Fuse lights up original skeins

Musicvidder cues 18 new shows

Musicvideo network Fuse has unveiled an ambitious lineup for 2005 that doubles the network’s original skeins tally to 18.

To go with an onscreen makeover that debuted Monday, programming chief Robert Weiss said Fuse will offer up fresh programming for its target 12- to 34-year-old audience throughout the first quarter, with more than 300 new show episodes falling on every day of the week.

In addition, the Cablevision-owned cabler has recruited Bill Rosolie to serve as senior VP of ad sales and upped Joe Glennon to senior veep of distribution. Rosolie will report to Rainbow prexy-chief operating officer of ad sales David Kline. Glennon will report to Cablevision Sports and Entertainment Networks topper Andrea Greenberg.

“Two years ago it was inconceivable that an independent, alternative network could compete in the music television landscape,” Greenberg said. “Fuse’s incredible growth and immediate connection with its audience proved that not only could a full-service music network exist, but that it can be successful.”

Weiss, who has been with the 2-year-old cabler since February, said, “It finally feels like a real television network. We spent the last year evolving Fuse’s programming and designing our air. We’ve gone from doing lots of musicvideos and video flow to doing real television shows that have scenes and narratives and hosts. It’s been a major but rapid change.”

New entertainment series for the afternoon and evening hours include “Steven’s Untitled Rock Show,” a daily showcase featuring new music from the worlds of indie, punk and emo; “The F-List,” a list show designating what’s hot and what’s not; “Comp’d,” a fans-only private concert series; “Slave to the Metal,” a rock ‘n’ roll advice hour; “Celebrity Tastemaker,” featuring celebs dishing on their musical passions; and “Ultimate Gig: The Fuse VJ Search.” “Gig” will premiere in July.

Execs also have ordered up the news shows “Fusified,” a “60 Minutes”-style music anthology series; “Fuse Worldwide Sports,” a monthly skein examining the collision between music and athletics; and “Fuse Action News,” an irreverent music industry newsmag, a la “The Daily Show,” that started as an online show.

Weiss said his mandate is to keep the programming at Fuse music-centric as well as interactive: “You won’t see us doing any shows about seven kids living in a rent-free house. All our shows are about music. What we’re hoping is that with nine new and nine returning series, viewers will stay with us for longer periods of time.”

Musicvideos, he insisted, will remain the mainstay. “We still have more musicvideo hours than any other network, and it will stay that way.”

Returning shows include “7th Avenue Drop,” “D’Fused,” “Amplified Guide,” “100%,” “Video IQ,” “Dedicate Live,” “Uranium,” “The Daily Download” and latenight programming block After Party.

Fuse is available in more than 37 million homes.

Rosolie previously spent six years at TV Guide’s television group, last serving as ad sales senior veep. Before that he was at the Weather Channel and Westwood One Radio Networks.

Glennon joined Rainbow Media in 1996, most recently serving as senior VP of distribution and affiliate marketing for the Western division of AMC, Fuse, IFC and WE. Prior to that, he led ad sales for the Discovery Channel, the Learning Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Digital Networks.