On the strength of its current seventh season ratings, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” has already been renewed for an eighth season.
“It’s kind of amazing to see how each season ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ continues to build and the audience refreshes. The passion and the fandom for it is quite outstanding,” MTV2 and Logo TV general manager, Chris McCarthy, told TheWrap.
Additionally, the cable network has told TheWrap exclusively that it has greenlit new series “Behind the Movies” (Working Title), which will be hosted by Broadway actor and “Ugly Betty” star Michael Urie.
The Season 7 premiere of “RPDR” was not only one of the reality competition’s most-watched, but it earned a nearly 20 percent increase in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic. Additionally, its second episode of the season saw a double-digit increase over the debut episode.
“Over 6 million people have watched the show in some way, shape or form across all of our platforms just this season alone, the three episodes that were in,” McCarthy pointed out. “The audience continues to build and the demand for it and the content is so great, why not take advantage of all that energy right now? World of Wonder is such an amazing partner to work with and Ru that we want to get out there while it’s hot and get casting for the next season.”
Casting for Season 8 is currently underway.
World of Wonder Productions produces “RPDR” with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell, Mandy Salangsang, Steven Corfe and RuPaul serving as executive producers. McCarthy, Pamela Post and Tim Palazzola serve as executive producers for Logo.
Set to debut in April, “Behind the Movies” (Working Title) will feature Urie and guest panelists on the series highlighting stories behind the most iconic and most beloved movies by LGBT audiences – from “Valley of the Dolls” to “Cabaret” and “Steel Magnolias.”
“One of the common threads that kept coming across [in conversations around the office] were these gay iconic cultural classic movies with these Hollywood legends,” McCarthy said of what inspired the new series.
“And whether it be on Fire Island, or the weekend or over brunch, people are telling these different stories,” he continued. “Then, this tradition is passed down with the LGBT community from generation to generation and we felt what a wonderful idea it would be to actually bring that on to the air and bring that across our platforms, and have different people, different cast members, people who were part of making the movie come in and tell the stories of the colorful characters and add some context to these movies – more or less pull back that curtain. And Michael has been an amazing partner to work with. He’s such a fan of these movies and such a fan of Hollywood and storytelling and writing. He was just a natural fit.”
The “RPDR” premiere also proved to be a strong lead-in to Logo’s sneak peek of upcoming scripted series “Cucumber” and “Banana” from former “Doctor Who” showrunner Russel T. Davies.
“We jokingly call ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ the ‘Gay Super Bowl.’ We’re super-excited to have these three shows together and show a wonderful diverse range,” said McCarthy.
“Cucumber” and “Banana” ended up earning Logo’s hightest-rated new series premiere ratings in close to two years and will return with their full season runs starting April 13 at 9 p.m.
Logo will soon celebrate its 10th Anniversary after marking 2014 as its most-watched and highest-rated year to date and it’s continuing that trend into 2015 with the current quarter pacing to be the cable network’s highest in its history.
“There’s wonderful and great momentum moving into all these new programs,” said the executive. “And with Ru back on the air, the air is as hot as it could be.”