Logo a real slow go

MTV's gay net moving debut back to June

HOLLYWOOD — Logo, MTV Network’s planned 24/7 cable net for gay and lesbian auds, is rolling back its launch to June 30 — at which time it will premiere in 10 million homes.

In addition, cabler has locked its premiere lineup in place, greenlighting a scripted series and two reality shows that join a slate of original and acquired docs and more than 200 titles, including HBO’smini “Angels in America.”

Cabler, which had been slated to debut next month, is finalizing a deal with Comcast and has inked with several distributors including Time Warner Manhattan, RCN and Atlantic Broadband.

Logo has also clinched deals with charter advertisers Subaru of America, sister company Paramount and Orbitz. Additional advertisers will be announced in the coming months.

Logo prexy/MTV Networks entertainment topper Brian Graden said he opted for a later start date to get more original programming on the air.

Best foot forward

“I wanted to put a creative foot forward and not roll things out incrementally,” Graden said, explaining that keeping a February premiere would have meant launching in 2 million-3 million homes with just a handful of movies to offer. “We didn’t want to put our best foot forward in a tiny universe.”

Graden said he wanted to reflect a diverse group of gays and lesbians in the premiere programming lineup, selected from projects in development since last summer (Daily Variety, July 26).

“We’ve got original documentaries to movies like ‘Philadelphia,’ to shows like ‘Noah’s Arc,’ which is a comedy about three African-American guys living in Los Angeles,” Graden said. “My hope is that every gay person can see themselves reflected somewhere on Logo, regardless of race, creed or background.

“This is really more of a general entertainment network,” he said.

Airing ‘Angels’

Nabbing the rights to HBO’s “Angels” was also a top priority. “Clearly, that’s the standard bearer,” he added.

Logo also is moving forward with “My Fabulous Gay Wedding,” centered on planning the nuptials for about-to-be-married couples, from Paperny Films and Duopoly; and “Cruise,” a series from Bunim-Murray Prods. that will chronicle the happenings on a gay ocean-liner cruise.

Among the 10 first-person docs are: “Beautiful Daughters,” a behind-the-scenes look at production of Eve Ensler’s “The Vagina Monologues”; “In the Name of Allah,” about being gay in the conservative Muslim world; and “Gay Fraternities and Sororities,” about being gay in a frat house. Other topics include gay Latinos, gay Republicans, teens with gay parents, a gay rodeo circuit and gay rugby.

“It is important that everything we do challenges the stereotype of gay people as a group,” Graden said. Logo also has a deal with CBS News in which the org will put together branded news packages and specials for the cabler.

Newly acquired titles include “Billy Elliott,” “Mulholland Drive,” “Far From Heaven,” “Being John Malkovich,” “In the Gloaming,” “Party Monster,” “The 24th Day” and the U.S. TV premiere of “A Home at the End of the World,” featuring Colin Farrell, Robin Wright Penn and Dallas Roberts.