FUSE MEDIA UNVEILS LINE-UP OF MUSIC CULTURE-FOCUSED CONTENT TO ENGAGE AND EMPOWER ITS YOUNG, MULTICULTURAL AUDIENCE
8 New Series Include BUST IT OPEN, MING'S DYNASTY, STRUGGLE GOURMET and UNLEASHED (wt)
6 Series Renewed Including BIG BOY'S NEIGHBORHOOD, MADE FROM SCRATCH, SUGAR AND TOYS, THAT WHITE PEOPLE SHIT, FUSE FILMS and Peabody & Emmy-Winning FUSE DOCS
LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK - APRIL 9, 2020 - Fuse Media, a cross-platform entertainment media brand serving a multicultural millennial and GenZ audience, today unveiled a new programming line-up bolstered by both original and renewed series. The slate of originals - which includes many returning series and several concepts that originated on digital before coming to linear TV - leans into music culture to create an expanding collection of engaging, empowering, and unifying programming.
In keeping with its successful development strategy, Fuse Media is greenlighting two linear series that were initially incubated by the Fuse Content Studio for digital - Bust It Open and Struggle Gourmet, the latter hosted by Chef Dariany Santana. The studio, which launched two years ago to diversify Fuse Media's development slate with original formats created and produced in-house, has successfully created concepts that debut on digital and migrate to linear. Made from Scratch - today renewed for a second season - was the first such series to premiere on Fuse after digital success.
Fuse's first foray into adult animation continues to be successful, as Sugar and Toys is also being renewed for a second season. The mash-up - think Saturday morning cartoons, social commentary and music culture parody - has made its mark by speaking directly to the trends and issues most relevant to a millennial audience.
"Our expanded content slate reflects an unwavering commitment to entertain and empower a young, multicultural audience through the unifying theme of music culture," said Fuse Media Chief Content Officer J-T Ladt. He added, "Now more than ever our audience is looking for aspirational content with a purpose and by incubating our formats digitally, we've been able to listen to them and adapt along the way."
The 2020 line-up also includes several series that are the result of unique partnerships with media companies such as Genius, NTWRK, iHeartMedia and Complex.
The new and returning content is complemented by Fuse Media's recently announced Be Change call-to-action, social responsibility initiative, which launched on March 30. Its first iteration, Be Change: Be Home, is a series of an-air interstitials, graphics, digital and social media messaging aimed at keeping Fuse's audience informed, active and mentally stimulated while practicing social distancing. In the coming months, additional content will roll out to educate, inform and empower this audience to impact change around different issues, many of which are also addressed in the returning, award-winning Fuse Docs series of documentaries.
Also, building off its 2019 Fuse Multicultural Insider report which gave insight on inclusion and a modern look at the multicultural relationship between brands and consumers, for 2020 Fuse will release a continuation titled Empowerment. Going Beyond Representation and Inclusion. This year's study - again commissioned by Fuse with NRG - explores what the new definition of empowerment is to young millennials and GenZ audiences, and what their expectation is of brands and content partners who are looking to be considered a trusted empowering partner. For example, the soon to be released survey showed that entertainment is the No. 2 form of empowering content, with music as the No. 1 form of delivery.
Said Fernando Romero, Fuse Media's head of ad sales, "We've honed in on crafting stories that celebrate the struggles, successes and impact of artists and creators, resulting in a robust slate of long- and short-form narratives. As the only music culture entertainment brand aimed specifically at the Latino and multicultural audience, we own a reciprocal, trusted relationship with our viewers, which makes Fuse an ideal platform to align brands with artists, celebrities and influencers to tell authentic and empowering messages that deliver results, for our partners."
The slate of empowering, music culture programming coming to Fuse includes:
NEW ORIGINAL SERIES ON FUSE:
· Bust It Open (5x30) - In keeping with the wildly popular unboxing genre, talent will bust open five boxes to uncover a series of streetwear items. Once all items are revealed, the guest will guess today's resale price of each item and attempt to place the items in order of least to most expensive in effort to win the coveted items. Produced by the Fuse Content Studio, the series will debut with a linear format after initially premiering on Fuse's digital platforms. It will also incorporate first looks of exclusive product launches from NTWRK as part of a joint partnership announced in December.
· Genius x Fuse (10x30; premiered March 18) - the recently announced partnership between Fuse and Genius brings the world's biggest collection of song lyrics and music knowledge to linear television for the first time. The new series, hosted by Rob Markman, features the best of Genius' artist-centric content, including Verified, Deconstructed, and For The Record With Rob Markman, along with other existing formats. Featured artists and guests include Alicia Keys, 2 Chainz, and Roddy Ricch. Genius x Fuse is executive produced by Joshua Asen and Tom Lehman, and produced by Genius.
· Ming's Dynasty (6x15; premieres May 3) - This single camera sitcom will make its U.S. TV premiere on Fuse. Aspiring rappers Whyte Wine (Calwyn Shurgold) and Young Riesling (Antony Hall) are forced to give up their dream of making it big in Toronto when Riesling has to return to rural Alberta to manage his family's restaurant, the Ming Ho Garden. Based on Hall's childhood experiences growing up around his family's restaurant, this series is produced by 775 Media Corp and Touchpoint Films/Hey'd Saffer for CBC.
· Struggle Gourmet (10x30) - The come up is hard. It requires long nights, hard work, and lots of bad food. Struggle Gourmet celebrates that grind by taking popular artist's taste buds on a flashback to the meal that powered their success. Each week, TV personality and chef Dariany Santana and a celebrity guest will talk about the artist's journey and the meals that brought them comfort through the hardest days of their struggle. Then, to symbolize their current success, Dariany will recreate that meal using the most expensive items on the market. $500 Twinkie? Done. $1,500 bowl of ramen? Simple. And once both the cheap and expensive versions are on the table, the artists will do a taste test to determine which is better...it's struggle classic vs new & bougie. Produced by the Fuse Content Studio, which initially developed the series for digital, and is now bringing it to linear TV.
· Unleashed (working title; 10x30) - Unleashed is an artist profile unlike any other. In every episode, host Jimmy O. Yang (Crazy Rich Asians, Silicon Valley) takes his lovable pug, Toffee, to meet up with pop-culture icons and their furry best friends. After a quick sniff, they'll head out on a comedic adventure, hitting some of LA's most dog-friendly spots, and revealing a side of the celeb only their beloved pets can bring out. Executive produced by Michael D. Ratner, Scott Ratner, Kfir Goldberg, Andy Mininger, Rebecca Hertz and Jimmy O. Yang. Produced by OBB Pictures.
RETURNING SERIES ON FUSE:
· Big Boy's Neighborhood (Recently extended for an additional 130 episodes) - The televised version of iHeartMedia's nationally-syndicated hit radio show starring radio legend Big Boy follows him as he entertains audiences daily with his high-energy mix of hip-hop, heart and humor. In each episode, Big Boy welcomes the biggest names in music and entertainment (past guests included Cardi B, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Kayne West, Lil Nas X, Miguel, Becky G) -shares his take on the latest news in music and pop culture, and keeps listeners laughing with hilarious bits, including the infamous phonetaps with "Luther Luffeigh." Episodes will premiere the day after the radio broadcast and also feature Big Boy's Neighborhood co-hosts Natalia Perez, Louie G, Ayydé and DJ Vick One.
· Fuse Docs (Season 4) - The Peabody and Emmy Award-winning - and NAMIC and NAACP Image Award-nominated - documentary franchise has also been renewed. This series of documentaries making their U.S. TV premieres spotlights young, idealistic, and diverse people who are celebrating their cultural heritage and identity, confronting issues, and overcoming prejudice. Fuse documents their journeys and partners with organizations to help ignite a multiplatform conversation around each title. New Fuse Docs titles will be announced at a later date.
· Fuse Films (Season 2) - Launched in 2019, this franchise spotlights independent films that tell stories about and by members of underserved communities. Inclusive, authentic and upbeat, these indie films are selected because of their aspirational and hopeful storylines, and ability to explore key issues through entertainment. The newest installment of Fuse Films will be:
· Go Back to China (premieres May 16), written and directed by Emily Ting and starring Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen, Kelly Ju and Kendy Cheung; Go Back to China is a humorous, heartfelt portrait of a family business and generational and cultural clashes. After spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Akana) blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business.
· Made From Scratch (Season 2, 10x30) - This weekly docu-cooking series serves up a candid look into the lives of your favorite celebs as they prepare their most-loved childhood dishes with the family who knows them best. Season one guests included Ally Brooke, A$AP Ferg, G-Eazy, Big Boi, DaniLeigh, Dave East, Jhené Aiko, Rick Ross, Vic Mensa, T-Pain, and Saweetie, and was shot in kitchens from Atlanta and New Jersey to San Antonio and Los Angeles. Initially created as a digital short-form series before being transitioned to linear TV, the original digital pilot featuring Young M.A has generated more than 5 million views on YouTube. It is produced by the Fuse Content Studio.
· Sugar and Toys (Season 2, 6x30) - Creators Carl Jones and Brian Ash (producers, Black Dynamite and The Boondocks) are at it again, in the new season of Fuse's Sunday night adult animation series. Sugar and Toys brings a wild new twist on the Saturday morning cartoons we all grew up with - but a whole lot less innocent. Adult comedy, social commentary and music culture parody crash the cartoon party, speaking directly to the trends and issues most relevant to a young audience, and bookended by host and multi-platinum rapper and actor KYLE (Netflix' The After Party, www.superduperkyle.com). It is executive produced by Aengus James, Colin King Miller, Jordan Allen-Dutton, Jones and Ash, with Kyle Harvey serving as co-executive producer, and produced by This is Just a Test and 245 Enterprises.
· That White People Shit (Season 2, 10x30) - Comedian King Keraun is on a journey of discovery, pulling back the curtain on a variety of subcultures. From competitive dodgeball and curling to latte art and rock-a-billies - and with the help of the new friends he makes along the way - he'll become immersed in all the textures of a particular world to help him understand why white people do what they do, and love what they do. And ultimately, to understand and show to the audience we're not as different as we sometimes think. It is executive produced by Jacob Cohen-Holmes, Tim Pastore, Isaac Feder, Paul Bonnano, Justin Killion and Erika Turner, and produced by Complex Networks and Woodman Park Productions, an All3Media America company.
Joining the previously-announced new series Rappers Review Regular Cars and Trust Me and returning, popular digital originals Lie Detector and Mind Massage, will be the following new short-form series - available across Fuse.tv, VOD, YouTube and other digital and social platforms:
· Like, Share, Dimelo (premieres April 17) - Dominican-American Latina comedians Dee Nasty and Sasha Merci host this bold, yet hilarious, new talk series exploring the issues facing the Latinx community, including politics, pop culture, dating and whatever else comes to their spontaneous minds. Sasha and Dee have no filter and no topics are off-limits. It's time to break social norms on how women should 'behave.' Produced by the Fues Content Studio.
· Skip the Line - This man on the street trivia show takes place in the lines of the latest and biggest streetwear drops, giving hype beasts a chance at winning the best gear being released. Each episode, a host will interview and play trivia with those waiting for the doors to open. They'll play a variety of games and fun segments until a winner is crowned from the line and given an item from the collection being released. Each episode will also feature a celebrity guest and artist along for the ride to play games with fans and give out exclusive gear. Produced by the Fuse Content Studio.
· Hype Market - Each episode will focus on the items to buy, sell, trade, and sit-on via a series of information segments focused on investment, depreciation, and authentication. Streetwear is 100-billion-dollar business, but, despite its value and popularity, there are few resources that track the value of the individual items. Hype Market acts as a centralized resource for all parts of the streetwear game, tracking upcoming releases, giving live value to shelved classics, helping viewers spot fakes, and more. Produced by the Fuse Content Studio.
About Fuse Media
Fuse Media is a cross-platform entertainment media brand that creates empowering, music culture-based content and experiences for a multicultural millennial and GenZ audience. The company celebrates talent, activists and creators who break boundaries, celebrate life and fuel hope for a world seeking unity. It does so across the following platforms: the Fuse and FM (Fuse Music) linear and video-on-demand (VOD) channels; Fuse Digital; OTT channels and programming apps; and live events. For photos and additional assets, please visit fusepress.tv. Connect with Fuse at fuse.tv or on Instagram (@fusetv), YouTube (youtube.com/fuse), Twitter (@fusetv), and Facebook (facebook.com/fusetv).