LOGO, on cable, to air gay-themed shows

July 27, 2004|By Roger Catlin | Roger Catlin,HARTFORD COURANT

The first network for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered viewers has unveiled a roster of programming and a start date: Feb. 17.

LOGO, the newest digital cable network from MTV Networks - with the motto "different together" - will "reflect the diversity that is our community," said Brian Graden, head of MTV and VH1 entertainment.

"We know there is going to be a backlash," says Matt Farber, executive creative consultant for LOGO. "We're prepared and we believe that all we're doing is reflecting an audience that does exist."

Among its offerings:

An extensive roster of theatrical movies with gay themes, such as Philadelphia, The Birdcage, Gods and Monsters, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert and Kissing Jessica Stein, as well as older titles such as Making Love and Personal Best. Also included are made-for TV movies such as An Early Frost and Breaking the Surface: The Greg Louganis Story.

Family Outing, a new series featuring coming-out stories of celebrities and newsmakers, from Cher and Chastity Bono, based on the latter's best-selling book of the same name.

A downtown cabaret series with Alan Cumming as host.

A new, original comedy series starring Margaret Cho.

My Fabulous Gay Wedding, with Scott Thompson as host.

Fantastic Voyages from the makers of The Real World, set on a seven-day gay ocean-liner cruise. Host: Kathy Griffin.

Twist, a panel discussion on gay issues.

Logo Lens includes a roster of documentaries produced by MTV News, including Gay Cops and A Boy Named Sue.

Do I? a series about gay and lesbian couples considering marriage.

An animated series, Chelsea Boys, based on the syndicated comic by Glen Hanson and Allan Neuwirth.

Programming will begin Feb. 17 with a 90-minute documentary about the network itself, The Road to LOGO. Other events include In Search of the Invisible Lesbian with Kate Clinton, and the first live TV presentation of The 2005 GLAAD Media Awards.

Also in the works are a travel show produced with Out Traveler magazine and unnamed projects from Sandra Bernhard and the production team of Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.

"Probably the most thrilling thing has been the true outpouring of support from the creative community, both gay and straight," says Graden, who says the network has been in the works for three years.

Advertisers have been excited by the idea, says Farber.

The Hartford Courant is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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