series of documentaries making their U.S. TV premieres. Highlighting young, idealistic and diverse subjects who are celebrating their cultural heritage and identity, confronting issues and overcoming prejudice, THEY HAVE A DREAM (w/t) documents their journeys as they tap into their creative and entrepreneurial spirit to fight for inclusion, fairness, and to share their incredible stories.
Among the documentaries under the THEY HAVE A DREAM umbrella will be:
SHOW ME DEMOCRACY – a look at advocacy and activism as seven St. Louis college students take different approaches to demanding change.
RIGHT FOOTED – born without arms, Jessica Cox learned to type with her toes, drive a car and fly a plane with her feet. RIGHT FOOTED chronicles Jessica’s amazing transformation from speaker and mentor into an international disability rights activist.
CAST FROM THE STORM – teenage refugees learn to cope with the horrors they experienced in their native countries through an innovative community speaking and performance program.
SOLE SEARCHING (FM) – This series explores hip-hop culture and fashion, checking out what celebrities are wearing on their feet and when the hottest kicks are being released. Produced by Fuse Media.
THE “X” EFFECT (FM) – It takes mad skills to make music, but it takes a legend to influence an entire genre. This new series explores the immense impact of an artist’s influence on music and popular culture through exclusive interviews and videos clips. Produced by Fuse Media.
ASK FLUFFY (3 episodes; Digital) – Fuse and Gabriel Iglesias solicit questions via social media on a variety of topics. Moderated by comedian and Fluffy cast member Alfred Robles, Iglesias will answer questions on the “most important” things in life – anything from his favorite wrestler, what to wear on a job interview or how to get revenge on your little brother – all in the humorous way that only Fluffy can deliver. Produced by Fuse Media
FLUFFY’S HOT SPOTS (6 episodes; Digital) – In each city he visits, Gabriel Iglesias takes us through the top places to visit. Think of it as a “cheat sheet for tourists” – the restaurants, comedy clubs, tourist locations, scenic stops, snack joints, etc. that get the Fluffy stamp of approval. Produced by Fuse Media.
FLUFFY AT HOME (3 episodes; Digital) – Everyone loves going behind the scenes, and fans want to know what Fluffy’s doing when he’s not on the road. This series allows fans to check out Gabriel Iglesias’ man cave filled with his loved VW buses, his personal barber shop and his extensive merchandising area. Produced by Fuse Media.
FLUFFY OFF THE MENU (6 episodes; Digital) – FLUFFY’S FOOD ADVENTURES is jumping off…literally! Join Gabriel Iglesias and a few of his favorite chefs as they teach you how to make tasty dishes in a matter of minutes. This is FLUFFY OF THE MENU, produced by Iglesias (EP) and co-produced with B-17 Entertainment and Arsonhouse Entertainment..
SMOOTHINI (Fuse; Presentation) – Where magic, hip-hop culture and celebrity combine with mind-blowing results, “Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini” was a finalist on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent. He is an ex-Marine who originally got his start in New York City performing close-up illusions with a mix of adult humor in Spanish and Japanese. Produced by 7Beyond (MythBusters, Monster Bug Wars, Facing Evil).
FM FOLLOWS (FM) – From life on the road to photo shoots to making music in the studio, FM is giving fans intimate access behind-the-scenes with some of music’s hottest artists. Produced by Fuse Media.
STYLIN’ (FM) – This series keeps fans up-to-date with the latest fashion and beauty trends in music that can help them take their personal look to the next level. Produced by Fuse Media.
FLUFFY’S FOOD ADVENTURES (Fuse; 6 episodes x 30; season three premieres July 11 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) – You hungry? Well Fluffy is—and he’s taking his crew of comedians on a coast-to-coast culinary trip in search of the country’s most mouthwatering dishes. It’s no carb left behind as stand-up sensation Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias and his boys eat their way through New York, Nashville, New Orleans, D.C., Los Angeles and Atlanta, discovering local gems, unique activities and a few celebrities along the way. Fuse’s break-out original series (formerly Fluffy Breaks Even) is produced by Iglesias (EP) along with B-17 Entertainment and Arsonhouse Entertainment.
BIG FREEDIA BOUNCES BACK (Fuse; 8 episodes x 60; season six premieres September 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT) – You already know!!! Big Freedia is back with a passion and drive like never before! Newly sober after battling legal troubles, the Queen Diva is determined to bounce back on track and take her career to the next level. In season six, Freedia is hungry to land her first major-label deal, reignite her live shows and give back to her community even more. How…by shaking sh!t up!! Freedia’s on a mission but will her boyfriend and team get in formation and up their game or will they get left behind? Only the Queen knows! This groundbreaking season – with a new name (formerly Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce) – will again be produced by World of Wonder Productions (RuPaul’s Drag Race, Island Hunters, Million Dollar Listing, Island Hunters).
FUTURE – HISTORY (Fuse/FM/Digital) – Following up on 2016 and 2017’s Future Black History, Fuse Media this year is celebrating emerging leaders in music, film, sports, TV and literature in this series of special cross-platform content. This includes Future Women’s History (March), Future Asian/Pacific American History (May), Future LGBTQ History (June) and Future Hispanic History (mid-September to mid-October). Each month, Fuse.tv will spotlight up-and-coming talent that is making history with features and short-form video content running on all Fuse and FM platforms. FUTURE – HISTORY programming will also include a themed music block celebrating emerging artists in each category. (Fuse)