Well based on the response from my “Open Letter To LOGO” post, one thing 99.2% of the responders agreed on ….. LOGO is on the road to bankruptcy. But it seemed that a few took exception to my views and at the same time, gave me insight into all of the self-loathing gay stereotypes out there that must have had some horrific experiences reading through the gay want-ads that said “NO FATS, NO FEMMS”. One guy actually asked me if I wanted him to commit suicide. Based on what? My yearning for some non-stereotypical gay programming for the LOGO Channel? Aren’t we being a bit of a drama queen?
And thanks to Michael Musto’s Village Voice posting, I viewed other responses from “Ick” (how appropriate) – “Some of the guy’s statements are illiterate and some of his suggestions for shows would get no ratings. does he not realize Logo is a business, not a charity operation?” And Jessica answered brilliantly “Only someone with a narrow and illiterate mind would think the only way to attract an audience would be to find flashy flamboyant drag queens.” But in actuality, I would have to take more exception with someone posting I have illiterate thoughts without an explanation. Are you too illiterate to ellaborate?
As for the shows I suggested that would get no ratings, well, I can tell you that the Bar Takeover idea did quite well as a stand alone episode on Bravo on a little show called “Tabitha Takes Over”. While Tabitha typically takes over hair salons, here, she stepped out of her comfort zone to take over a gay bar in Long Beach, CA., renovate it and put it back on the map. And the show attracted over a million viewers, which is quite good for Bravo and I’m sure 10 times what LOGO’s kiddie pageant series “Eden’s World” drew.
My favorite comment was from Slimjim, who said “What next–BET will show white shows because they’ll say we found out that’s what black people want???” Exactly Slimjim (except for the grammar issue I had). BET actually is quite popular with their niche audience and a show that failed on the CW called The Game drew over 5 million viewers on BET because they know their audience. Some of you out there would have suggested the LOGO-TV type approach of putting on reruns of Spin City on the channel because there was a black character on there. (Shhh, I forgot, the character was gay too, don’t give LOGO any ideas.)
This also answers JDolphy’s question posed earlier “How does one cater to a community that has no identity?”
Great discussions out there people, but what I found frightful was JDolphy’s later comment that said:
“No one was watching and this forced Logo to rethink how they would reach out to our community. You know what they found out? Gay men, in particular, care more about straight artists with a strong and independent persona than they do about gay ones. So if Logo wants to make a 24-hour Madonna/GaGa/Kathy Griffin/Campy movies/Circuit Party Music-type channel, I would have to agree that it might actually get more people to care. Look at Drag Race. It’s about the only thing on the channel that actually gets good viewership.”
This sounds like someone working inside the LOGO network. Yikes!
So in response.. First of all, I disagree – get new researchers. The A List also had good viewership, but LOGO wanted to “go in a different direction” as per one of the stars of the show, Reichen Lehmkul’s tweet.
Others however, such as Sirius Out Q’s Derek Hartley, publicly denounced the A- List show as heinous in its poor portrayal of the gay community. At the same time, this doesn’t mean we don’t have an interest in watching men being men.
I remember there was also outcry over one of my favorite shows Queer As Folk (the US version). Say what you want about the sexual storylines, but they hit home with the gay world I witnessed and the variety of gay people that touched most aspects of the gay community during its run. And yet please take note JDolphy, people watched! Go figure. And without everyone dressing up in their best boa and shouting for Kathy Griffin.
I think Michael Musto’s Village Voice synopsis showed he was the most spot-on when it came to understanding the message I conveyed. And despite his discomfort with my remarks about LOGO-TV just catering to the Drag side of the gay community, I was pretty clear in stating that I enjoyed the Drag Race series and have no issues with TV shows that highlight the flamboyant side of our community, however, isn’t it about time we showed that we can be funny without being flamboyant?
OK, maybe because I’m partnered with a very funny gay cop who doesn’t exude any of the stereotypical traits found in Modern Family’s Cameron character, I’m a bit biased, but again, speak from experience. I’m also not like some of my militant gay com-padre’s who won’t watch anything gay that has a hint of effeminate mannerisms. I don’t care, I want to be entertained and there are a lot of “Cameron’s” out there who possess them in real life so yeah, I watch and laugh with the rest of America. BUT, I’d like someone to convey the side of gay life seldom scene. Interesting gay people doing interesting things without camping it up. LOGO-TV has the power to do something about this and create quite a niche for themselves, but they choose not to.
It’s unfortunate that you never catered to the LGBT community in the past very well, but now you seem to have abandoned them all together, with the exception of your Drag Race fans. Your latest offering – “In The Big House” looks to be another travesty. And while you are touting this as the “real life” Modern Family, the truth is, this is anything but a bunch of straight mobsters who happen to clash with another gay stereotype. Even your “about LOGO” shows that you no longer want to cater to LGBT.
Logo celebrates one-of-a-kind personalities, unconventional stories and discovering what’s next-all through a mix of original and acquired entertainment that’s outrageous, smart and inclusive. Entertaining a social, savvy audience of gay trendsetters, Logo also attracts a straight audience that wants to be ahead of the curve.
Come on now LOGO, who are these social and savvy gay trendsetters you speak of? Latrice Royale fans? Please also note, I watched every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race so I’m not anti–Drag, but I’d love it if you offered some other representation.
The Gay Community understands that it is difficult to create something fresh and modern that may have a cross appeal on a limited budget, however, BRAVO seemed to figure it out just fine. Watch What Happens Live is probably the cheapest produced show I ever saw, yet it’s continuously fresh, innovative, entertaining and routinely attracts over 1 Million Viewers nightly and many of which are both straight and gay.
They know their audience and they know how to be creative in bringing in viewers.
It’s great you found 1 hit show in all these years thanks to the cross-appeal of Drag Queens, but it would be nice to show the rest of the world that you can also attract a more mainstream audience by showing a more original facet of gay culture. Perhaps showing a gay version of Real Housewives was not the answer. Perhaps the answer is finding an element in the gay community that doesn’t present us as a “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” video would be a bit more captivating.
There are a lot of lower budget ways to find an audience. LOGO should be the first network that can show the rest of the world that the gay community can be interesting without having to put on a dress or camp it up. Here are a few rough ideas
- A dating and/or cooking competition show that features all sorts of representatives from the gay community.
- A Gay Bar Rescue type of show where someone saves another poorly run Gay Bar from failing…
- A talent / variety show that features all from the LGBT community?
- The life and times of Gay Cops and Firemen.
While the concepts may not be all that original, the casting, execution and presentation of these can be.
Perhaps if one of these clicks, you’d have a budget for scripted entertainment – a sitcom that shows a more realistic version of a gay couple raising a kid, or a group of gay singles trying to find their way in the world of love. Or better yet, a Soap Opera that takes place in West Hollywood or someplace not often publicized much by the gay community, like Chicago -:).
There, now I’ve put together your 3 year blue print for success.
With many of these ideas, you could actually put together shows that encompasses LGBTQ all in one half hour! Not even the mainstream networks have accomplished that yet. (Sorry Modern Family, sorry Will & Grace)
I always thought that the Gay Community was one of the most creative groups of individuals out there, but apparently that must be another stereotype I was unaware of.
We currently remain inundated with multiple reality show concepts on both network and cable. On the shows that take off, these contestants have their 3 or 4 months in the spotlight and then are never heard from again. On talent shows like American Idol or The Voice, many have the easiest option for extending their brief flirt with nationwide popularity because they have a discernible talent, but for shows like The Biggest Loser or Big Brother, it is much more challenging. For those not looking for an acting career, it may not be such a big deal, but if you ever looked at the roster of Big Brother contestants each year, the vast majority appears to be actor wannabees. No matter how many claim to be “cocktail waitresses”, “bartenders” or “advertising executives”, it’s quite evident, they are looking for a quick, but delusional path to stardom. Let’s face it, the majority of these people we don’t remember a month after the season has concluded let alone a year or two.
Reality show producers are missing out on a golden opportunity to feature a show that focuses on contestants years after their season’s have ended. Just like Biggest Loser contestants, some cope well and others don’t and while fading back into obscurity, return to being the people they were before they were thrust into the spotlight. On Big Brother, in many cases it was even worse.
If you do a quick search on some of the media stories involving former contestants, you’d find out that Season 3’s Tonya Paoni was arrested for reckless homicide from a drunk driving incident and Season 9’s Adam Jasinski and Matty McDonald both were arrested and are currently serving sentences for distributing Oxycontin. As readers and former viewers of these individuals, we read this kind of thing, dismiss as a bunch of idiots and move on with our lives. But the real story (or “the pitch” as I call it) would be to delve into why these things ever happened to these people.
In the case of Matty McDonald, a former construction worker from Boston, I got not only a glimpse of why, but an amazing recount as to the events that led up to his current incarceration. I must say, for someone with marginal talent on the show, he sure showed a penchant for telling a story through his monthly (when possible) blog posts. Like many new series, Matty wasn’t exactly sure where he was going with this whole blogging thing. It started off a bit sketchy with his jailhouse surroundings and how bad they were – boo hoo boo hoo. But things started to really perk up as he recounted the events that turned him from Big Brother “Celebrity” to Jailhouse “Nobody”. Like a good book he slowly recounted how he always thought he had control of his surroundings and he had difficulty letting go of his 3 months of fame, leading to the details as to the first moment he realized that he no longer was able to have control of his drug usage, to his double life as a drug courier/construction worker, non-celebrity rehab and eventual prison. As a fan of the fictional show, The Cleaner, a short-lived Benjamin Bratt series about people trying to kick a drug habit, this story ranks up there with the best of those scripts. I highly recommend you check out http://mattymcdonald.wordpress.com/ and be sure to hit the archive back to the first post. You don’t have to be a Big Brother or even a Reality Show fan to appreciate this. Note, that like a good novel, each chapter ends on a cliff hanger and it also makes you reflect on yourself. Most of us have a dark side we dare not share, but not all of us choose to act on it. And his story isn’t over yet folks.
I have to imagine there are other great stories out there. Probably for every well-adjusted returnee to the real world, there are 3 or 4 not so well adjusted. So what do you say Reality Show producers, get moving on this idea!
It was recently announced that LOGO TV was going to ditch it’s popular A-List series and according to a Facebook post from Reichen Lehmkuhl, one of the A-List NY stars, the network is seeking out a new direction which the A-List doesn’t fit into.
But what direction would that be? I got together with LOGO’s hot new programming team to speculate based on LOGO’s short list of exciting new series they are looking into blessing their presence onto the airwaves. Check them out below and let LOGO TV know which ones you’d like to see!
- The D List– This fresh new series would use the popular A-List format, except with Drag Queens.
- 5 Drags Queens and a Monkey – 5 drag queens discuss trendy topics with a monkey in drag.
- RuPaul’s World – Little kids in drag compete for $ 500 in Cosmetics..and a chance to have their picture appear on RuPaul’s next CD. RuPaul stars!
- Senior Moment– Old Drag Queens take to the streets as they play tricks on unsuspecting people. Wettie White
- Big Sex– Latrice Royale and other popular plus sized drag queens talk about their favorite sexcapades with sex specialist, Chris Donaghue.
They’ve also picked up repeats of Toddlers and Tiarra’s.
So I think it’s now clear on what direction the LOGO TV network is looking to go…
Now just sit back and enjoy the ride folks!
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