Viceland is marking its six-month anniversary by unveiling plans for a late-night franchise, plus two new series orders and renewals for two other series.
“Desus & Mero” is set to premiere in late-night in October. The half-hour show, to air Monday-Thursday, will be hosted by the Bronx-reared comedic duo Desus Nice and the Kid Mero, who are known for their “Bodega Boys” podcast and the “Desus & Mero” web series.
Vice is also planning a new series with rapper-director Tyler, the Creator that stems from an existing program on his Tyler’s Golf Media App. Lloyd Braun’s Whalerock Industries is producing.
The other new series order, “Jungletown,” features filmmaker Ondi Timoner embedding herself with a group of idealistic students in Panama who aim to great “the world’s greatest sustainable modern town.”
Meanwhile, Viceland has renewed two shows from its initial roster of unscripted series: “Huang’s World,” featuring chef-provocateur Eddie Huang, and “States of Undress,” hosted by model Hailey Gates.
Launched in February by Vice Media, Viceland is a transformation of what had been A+E Networks’ H2 channel. Viceland has drawn a modest audience so far, averaging about 45,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 in primetime in July. Viceland has a median age of 41, compared to 57 for H2, and the audience is 64% male. Viceland viewers are also a little better off than H2 viewers, with average household income of $58,000 (compared to $56,000 for H2) and higher rates of education than many cablers.
Vice Media co-president Eddy Moretti said the company is encouraged by the start and the response to its shows. Viceland series”Gaycation with Ellen Page and Ian Daniel” and “Woman” hosted by Gloria Steinem grabbed Emmy nominations for unstructured reality series and docu series, respectively.
Viceland is part of a larger strategy to extend Vice’s success with millennial-friendly digital content into the more lucrative TV arena, in the U.S. and around the world. The company is poised for a big expansion of its programming partnership with HBO with the Sept. 26 premiere of the nightly “Vice News Tonight” program.
“We gave birth to a completely new brand — a unique voice with 100% Vice-produced content, that is attracting a young, smart, affluent audience,” Moretti said. “Today, more people are watching Vice-produced content on every possible screen than ever before. That’s insane, and insanely wonderful. Plus, we got two Emmy nominations out of the gate.”
Viceland president of programming Nick Weidenfeld said the channel is focused on expand its programming slate and talent roster.
“Our job is to give a platform to as many diverse and powerful voices as we can,” he said. “As we expand the talent pool, we’ll need to grow as a network, experimenting with genre and formats. There are no rules at Viceland, which makes it the most exciting place to work.”
(Pictured: “Desus & Mero”)