In an unusually large spending splash, MTV Networks’ start-up gay network, Logo, has bought basic-cable rights to Home Box Office epic AIDS miniseries Angels in America.
The acclaimed six-hour series is a major purchase for a startup channel, particularly at MTV Networks, which tends to scrimp on programming for new networks. “It’s something we had to have,” says Brian Graden, Logo president and MTV programming president. He wouldn't disclose the terms, but other HBO mini-series have sold for more than $5 million.
News of the deal comes as Logo rescheduled its launch from March until June 30. Graden says he wanted extra time to create a fuller schedule and secure more distribution. MTV has typically launched networks with very little programming other than music videos. “Logo should come with a complete and comprehensive effort,” Graden says. So, he’s locked down 200 theatrical movies – the staple of any entertainment network and set five series and a handful of documentaries.
One is Noah's Arc, a short-run comedy-drama following a black gay screenwriter navigating love and life in Los Angeles. Another is My Fabulous Gay Wedding, following gay and lesbian couples as they prepare for weddings and ceremonies, hosted by comedian Scott Thompson.
A documentary series, Momentum, will include "In the Name of Allah," an investigation into gays and lesbians in the conservative Muslim world, and "Gay Rugby," a look at a Chicago team trying to win their first game.