Fuse Media Unveils 2015 Slate: Transgender Reality Series Joins ‘White Guy Talk Show,’ ‘Big Freedia’

Company plans to launch music channel FM; NUVOtv is being phased out this fall

Fuse Media unveiled its 2015 slate of new and returning original programming on a Wednesday upfront season media call, during which participating executives also discussed their new target market strategy, the phasing out of NUVOtv this fall, and the upcoming launch of new channel FM.

Among the new series are “White Guy Talk Show,” and DJ Skee’s “Skee TV.” Plus, stand-up comedian Gabriel Iglesias is getting his own scripted effort, Wilmer Valderrama has a new dance competition series, and Fuse Media execs singled out transgender project “Transcendent” as one to keep an eye out for.

“Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” (pictured above) — the top-rated show in network history — is returning for a fourth season. Its third season recently premiered.

Fuse Media is targeting what it calls “New Young Americans,” the fast-growing, culturally-diverse audience defined as influencers and tastemakers ages 18-34.

Following the rolling-up of NUVOtv, the company plans on launching a new network, named FM, which will focus on music. The cable and digital media brand will deliver an innovative programming line-up with music at its core and a focus on up-and-coming, young, diverse talent, Fuse touted. Linear and digital programming plans for FM will be announced at a later date.

“From the biggest events and festivals that make the music landscape so compelling, to unique looks at artists and performers pushing boundaries in comedy, fashion, digital and beyond, Fuse will bring New Young Americans the content that fuels their passion, and converts fans into influencers,” said Fuse Media, Inc. president Bill Hilary. “Our new line-up reflects the interests and diversity of a Millennial generation who set their own trends and whose tastes know no cultural boundaries.”

“Fuse is well positioned for growth heading into the upfront season, with a clear vision that will take the brand to new heights in 2015/16,” said Fuse Media, Inc. EVP, Advertising Sales & Integrated Marketing Jason Miller. “With our expanded content lineup, influential talent and must see live events, Fuse is providing more touch points than ever before to engage and connect with this generation of New Young Americans everywhere they are. We look forward to drilling deeper into this vision as we begin meetings with the top agencies and clients in the coming weeks.”

Here is the full slate, in Fuse Media’s own words:

Fuse 2015-16 Slate

  • “White Guy Talk Show” (new series), a daily pop culture talk show with a diverse cast and writing staff, “White Guy Talk Show” celebrates the things we all love about music, movies, trending social media, celebrity and tech news, but from a point of view that’s 100 percent unique to the talk show world: a younger, multicultural and Millennial point of view. With a day-and-date production schedule, “White Guy Talk Show” will even cover the occasional news story when it is relevant to our audience. The half-hour show will catch angles other shows miss, make jokes other shows can’t and ask our celebrity guests the questions no one else is asking. Series premiered on Monday, March 2 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT. Executive produced by Brian McCann (“Conan”), “White Guy Talk Show” is a Fuse Networks production.
  • “SKEE TV” (new series), hosted and curated by award-winning DJ, producer, digital media pioneer and entrepreneur DJ SKEE, this new series provides a peek into the world of Verge Culture at the intersection of music, sports, fashion, tech and style with one of the most influential figures in the entertainment industry today. This series provides the insider access into the trends and trendsetters of tomorrow. Premieres on Thursday, April 9 at 11 p.m. ET/PT.SKEE TV is a SKEEmatic production.
  • “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” (Season 3 and 4), the most popular series in Fuse history, was renewed last year for two seasons. With local hero and compelling personality Big Freedia as its guide, “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce” is an unscripted series that explores the world of the New Orleans underground hip hop scene known as “Bounce.” Season 3 premiered on Wednesday, February 25 at 11 p.m. ET/PT with Season 4 returning in the fall. Executive produced by Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato and Tom Campbell of World of Wonder (“RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Million Dollar Listing,” “Life with La Toya”).

In development 

  • “Hey! It’s Fluffy” (new series) – A scripted series from the mind of comedian Gabriel Iglesias, the hottest and fluffiest Latino comic touring the world today. Take a stroll down memory lane and a walk on the wild side as this irreverent animated comedy goes way back to the young adventures of this larger than life comic. Produced by The Fluffy Shop (“The Fluffy Movie”).
  • “King of the Floor” (new series) – Hosted and executive produced by Wilmer Valderrama, “King of the Floor” is a competition series that seeks to find the best street dancer in America. Produced by Electus Productions (Marco Polo, Jane the Virgin).
  • “Transcendent” (new series) – The beautiful girls who perform at the AsiaSF Cabaret & Restaurant in San Francisco have two things in common: they’re all talented, and they were all born boys. “Transcendent” documents the struggles and triumphs of what it’s like to be transgender in America today. The show is produced by World of Wonder Productions (“Million Dollar Listing,” “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce,” “Life with LaToya,” “Wishful Drinking”).

  • “Saturday Morning Fever” (new series) – Every Saturday morning dozens of hopeful teens and young adults line up outside a local Philadelphia TV station for a chance to shake it live on Dancing on Air – America’s only remaining weekly dance show (in the spirit of “Soul Train” and “The Grind”). For a few hours a week, these young dancers are given the opportunity to forget their dreary 9 to 5’s and live their dream of (very minor) stardom. Produced by Relativity Media (“Catfish,” “Restaurant Stakeout,” “The American Bible Challenge,” “Writer’s Room”).
  • “Rell Roast Battle” (new series) – With mentoring from The Roastmaster General Jeffrey Ross, two comics go head to head for three rounds in a boxing-style no holds barred battle of insults. The show is hosted by Rell Battle. Produced by 3 Arts Entertainment.
  • TBD Nuyorican Series (new series) – Also in development is a new unscripted series being executive produced by entertainment icon Jennifer Lopez under her Nuyorican Productions banner.

NUVOtv 2015 Slate

  • Original Comedy Specials – In partnership with Levity Entertainment Group (LEG), which owns some of the nation’s most recognizable standup comedy establishments including The Improv and the Levity Live Comedy Clubs, NUVOtv is bringing its viewers several one-hour comedy specials.  Next up and premiering on March 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT is “Steve Brown: Yeah, I Talk Like This.” Live from New York, Brown brings his high-pitched voice to his hilarious first comedy special. Detroit born and Southern raised, Brown brings soulful humor to create hilariously inventive characteristics that we can all relate to. Additional comedy specials to be announced for Q2 and Q3.
  • “Knockout” (Season 2) – In this returning weekly competition docuseries like no other, rookie boxers will come to Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut and train with legends of the ring. Floyd Mayweather Sr. and “Sugar” Shane Mosley will test their limits and show them what it takes to be a champion. Premieres Wednesday, June 10 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.  Produced by Steve Marcano Holdings.  Directed by Benny Boom (BET’s Music Video Director of the Year).