With Will & Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Sex and the City, the Ellen DeGeneres Show, and other queer-friendly TV fare proving to be ratings gold, the idea for an all-gay cable channel makes fabulous sense. It was over a year ago that Viacom, parent to Showtime and MTV, mulled over the idea, then let it die. Now comes a report at gfn.com that Sumner Redstone, Viacom chairman and CEO, has directed Tom Freston, chief executive of MTV Networks, to come up with a plan for just such a network, tentatively named Outlet. And he told investors that if he’d acted on the idea two years ago, the network would be worth billions today. Billions.
In an internal memo to “Staff and Freelancers of Showtime and MTV Networks,” Freston writes: “The name Outlet represents the overall mission of the new channel, which is to serve as the premiere media ‘outlet’ for entertainment and information to the more than 14 million gay and lesbian adults in the United States. Outlet will offer a variety of programming that represents the broad diversity of this community, including films, documentaries and popular series. Outlet will also feature original programming created especially for this channel across all programming genres.”
Related link: Commercial Closet