Trio net circles new look

Logo, attitude embraces 'pop, culture, TV'

Universal TV’s emerging network Trio will rebrand itself with a new look and a new tagline this June as it kicks off its latest month of themed programming.

New logo features a red circle with the Trio name pushing the boundaries of circle. Banner will now read “pop, culture, TV” instead of its more unwieldy predecessor “popular arts television.”

“The unexpected is mixed with the familiar in a totally entertaining way in everything we do, and the new logo, tagline and design presentation reflect that,” said channel’s prexy Lauren Zalaznick.

June’s theme will be uncensored comedy. Sked includes original specials “Uncensored Comedy: That’s Not Funny,” a doc that takes a look at how comedians draw the line (if at all) between funny and offensive; “Sick Humor,” which looks at the origins of jokes spun from current events; and “Outlaw Comic: The Censoring of Bill Hicks.”

“Outlaw” is a biographical look at the provocative Hicks, who was a frequent guest on David Letterman’s talkshows before his death in 1994. Special will feature his final appearance on Letterman, which was completely struck from the broadcast because of its content.

Slate also includes animated series “Mr. Wong,” based on interstitials that ran on icebox.com; “The Lenny Bruce Performance Film”; and Danny Hoch performance film “Jails, Hospitals and Hip-Hop.” Kurt Anderson’s yakker “Face Time” will also return, featuring “serious talk about being funny,” said Zalaznick.

Trio’s all-American July sked, themed “Country Is Cool,” includes 10 days dedicated to country music. Lyle Lovett will host four-hour doc series “Lost Highway: the History of American Country.” Also skedded is Wilco pic “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”

Trio is now available in more than 19 million homes. Ad sales exec Scott Collins said that revenue doubled this year. While Trio would not release numbers, Kagan ad sales estimates for the channel are $6.7 million this year.

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