Small Screen: LOGO
The execs behind MTV are moving from Punk’d to pink’d. Viacom heavyweights estimate that gay and lesbian adults in the U.S. number 15 million – or six and a half percent of tv households – and rep a purchasing power of US$485 billion. They’re also a hip bunch, often driving pop culture like the teens of yore. So, what Viacom did for the MTV generation it hopes to repeat for gays and lesbians by launching logo, a cable network targeting LGBT viewers. Docs, original series and specials are planned for the net, which is scheduled to debut on February 15, 2005 under the stewardship of Judy McGrath, the new chairman and ceo of MTV Networks.
Get ‘em while they’re hot! Hoping to profit from the impulse buy, PBS’s POV has partnered with online movie rental service Netflix, which will offer many of the strand’s titles on dvd as soon as one day after the initial TV broadcast. POV doc-makers will then have the option to distribute through doc DVD specialist Docurama, following Netflix’s initial 45-day window. New Yorker Jesse Moss’s Speedo: A Demolition Derby Love Story is among the first to try the ‘see it, rent it, buy it’ model. Airing August 24 and up for offer on Netflix the following day, it’ll be available through Docurama in late October.
Big Screen: Mondovino
A last minute entry into the competition lineup at Cannes (marking the first time two docs vied for the Palme d’Or), Mondovino plunges into the little known world of one of the last affordable luxuries, wine. Behind the vines, multinational corporations compete with artisanal wineries, and the opinion of a single ‘nose’ can send stocks south. But, as a part-time sommelier, filmmaker Jonathan Nossiter knows of what he films. Picked up in North America by ThinkFilm, it’ll be released theatrically early next year. TV audiences might also get a taste, in the form of a 10 x 1-hour series. Coincidentally, Wine Network TV is prepped to launch in the U.S., Europe and Asia in late 2004, and is promising 75% original programming. Must be something in the soil.