Pivot Unveils Scripted Drama and ‘Docu-Comedy’ in Efforts To Reach Millennial Viewers

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Courtesy of Pivot

Pivot, the start-up cable network backed by Participant Media, said it would add the first scripted drama to its schedule as part of its ongoing quest to build a media outlet around the mission of inspiring young consumers to embrace social causes and change.

The drama, “Fortitude,” will come in 12 60-minute episodes and feature Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Sienna Guillory and Luke Treadaway. Series focuses on a close-knit Arctic town that is shaken by a violent crime.  Produced by Sky and Pivot Original. Simon Donald is writer and executive producer. Patrick Spence and Frith Tiplady are the executive producers for Fifty Fathoms and Tiger Aspect.

The network, which is less than a year old and reached just under 45 million households, is firm in its belief that viewers between 18 and 34 who are active in trying to improve the world around them represent a coveted consumer base for advertisers, said Evan Shapiro, president of Pivot, during a meeting with reporters Wednesday. While Pivot is not yet rated by Nielsen and is “not the biggest player,” Shapiro said, it is connecting with a very intense audience that “will create a perception for a brand,” particularly those that embrace similar social causes.

The network also unveiled two new series Shaprio labeled as a “docu-comedy” and “docu-drama”: “Human Resources” and “Welcome to Fairfax.” The first, which consists of ten 30-minute episodes and debuts August 8, documents the deadline-driven world of an eccentric entrepreneur and his team of employees at TerraCycle, a company trying to eliminate global waste by taking anything bound for a landfill and turning it into a functional new product.Producers: Left/Right . Ken Druckerman, Banks Tarver and Anneka Jones. The second, which consists of 10 30-minute episodes and debuts in October, offers a behind-the-scenes look at the artists inhabiting a unique block in the Fairfax neighborhood of Los Angeles. Among the subjects is an entrepreneur named Mizzle, founder of the Just Be Cool streetwear line. Producers:  Ryan Sidhoo, Ben Selkow, and Matador’s Todd Lubin and Jay Peterson

The network said it would launch a 10-episode half-hour special series called “Freestyle Love Supreme, a look at a much-lauded improv show from two of the creators of the Broadway show, “In The Heights.” “Freestyle Love Supreme” stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anthony Veneziale, Chris Sullivan, Christopher Jackson, Bill Sherman and Arthur Lewis. The show is created by Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale. Produced by Ars Nova.  Executive producers are  Thomas Kail, Anthony Veneziale, Jon Steingart and Jill Furman.

Pivot earlier this year announced that it would create a 60-minute special telecast for the annual Peabody Awards, which celebrates excellence in storytelling in television. Produced by Den of Thieves and Jesse Ignjatovic and Evan Prager.

The network has announced a second season of “Please Like Me,” an original series featuring Australian comedian Josh Thomas. A daily talk program, “TakePart Live,” has been tweaked, with Embassy Row taking over production of the program and Meghan McCain, Eddie Huang and Jacob Sobaroff being set as the show’s new lineup of hosts.